In the first article in this series, Weight Loss Is NOT About What You Can’t Have, I shared that my dieting woes became a thing of the past when I started to focus on all the delicious, nutritious food I could enjoy, as opposed to those of which I had to be ‘deprived’.

I lost weight when I was eating more, but healthier versions of ‘off-limit’ foods, and these were actually good for me. Of course, I wanted to continue to feel this great, and look my best, so I’ve been ‘eating clean’, if I can use that cliché, ever since.

In business, we are advised to adopt a tagline, which expresses our persona. Despite much deliberation, I continue to be torn between two, as I quote these all the time:

‘Being healthy should be fun’ and

‘There’s a healthier version of everything’.

So now it’s my mission in life to prove to you that both are possible, and equally important, in helping you lose weight and achieve your other health goals.

Let’s explore some of the healthier versions of your favorite foods that you can enjoy, whereby you don’t feel deprived – as no food is off limits. In keeping our fun element, let’s also include foods and drinks you might like to enjoy on a night out with family or friends – proving that you can embrace your fun side while still being healthy, and losing weight!

When contemplating going on a ‘diet’ (hopefully not anymore), here are some of the things that might prey on your mind:

I’m really going to miss chocolate, which I need to have most evenings.

Learn to enjoy your chocolate mindfully, so that you are satisfied with a few squares. Dark chocolate, with all those flavonoids, not only makes you feel good by increasing serotonin levels but it’s also actually proclaimed to be good for your heart.

I can’t resist Ben & Jerry’s when watching House of Cards.

Whizz up a large frozen banana, with a little milk (dairy, or a substitute) and a splash of vanilla essence – totally scrumptious. By doing so, you are saving the cost of the less-healthy B&J’s, which you can enjoy as an occasional treat.

There goes my weekly movie date, as I’m not sure if I can sit there without my comforting bag of popcorn.

Make your own popcorn! It’s so easy, and you can ‘dress’ it up any way you like. Rather than having to choose between the usual ‘salty’ or ‘sweet’ offered at the movies, check out the countless number of ways you can enjoy it by making your own healthy version.

What can possibly replace my morning Nutella on toast?

As I said, ‘There’s a healthy version of everything!’ in Weight Loss Is NOT About What You Can’t Have, I outlined that white sugar, hydrogenated oils, and additives are the type of foods that make us fat. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Nutella contains all three! Check out this far healthier version, which I guarantee you, and your kids will love.

The kids won’t be happy without our weekly “Fun Family Friday Pizza”.

No need to change that tradition. Rather than ordering in, pizza can be made so much healthier at home – with a thin whole wheat crust, some good quality cheese, veggie toppings and your protein of choice. More money saved, kids learn the skill of cooking, and each can have their own toppings of choice!

What about my glass of wine with friends on a Saturday night?

Of course, you must enjoy this, but again, learn to appreciate it mindfully, saying ‘no, thank you’ after one or two glasses. Plan activities for the next morning so that you want to get up feeling fresh to enjoy an active day with your kids.

These are just as few examples, but believe me, everything can be made healthier and still be just as delicious and satisfying for you to enjoy. You can ‘have your cake and eat it’ so to speak, while you go down a healthier, ‘lighter’ path.

Check out this helpful video where I give some healthy alternatives to our favorite foods, so we really don’t have to cut them out of our diet.

First published at Executive Lifestyle Singapore

Liza Rowan

Holistic Nutritionist

When not not busy in my favourite role as mother to my two boys,  I dedicate my time to educate, motivate and inspire us all to lead healthier, happier lives. This involves hosting Nutrition courses (in-class and online), corporate wellness talks, workshops and when I have time, private consultations.

 You can follow me on one or more of the following channels:


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