During my fat days, one of the reasons I struggled to lose weight was because what I considered diet foods were boring, bland and unsatisfying. While I often experience sensory overload, I also crave (controlled) intensity. This shows itself in preferring complex music, loving colorful environments and craving very flavorful foods. During the time when my weight was the most out-of-hand, I was eating at a dining hall. Along with some mediocre-at-best healthy options, there was an abundance of delicious unhealthy options, not to mention limitless dessert and soda. When I got an apartment and got to cook my own foods, figuring out ways to make healthy foods delicious was key to me being able to successfully lose weight. Along with making healthy eating affordable and convenient, I think this is another aspect a lot of people struggle with when trying to lose weight.
1. Use Fats to Bring Out Flavor
Fats help bring out flavor in food. This is why low-fat versions of foods are often less delicious and need salt and sugar added to replace the flavor lost from fat.
While eating diets high in fat can be problematic, using appropriate amounts can do a lot to make a dish taste better. And dietary fat is a necessary component to a healthy diet. Optimally you want your fat to come from whole food sources (nuts, seeds, coconut, avocado, olives) and added fats (oils) should be limited because it is more calorically dense and less nutritious.
2. Experiment With a Variety of Spices
Spices and herbs are a great way to add flavor without adding calories. Spices such as cayenne may also help you slow down when you eat, which may help eat more mindfully and receive the signals of being full with less food consumed.
3. Use Herbs
Herbs are a great way to add flavor while reaping many health benefits.
4. Add Salt
Salt is a flavor enhancer in food, as well as being one of the 5 basic tastes. Sprinkling moderate amounts of salt onto your meal can make a big difference in making your food more delicious.
While most Americans eat excessive amounts of sodium, this is primarily from processed foods. If you are eating unprocessed food, just remember 1 tsp of salt is about 2300 mg of sodium.
5. Add Citrus Juices
Juice from citrus fruits like orange, lemon and lime can be a great healthy way to boost flavor and add nutrients. This is also a good option if you get bored of water.