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Limiting your nutrition plan and only eating boring or bland foods can be a recipe for disaster when it comes to sticking to your weight loss goals. Unfortunately, many flavorful and delicious dishes are packed with calories and other weight-gaining properties. One of the simplest tricks to keeping your food tasty and exciting is to have a the proper condiments on hand that will still assist with your weight loss results. Below are my seven favorite meal additions that will add the flavor, without sabotaging your nutrition plan.
1. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil is a healthy mono-unsaturated fat and it will help to keep blood sugar levels even which assists with keeping food cravings at bay. Not to mention, this type of fat has been shown to actually lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. You can cook your veggies in it, or use as a salad topper.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
You can whisk some of this up with the extra-virgin olive oil for a healthy and tasty salad dressing that has lots of flavor. The interesting thing about apple cider vinegar (and don't be alarmed if you notice it floating in the bottle) is that it contains the amazing 'mother' of vinegar which occurs naturally as connected strand-like chains of protein enzyme molecules and is highly regarded throughout history. Although it doesn't contain probiotics, apple cider vinegar is fermented and will help to neutralize the gut to help facilitate an environment where good bacteria can thrive.
3. Tabasco Sauce
Many hot sauces like Tabasco are virtually almost calorie-free. Now of course, you need to like a kick for this addition so if you're not a spicy food fan then leave this one off the list. Tabasco will liven up your eggs, sauces, or even can be sprinkled in soup for added flavor.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice excites your taste buds in the same manner that salt does, and the best part is you get some added vitamin C. Lemon juice tastes great on steak, fish, salads, and vegetables and if you're one who needs to watch sodium levels, this is the best substitution.
5. Peanut or Almond Butter
I don't know about you but when I'm having a dessert craving, a scoop of nut butter can definitely do the trick. Just check out the ingredients as some brands have not-so-healthy ingredients like hydrogenated oils, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup. Make sure the ingredient label only lists the nuts, themselves, and nothing else. Another trick I like to do is to make "ice cream" by mashing a ripe banana with two tablespoons of peanut butter and then freezing it for two hours--it tastes just like frozen peanut butter banana pie!
6. Avocado Oil Mayo (or Paleo Mayo)
You can use a generous serving of this mayo without the guilt as it employs healthy avocado oil, egg yolks, lemon, and vinegar, and you can find it ready-made in many mainstream grocery stores. Like extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil is a healthy mono-unsaturated fat, and the egg yolks are wonderful source of poly-unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids. Both of these types of fats with help with weight maintenance, blood sugar control, and cholesterol.
There really isn't much to mustard--in fact, a teaspoon has zero calories, zero grams of carbs, zero grams of fat, and zero grams of protein! Mustard adds a lot of flavor to otherwise bland foods. I actually like to make my tuna salad mixed with extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon, and mustard--it's light, refreshing, and a different take on the traditional mayo version.
Using the seven above-mentioned condiment hacks will liven up regular meals and as I said before, they are all very guilt-free. Of course if you don't have time to make meals that would require the addition of these condiments, check out our delicious and ready-made entrees here!