10 Tips for 'Bending' A Recipe to Fit Your Diet

Woman Tempted by Slice of Cake

Want a slice of chocolate cake after dinner, or a bag of potato chips during family movie night? Be our guest! Being on a diet can be daunting, and the hardest part for most of us is giving up the foods we love. So what if we told you that you could satisfy those cravings without shattering your weight loss goals? Recipes are surprisingly easy to adjust once you've mastered a few skinny swaps. Chances are, a couple quick alterations to your favorite dishes will render them just as flavorful, and healthy to boot! Don't believe us? Check out the tips below to find out more!

If a recipe calls for sugar... Try sugar-free applesauce instead! For those of us who are really struggling to cut the extra sugar out of our diets, skinny swaps like applesauce can be a real blessing. You would be shocked by how moist and savory it can make your baked goods! Applesauce is also a great substitute for oil, too! You can check out our favorite applesauce-infused desserts here.

Instead of eating French fries... Carve up some sweet potato fries instead. You can season them to your liking, pop them in the oven, and voila! You have the perfect healthy alternative to the saturated fat, grease, and oil found in french fries! (via Reader's Digest)

If a recipe calls for cream... Consider Greek yogurt as an alternative! Fat-free Greek yogurt especially will cut way back on the calories and fat content in your recipes. For an even creamier substitute, you could try Icelandic yogurt too! You can check out our favorite Greek yogurt recipes by clicking here.

If a recipe calls for salt... Add a squeeze of lemon or lime! Believe it or not, but the citrusy flavors can actually bring out the natural flavors of your meal, and you won't have to worry about drowning your food in sodium. (via Woman's Day)

vegetable chips

Instead of eating store-bought potato chips...Opt for homemade fruit and veggie chips instead! Store-bought chips are packed with additives, sodium, and unhealthy fats, so take a look at our how-to guide for making your own variations by clicking here.

If a recipe calls for breadcrumbs... Use oats! Store-bought bread crumbs are often high in sodium and processed carbs, so try throwing some oats in your food processor and grind until grainy! You will get the same great texture, and all the health benefits of oats. (via Woman's Day)

If a recipe calls for butter... Slice into an avocado! No, we're not kidding; substituting mashed avocado for butter, especially in baked goods, can make a world of difference when it comes to eating healthy. Don't worry, we promise you can't even taste the difference! Don't believe us? Experiment with our tried-and-true avocado recipes.

If a recipe calls for white flour... Stick to whole-wheat flour instead! Whole-wheat flour is packed with heart-healthy grains, so try swapping out half of the white flour for this delicious alternative. It is particularly good for delicate baked goods that typically crumble when you attempt to sub in other nutritious options like oats. (via Woman's Day)

If you're craving ice cream... Try frozen bananas! Combine bananas and cocoa powder in a food processor, and in no time you will have a creamy, frozen treat that is low on calories and fat, and high in flavor! You can try our Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream recipe by clicking here. (via Reader's Digest)

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If a recipe calls for buttermilk... Swap in low-fat plain yogurt instead. It's creamy, rich, and provides a mouthwatering alternative to all the sodium and saturated fat found in buttermilk. Don't believe us? Pick out your favorite pancake recipe and give it a shot! (via Woman's Day)

Contrary to popular belief, dieting does not have to be monotonous. On the contrary, sticking to a diet takes a whole lot of creativity and experimentation! Nobody should have to live without the the finer things in life, so take a chance and give these tips a shot! You might just discover a new family favorite in the meantime.