You may think transitioning to a healthy lifestyle means leaving your favorite foods in the dust. But this kind of black and white thinking is outdated and unhelpful. Even the world’s sexiest women urge you to refrain from over-restricting. Instead, take an Eat This, Not That! approach to life and make simple swaps for an overall healthier lifestyle; it’s a more sustainable (and fun!) method for weight loss.
If burgers are your weakness, you can simply swap out your high-carb, highly-processed burger bus with one of these nutritious alternatives. You’ll keep your body healthy, your taste buds happy, and the buns on your backside fitter than ever. And then check out these 20 Tips for How to Make the Perfect Burger, too!
Portobellos are those large, round mushrooms about the size of your fist. When the stems are cut, they’re almost the exact same shape and thickness as a burger bun. It’s like mother nature is telling you to stick a burger patty between two of these guys. With their perfect size, savory taste, and low-calorie count, they make a great swap for traditional burger buns. Plus, they’ll give you a kick of fiber to keep you feeling fuller, longer!
While we’re not total carb haters, we do avoid carbs that come from refined sugar and flours (aka simple carbs). Unfortunately, most burger buns fall into this category. To go completely carb-less, try swapping out your burger bun for romaine lettuce or some collard green leaves. Not only will you nix the simple carbs, but you’ll feel less bloated and you’ll reap all the vitamin benefits from those nutrient dense greens.
Sweet Potato Sliders
You’re not a couch potato, so don’t choose foods that make you look like one! By swapping grilled sweet potato slices for burger buns, you can fill your burger and body to the brim with nutrients. One large sweet potato packs in 4 grams of protein, 25 percent of your daily recommended fiber intake, and loads of vitamin A—a nutrient essential for bone health, your immune system, and vision! This is one sweet swap for some sweet benefits.
Whole Wheat Whoppers
The Mediterranean diet has been hailed as a weight loss dream in recent years. With a focus on fish, vegetables, and whole grains, this diet is a great source of those healthy fats, fiber, and protein essential for weight loss. We’re taking a little inspiration from our friends across the pond, with this one. Try swapping out your burger bun for a whole wheat pita pocket. You’ll get the same bready texture without the extra calories and unhealthy blood sugar spike. The simple carbs in burger buns overflow your blood with sugar, signaling your body to store the excess as fat. So, slim down your burger and body with this Mediterranean-inspired switch.
Eggplant is that hearty, purple vegetable found in the produce aisle. With the ideal combination of fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B-6, eggplant does amazing things for your heart health. The antioxidant found in the eggplant (nasunin) has also been proven to boost cognitive function, making it a no brainer to switch out your bun for grilled eggplant slices.
Tomayto, tomahto. However, you say it, there’s one thing we can all agree on: tomatoes are crazy good for you. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers. They also protect your skin from sun damage and prevent skin aging. Plus, just one medium tomato has a mere 22 calories. But don’t even try to convince yourself that you’re getting all these benefits by dumping ketchup on your burger! Ketchup is highly processed and made with high-fructose corn syrup—the devil of added sweeteners for its link to diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Instead, slice a tomato in half and bookend your burger to add a natural, low carb, lycopene punch to your meal!
No matter how you like your burger cooked, going bunless is always a burger choice “well done.” Burger patties are a great source of protein which increases calorie burn, maintains satiety, and preserves lean muscle mass. Instead of adding a bun to your burger, add your burger to a salad or a nutritious grain like quinoa. You’ll get a healthy protein punch while still curing your burger craving.