A few other things Bradley and I have found alternatives to lower our calorie intake include pasta, cheese and ground beef. I’m not even going to pretend that all of the substitutions we are using are equal in taste (and certainly not in price) to what we were using, but the health benefits are surely worth it!
For pasta, we used to use the store brand simply because it is the cheapest way to go. For 3/4 cup, the calories are 210. We have started using Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta, which has 180 calories per serving, but instead of the 2 g. of Fiber in the store brand box, it has 6 g. to make less pasta more filling. We also only have pasta once or twice a month instead of once or twice a week like before.
We also found a fat free cheese that we use to top things sometimes. To use shredded Mozarella as an example, the regular cheese has 5 g of fat and 80 calories per 1 oz. The fat free version has 0 g of fat and only 45 calories per serving. Just be warned that I tried using the fat free shredded cheddar in a recipe that was baked and the cheese never really melted into the dish right and turned out a little rubbery. But as a sprinkle topping to a prepared dish, it seems to work well.
As for ground beef, you may be able to guess that we are now using ground turkey as a substitution when we cook at home. It works really well in meatloaf. I haven’t quite figured out the whole turkey burger thing, because since it is poultry after all, it just tastes kinda like we grilled chicken for sandwiches instead of eating a burger. When we are out or at someone else’s house we don’t refuse to eat ground beef, ’cause after all it is good. We just do what we can to control the calories when we are cooking at home.
Overall, I believe that the changes we have made and substitutions that we are using are sustainable for the rest of our lives. And I think that is critical to maintaining once we have reached our healthy weights.