Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye to foods that once gave you comfort. As I’ve said before, I really believe the emotional and psychological journey of weight loss is more difficult than even losing the weight itself.

Abstaining from trigger foods at all times is key. And if you want to regain control over your weight, you’ve got to kick your bad habits for good.

So what happens when you have a craving? (We’re only human, right?)

Instead of focusing on what you can’t have, focus on what you can. Below I’ve compiled a list of the most common cravings and how to banish them with a healthy, A-List approved “skinny” substitute:

If you’re craving…

    • Soda: Opt for sparkling water sweetened with lemon, lime, or seasonal fruits.
    • Chocolate: Good news! You don’t have to shy away from chocolate… In fact, I have a lot of delicious A-List recipes that allow to you indulge this craving in a healthy way.(Check out page 270 of The A-List Diet for treats like peanut butter chocolate cookies and chocolate-coconut pudding. Or try my CocoaLogic formula in a milkshake, packed with youth-promoting amino acids.) The secret is to opt for 100% pure cocoa — which is a superfood and rich source of antioxidant polyphenols — and sweeten it with stevia.
    • Cocktails: Again, there’s no reason to become a teetotaler just because you’re trying to lose weight. Just steer clear of high sugar options like beer, wine, and cocktail mixers (like juices and tonic water). If you want the most effect from the A-List Diet, stick to clear liquors and mix them with club soda or water.
    • Something cheesy: Contrary to popular belief, cheese is okay to eat while dieting (at least with the A-List)! As long as you’re not eating processed cheeses (avoid American or brands like Velveeta and Kraft). And as long as you’re not overdoing it. I recommend sticking to about 2 ounces per day.
    • Something creamy: Use avocado. The texture will soothe your craving and give you a hefty dose of healthy monounsaturated fats at the same time. Not to mention, they’re a versatile food that can be used in sweet, savory, or spicy recipes. (Try my avocado smoothie recipe on page 178 of The A-List Diet.)
    • Something sweet: Have a bowl of fruit (see page 60 of The A-List Diet for a list of the best low-sugar options that won’t slow your weight loss). Make a milkshake by throwing some WheyLogic (or other whey protein mix) into a blender with unsweetened almond or coconut milk and some ice. Be creative! There are so many options to satisfy a sweet tooth without resorting to cupcakes and ice cream.
    • Something crispy: Veggies are a no-brainer when you want something crispy. You can eat them raw for a quick, on-the-go snack. But the possibilities are really endless — bake them, fry them, or add spices and sauces. I have the perfect recipe for Garlicy Stir-Fried Chinese Long Beans on page 257 of The A-List Diet. You can also make a simple chip substitute by sprinkling a small pile of shredded Parmesan cheese on a baking sheet and popping it into the oven until it melts and turns golden brown.

As you can see, with a few creative swaps, you can still indulge your cravings… without sacrificing your progress.

And even if there are times you want to give up and dive headfirst into a box of donuts, remember this… The steps you’re taking now to improve your health will save you a lot of money on doctor bills in the future — and save you a lot of regret for not taking care of yourself when you should have.

A-Lister’s Corner

Hi Dr. Fred,

I have decided to recently transition to a vegetarian diet for ethical reasons. Prior to that, my friend gifted me with your book. Will this diet still work for me.
– 
Angelina P., Onalaska, WA

Thanks for writing in, Angelina.

The A-List Diet can absolutely work for you, regardless of your preference to eat vegetarian. The eating plan is based upon the foundations of the Mediterranean Diet (which does include meat), but you can certainly choose from the array foods it offers.

I’ve also provided over 100 recipes in The A-List Diet to ensure you get as much from this program as you can. Many will suit your dietary preference already — and all of them can easily be modified.

But please, I must caution you — avoid the “carbo-tarian” trap so many vegetarians in this country have fallen victim to. If you choose to be a vegetarian, eat vegetables, not breads and pasta.

Lastly, your body needs essential amino acids which do not come easy from a vegetarian diet. I absolutely recommend you supplement with the A-List A.M. Jump-Start and P.M. Reboot amino protein booster shots and the A-List Amino Booster Mix.

You can read more about the importance of amino acids and how to get them in chapter one of the book. Best of luck!

Recipe of the Week

Here’s a healthy (and vegetarian) alternative to a favorite comfort food.

Vegetable Lasagna (page 163 of The A-List Diet Book)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large zucchini, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon, course sea salt
  • 1 recipe Red Pepper sauce (my homemade recipe is on page 266 of the A-List Diet Book)
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 ½ cups shredded carrots
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

 Directions:

  1. Cut the zucchini in half crosswise, then lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick slices. Place the zucchini slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and let rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and grill the zucchini slices on each side until tender, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the red pepper sauce, spinach, and carrots. Mix well and set aside.
  5. In a separate medium bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Add the oregano, parsley, and ricotta. Mix well.
  6. To assemble, spread ¼ cup of the sauce mixture in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Top with one-third of the zucchini slices, in a single layer. Spread half of the ricotta mixture on top, then add half of the remaining sauce mixture. Scatter some fresh basil leaves on top and then sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella.
  7. Repeat the layer with the remaining ingredients, topping the third and final layers of zucchini with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella and several fresh basil leaves.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Enjoy!