It is a known fact that a low fat meal plan is not easy to follow on a long term basis and everyone who has ever been on a diet knows that.
One of the main reasons, I think, is that meals can become boring. After all, how many times a week can you have broiled chicken and enjoy it? Soon the cravings take over, and people often go back to their old foods that made then overweight in the first place.
Most healthy diets call for low fat meats or fish, plus low carbohydrate vegetables prepared in a low fat way. So that leaves you with steaming or broiling, both of which can get very boring.
Over the years I have developed some methods and combinations that can make the same old diet foods taste better.
The methods include using low fat-low calorie flavoring ingredients as well as what I call accent ingredients, usually low calorie aromatic foods that give a lot of flavor without adding calories.
Some of those ingredients include:
Onion and garlic powders
Tamari soy sauce (most flavorful)
Chili powder or flakes
Miso (Japanese soy bean paste)
Bottled barbecue sauce
Low calorie "accent" ingredients:
Lemon or lime juice
Some of the ways I use these ingredients are as follows:
Dilute store bought barbecue sauce with water (my favorite is KC but any brand will do) at a 50/50 ratio. Add it to grilled chicken or turkey breasts. Diluting the sauce will cut the calories in half without sacrificing flavor.
Add onion powder, garlic powder and powdered spices to roasts such as turkey breast
Make a dipping sauce with soy sauce, lime juice, some red pepper flakes, some chopped scallions and a few drops of sesame oil. Sesame oil is very flavorful and a little goes a long way.
Marinate chicken tenders, chicken breasts or pork tenderloin in a citrus marinade made of lemon or lime juice, orange juice and some flavoring agents such as chopped up garlic and the herbs of your choice. You can then spray some oil on a non-stick pan and slowly cook the meat. It will brown beautifully because of the sugars in the orange juice.
Flavor your fish (steamed or broiled) with fruit salsas.
Use a good quality balsamic vinegar (preferably from Italy) to add to steamed vegetables or to a tomato or avocado salad.
Dilute miso with a little rice vinegar and a fruit juice (orange, apple, etc, no sugar added) for a flavorful salad dressing.
Dieting does not have to be boring if you use your imagination to make the meals more flavorful. Play around with the ingredients listed here and you will be surprised how well food can taste with very little effort.