Admit it…there’s a bit of a rule breaker inside you that loves to sneak out once in a while. (We have one, too!) Well, now you can live a healthy lifestyle and indulge that inner rebel. Here are 8 common food rules that it’s okay to break:
- Buy low-fat foods. At some point we’ve all reached for a packaged “low-fat” food, thinking it would help us shed pounds. However, the fat that manufacturers remove is often replaced with weight-sabotaging sugar or sugar substitutes. Instead, choose a balanced diet that includes natural foods, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Try this naturally low-fat and healthy Caprese Quinoa Salad.
- Don’t eat any fat. Unsaturated (good) fats actually lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. Choose right-sized portions of healthful fats, like those found in walnuts, chia seeds, avocados, and wild salmon. (Bonus! A little bit of dark chocolate is okay, too.) Get the skinny on fats in Fantastic Fats-The Good, The Bad, and the Omegas.
- Avoid eggs. Eggs are not the health food evil they’ve been made out to be. Yet they’re still often among the first foods to go when someone makes the decision to eat better. Eggs are low in saturated fat, and they have no trans fat. They also contain natural vitamins, minerals, and muscle-building protein. Take these delicious Deviled Eggs to your next get-together.
- Snacking is a no-no. Nutritious between-meal snacks are one of the best tools for keeping blood sugar levels even throughout the day—and that prevents you from gorging on whatever junk food happens to be around.
- If [insert fave celeb here] lost weight that way, it must be a healthy diet. Just because an A-list celeb or fitness guru has endorsed a diet, doesn’t mean the plan is right for everyone. Sometimes fad diets can even hurt our health. The best way to lose weight is to make simple lifestyle changes that incorporate whole, fresh foods. See the difference with these Skinny Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes.
- A calorie is a calorie. Calories are not created equally—some are worth a heap more than others. You can choose to get calories from frozen French fries that, even when baked, have little nutritional value. Or you can nourish your body with calories from yummy Sweet Potato Fries, loaded with vitamins and fiber.
- Any food with a fruit or veggie is healthy. The label “made with fruits/vegetables” makes us think we’re eating something good for us. So that fruit smoothie you pick up at the mall kiosk might seem like a diet plan winner, but chances are good it’s loaded with calories, sugar, and possibly preservatives. Do right by your body by taking an all-natural, no-junk-added banana with you to the mall instead.
- Never eat “forbidden” foods. Forbidding yourself from ever eating a food you really enjoy makes it harder to resist that food and more likely you’ll end up in a big nasty binge. Allow yourself to indulge in a reasonable portion of that food favorite—once in a while. For instance, satisfy your need for an original cheesesteak by pairing a half cheesesteak with a veggie-packed salad.
Now get out there and start breakin’ rules. (Don’t make us break out the double dog dare!)