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Eat Real Food


We’ve all done it. Gone on the “diets” and eaten only one type/color/calorie level of food.  Sure it may work for a bit but then the misery sets in and we “fall off the wagon.”  Guilty as charged.

When I began my healthy living journey I was definitely in the diet mentality.  Low fat/ Low Calorie/ Low Carb/ Low Sugar…they were my best friends.  I cut out foods and modified others with the substitute ingredients.  I was playing a game of diet limbo….How low could I go?

I counted calories like it was my job.  My calorie counter and notebook went everywhere with me.  Every calorie was important so as I tried to fit in all meals (yep even breakfast) and still have my snacks and sweets…even if they were the low {anything} version.

This strategy worked for almost 6 months while I lost approximately 90 pounds.  Then the plateau hit…and hard.  Something was missing.  I had the exercise, was eating a balanced diet, and was taking care of my health.  So what was missing?  Oh yeah, taste.

I’m not saying that low calorie or any of the other lower versions can’t taste good; but there is a difference.  Anyone who tell you there’s no difference are LYING! Sure they may taste similar but they are NOT the same.

I was not about to put up a pup tent on my little plateau and keep eating all the packaged things that had brought me that far.  Instead I traded some of my lower calorie/fat/carb/sugar foods for the real thing…SHOCKING! The portions weren’t the same but I was satisfied with a bit of the real deal instead of a truckload of the fake.  One good cookie (prior to discovering my sugar problems) was much better than five sugar-free cookies.  A few bites of Hunni’s cheesecake sweetened my palate more than the no-fat version ever would.  Not only was I eating less but I didn’t crave extras to fill me up.  It was a win-win.

Through the course of changing from packaged foods to real food I learned a few things.

  • Can’t go back on taste. If I start out with sugar-free cookies and I’m not satisfied I’ll still indulge in the real things anyway.  Good taste trumps quantity anytime.
  • Eating out is much more fun. I know that the chef is not preparing a dish the way I would at home.  However I can share portions of full meals or modify the dish like Sally from When Harry Met Sally….maybe just not as annoying.
  • Real food is enjoyable! Not only is it enjoyable to my taste buds but it is enjoyable to my wallet.  It’s less expensive to buy ingredients to make real food than it is to buy the modified version.  Partly because I’ll eat less if I have to make them myself and partly because I won’t eat the entire package of substitution looking for the real flavor.

Substitutions are still a part of my eating – for my food issues and for some basic ingredients.  However I’d much rather eat real food than substitutions any day.  Some are worth it but some just aren’t!

What foods are just not worth substituting?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. 16/09/2010 12:32 PM

    Nice post! It’s so true that real food is more satisfying. I’ve also found that my body responds more favorably to real food than processed stuff. A calorie is NOT a calorie.

    • 16/09/2010 1:06 PM

      Thanks! Good fresh food just tastes better and fills me up faster than a ton of the fake stuff.

  2. 16/09/2010 5:04 PM

    My daily cup of coffee is sacred – and not worth any compromise. Oh yeah – It’s going to include half & half in it. And I know I’ll make up for it elsewhere – the gym, other foods, etc. 🙂

    • 16/09/2010 10:05 PM

      I love my daily cup of coffee now. I used to hate it but now I love it with a splash of soy creamer.

  3. 16/09/2010 10:44 PM

    I don’t substitute chocolate chip cookies. If I want one, I have the real thing.

  4. 17/09/2010 10:32 AM

    Great post!

    Good bread and homemade biscuits simply can’t be replaced. Ever.

    • 17/09/2010 10:38 AM

      Yes…good break is a necessity. I can’t stand the fake stuff. I want to try making it on my own. Got any recipes?

  5. 17/09/2010 2:05 PM

    I definitely prefer eating a smaller portion of the higher quality stuff when it comes to treats. Otherwise I end up still looking for the real thing and likely eating both. Great post!

    And I loved your interview for the HLB series today. 🙂

  6. 18/09/2010 8:45 PM

    there isn’t anything i WON’T sub. some days i’ll eat the “real deal” but other times i like the other versions. i never say never to anything!

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