With summer rapidly approaching, many people (myself included) are looking to tighten up a bit before beach weather really hits.
Unfortunately, as a diet drags on and you start getting to “poverty macro” levels, things can start to get pretty bland. Sometimes we decide that’s the way it has to be. We’re dieting so we should suffer, right?
We resign ourselves to a life of misery and eat bowl after bowl of grilled chicken and vegetables.
Or maybe your diet begins to look like this guy's...
Now, there’s nothing wrong with chicken and veggies (or fish and rice cakes for that matter), but if you’re the type of person who tends to binge after depriving yourself for extended periods of time (the old one step forward, two steps back type of person), you need to find a way of dieting that doesn’t feel restrictive and punitive.
Don’t fall into the “all or nothing,” hardcore mindset…
Remember, the best weight loss results will come from finding a sustainable way to moderately reduce calories while still providing your body with the nutrients it needs to function optimally.
One of the best ways to do this is to build up a repertoire of lower calorie options that taste awesome, but still help contribute toward your goals for the day.
And for the vast majority of people trying to lose weight, two of your primary goals should be:
Fortunately, this recipe will help you do both those things!
Enter buffalo chicken dip!!
Yields: about eight 5.25 ounce servings
Macros per serving:
Use copious amounts of fat free plain Greek yogurt as a sour cream substitute!
What I like about this recipe:
This dip is high in protein, low in calories, and tastes awesome as a dip for veggies, in a sandwich, or as a topping on a baked potato.
If you happen to be restricting your carbs, or you're simply saving your carbs for a later meal, this can be a great low carb snack that packs a ton of flavor without all the calories.
Especially if you eat it with celery (most obvious and awesome tasting choice!), cauliflower, and/or broccoli!
What about all that sodium?!
Sodium freaks people out because of the long held belief that it causes high blood pressure and because changes in sodium intake can cause you to temporarily hold a bit more water.
These two factors create the following situation:
People will restrict sodium to an unnecessarily low level in an attempt to be healthier. Then, when they happen to fall off the wagon and eat a high sodium meal, they’ll invariably end up holding a bit more water, causing their weight to spike up a few days. Upon seeing this, they freak out, drop sodium intake back down, and then the water weight drops off.
No wonder salt gets a bad rap!
The truth is, if you have normal blood pressure and follow a healthy lifestyle (eat fruit/veggies, drink lots of water, stay active, etc.), then you probably don’t need to worry much about your salt intake.
There are some who suffer from high blood pressure who may be salt sensitive, if that is the case for you, then you should work out with your doctor a suitable sodium intake.
As far as the “weight” gain is concerned…
Remember that water weight does not equal fat gain. Also, the temporary water retention is due more to the change in sodium intake than it is the higher sodium intake itself. So, if you’re worried about holding water due to sodium, simply make your sodium intake fairly consistent—be it high or low.
Another thing to consider is your potassium intake. If you have higher blood pressure but struggle to keep your salt intake low, you can increase the amount of potassium-rich foods in your diet as an alternative. This is because most people tend to get plenty of sodium while not getting enough potassium, and it’s actually the ratio of these two minerals that has the most effect on blood pressure.
As it turns out, many of the foods that happen to go great with this recipe are also a decent source of potassium! To up your potassium intake, try the dip with plain yogurt (in place of sour cream), broccoli, a baked potato, and/or white mushrooms!
Give this recipe a try and let me know how you like it in the comments section below!