What if that choice could be made a little easier? Well, technology has found a way to cheat the system and allow you to have some of your fatty favorites without the heart attack. While some of these options still aren't as healthy as straight-up kale and might not produce exactly the same grease-induced euphoria, they'll help keep the cravings at bay.
Cut the carbs
Pasta, beautiful pasta. The staple of every college kid's existence tends to stay a crowd favorite throughout adulthood. But just because it once got you through midterms doesn't mean it's going to help you fit into your jeans. A cup of the average spaghetti contains about 38 grams of carbs....ouch. And that doesn't account for the four helpings of garlic bread that accompany it.
Break every Italian mother's heart and green up your favorite pasta dish. This 5-blade spiralizer from Breiftons can turn your favorite vegetable (hopefully you have one) into your favorite noodle. From carrots to cucumbers to zucchini, you're pretty much only limited by your own imagination. Now you can finally skip the salad.
Editors' pick: Originally published May 27.
Sticking to a diet often comes down to convenience. After one of those particularly miserable days at work, spending an hour or more cooking is the last thing anyone wants to do. Without a scale in sight, you're probably thinking of grabbing that sinful 379-calorie Filet-O-Fish and calling a day. Within two minutes you'll be looking for a bag of chips....and so begins the cycle.
Keep things nautical and get your fish fix at home with a quality steamer. Yes, it will take the tiniest bit of prep, but you'll survive. The Oster 5-quart steamer even lets you cook your vegetables at the same time. Simply throw in your favorite protein and green combo and let it steam without the need for oil, butter or even the most basic culinary ambition.
If you're confined to a shoe-box apartment, you probably don't have access to a grill. Charring up a chicken breast is known to add carcinogens to your food due to the smoke exposure, but grilling is still certainly healthier than anything the Colonel can provide.
Fortunately, you can avoid giving your dinner smoker's cough all together by taking your grilling indoors with a smokeless stovetop grill. The stainless steel device allows you to cook up healthy summer favorites without the smoke or the hassle. Its non-stick surface gets your food to your plate rather than stuck to the rack, and a drip pan collects any excess fat. Simply fill it with water or your favorite marinade and get grilling.
'Fry' it with air
As most people know, french fries are life. They're also terrible for you. The standard medium serving of McDonald's fries has a whopping 378 calories. (And is worth every one of them, in my opinion.)
Rather than giving up god's gift of fried potatoes, consider simply leaving the oil behind. "Frying" a standard serving of fresh fries in an air fryer will put you back 226 calories. It's still not eating rice cakes, but you deserve a treat now and then. This air fryer from GoWise simply uses rapid air circulation to produce a similar effect to the hot vat of grease we all know and love.
It's all fun and games until it comes down to the beverages. Yes, as every health guru and your mom will tell you, water is the greatest and most magical substance to ever grace the Earth with its presence, but sometimes it's just not enough. You're a child, and you crave sugar and flavoring.
Rather than indulging in the average juice with seven grams of sugar or the unforgivable 41-gram 12-ounce Pepsi, consider going full basic and picking up a water bottle infuser. There's a reason they became so trendy. Instead of chemicals and preservatives, you can keep things flavorful with fruits, herbs and spices. You can finally hydrate in a medium that doesn't include vodka.
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