Belly-Flattening Foods for the Whole Family - dummies

Belly-Flattening Foods for the Whole Family

By Erin Palinski-Wade, Tara Gidus, Kristina LaRue

How can you get your whole family on track with your weight loss plan? Belly-flattening dishes can be quick and easy: Serve food that everyone in the house loves! Family favorites such as sloppy joes, pizza, macaroni and cheese, and even quesadillas can easily be made over to taste just as great (and even better!) than the original with fewer belly-bloating ingredients.

Making over less-than-belly-friendly favorites doesn’t have to be hard. It’s as simple as identifying the ingredients that tend to be belly bloaters and substituting them with equally delicious but slimming alternatives. For instance, if your family would live on pasta, let them have it. But instead of traditional pasta, swap the refined version with a whole-grain variety and toss in steamed veggies to give the standard pasta dish a high-fiber, lower-calorie makeover.

If your family can’t get enough of cheese, swap regular cheese for part-skim varieties and fill cheesy dishes with extra vegetables, so you can reduce the overall calorie and saturated-fat content. In fact, even dishes like pizza allow you the opportunity to squeeze in belly-fighting foods and seasonings such as spinach, whole-grain dough, and garlic.

Use the following table to help you swap belly bloaters for belly-flattening options your whole family will love.

Instead of . . . Use this . . .
White rice Brown rice
White pasta 100% whole-wheat pasta or 100% brown-rice pasta
Italian bread 100% whole-grain bread (such as rye or whole wheat)
Sugary cereals 100% whole-grain cereals (such as bran flakes), topped with
fresh fruit for sweetness
Fruit drinks A piece of whole fruit
Soda Seltzer with a splash of 100% fruit juice
Butter A plant-based fat, such as olive oil
Fried proteins Proteins that have been breaded and baked
Full-fat cheese Part-skim cheese
Whole milk 1% milk

Deprivation isn’t the answer to a flat belly. With these easy swaps, it doesn’t have to be! Instead, you can teach your whole family how to make tasty substitutes for old favorites and introduce new healthy favorites as well.