As you all know, I’m a huge advocate for eating for volume. What’s the number one way to eat for volume? Eat A TON of vegetables. Now, a popular question I get is, “How do you eat so many vegetables?!”
Let me start by saying that I know I’m lucky. I am the least picky eater; I can’t think of one vegetable that I dislike. However, I was not always this way. In fact, growing up I was the biggest pain in the ass when it came to eating—just ask my parents!
Vegetables can be an acquired taste, much like coffee. The more often you eat things, the more often your body will crave them. Although I could choose to fill up on ‘junk’ food, I’ve learned over the years that though those things may taste good at the time, they leave me feeling awful afterwards. Since I’ve been eating healthy for so long, I crave healthy foods and loads of veggies every single day. I know this sounds like a big load of BS to people who don’t enjoy vegetables, but I promise you can get to this point, too!
Here are 5 healthy food swaps you should try. They may help you get more volume and greens in!
#1: Zoodles for Noodles
Are you craving pasta? Try zucchini noodles instead! One cup zoodles yields around 20 calories (.4g F/3.7g C/1.4g P) while one cup of standard spaghetti noodles yields around 221 calories (3.3g F/40g C/7g P). You could eat roughly 11 cups of zoodles for the same calories as regular noodles. Please don’t do this because that is probably impossible to eat that many zoodles, but you get the picture. You can buy a spiralizer on amazon for $10.
#2: Butternut Squash for Sweet Potato
If you’ve never tried butternut squash, I 10/10 recommend it. It is phenomenal. The only bad thing I can say about it is that it’s fairly difficult to cut up, but it’s so worth it! One cup of butternut squash yields around 63 calories (0.1g F/16g C/1.4g P) while one cup of sweet potato yields around 114 calories (0.1g F/27g C/2.2g P). So, if you’re feeling extra hungry, try replacing your complex carbohydrate source with some butternut squash to get some extra volume in. Squash is generally cheap and it stay fresh for a long time.
#3: Cauliflower Rice or Rice
Rice is one of the most calorically dense carbohydrate sources. Just one cup of cooked rice yields around 170 calories (0.3g F/37g C/3.5g P). Try replacing some or all of the rice in your meal with riced cauliflower. You can buy it premade or you can prepare it yourself in a food processor along with preferred spices in under 10 minutes. Riced cauliflower yields roughly 25 calories (0.3g F/5g C/1.9g P). Of course rice will keep you fuller for longer, but you can compensate for this by eating more than one cup of riced cauliflower.
#4: Egg Whites for Eggs
Eggs are a great protein source and full of essential nutrients. Along with consuming the yoke comes substantially more calories. By eliminating the yoke and just eating egg whites, you’re eliminating much of the calories, all the fat, and all the cholesterol. Yes, you’re also getting rid of lots of the nutrients, and I’m not saying to avoid eggs—they just need to be consumed in moderation, like everything else. You can buy egg whites in a carton at grocery stores, which I recommend so you don’t waste. One large egg yields 70 calories (5g F/0g C/6g P) while one egg white yields 25 calories (0g F/0g C/5g P).
My suggestion is to mix egg whites and a whole egg, that way you’re getting the benefits from both sides.
#5: Kombucha for Juice
Juice often is full of added sugar, so contrary to popular belief, it is not good for you. Kombucha is a fizzy, fermented tea drink that helps prevent and relieve a list of health problems. It rids your body of toxins and boosts your energy, not to mention it will aid in healthy digestion. One cup of apple juice has about 113 calories (0.3g F/28g C/0.2g P/24g sugar) while one cup of kombucha has around 34 calories (0.6g F/5.8g C/2.9g P/2.1g sugar). Don’t drink your calories! It pays to pay attention to nutrition labels so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body.
Disclaimer: Carbohydrates are NOT bad for you. I am simply stating ways to eat for volume. I am not advising you against carbohydrates.