Burger on the Brain

Adherence is a word we hear tossed around all of the time when it comes to dieting.  The underlying claim of most fad diets is that they are easier to adhere to.  Who would not want to follow a diet that allows them to eat bacon and steak throughout the week?

While at the end of the day, a “diet” will only work if you are able to consistently remain in a caloric deficit, these marketing strategies are on the right track.  “Adhering” to a given diet simply means you are able to adopt it as a habit and incorporate it into your lifestyle.

I think we can all agree that the hardest diets to stick to are the ones that are most restrictive.  We are going to have a harder time maintaining a diet that forbids half of the foods we love to eat than one that asks us to control the amount of them that we eat.  Again, the key here is the ability to incorporate it into your lifestyle.

Once you have changed your eating habits, you are no longer “dieting,” you have become a person who eats healthy.  You won’t even think twice about your meal choices because you will have become so aware of what you put into your body!

For this reason, I am always looking for ways to transform my favorite “cheat meals” into healthy meals.  This requires a lot of trial and error (I once tried to make pizza dough out of sweet potatoes and it more closely resembled mashed potatoes with pizza toppings…), but it gives you the opportunity to experiment in the kitchen and achieve your favorite flavors through healthy means.

Ultimately, if you are able to create meals that taste good and satisfy even your worst cravings, you will be able to adhere to any meal plan you create for yourself.

This week I found myself craving a burger with an Asian twist.  Anyone who knows me knows that pretty much everything I eat has an “Asian twist,” it’s just a flavor profile I love.

Most burgers use an 80/20 lean to fat ratio.  To keep the fat content down, I found some super lean 93/7 ground beef.  

Next, I wanted to make a healthy and crisp slaw topping, so I found a package of shredded vegetables that included cabbage, brussels sprouts and kale.  This would provide some much needed micronutrients, and to avoid using mayonnaise in the sauce, I made a quick dressing with a little sesame oil, rice vinegar and a low-carb teriyaki sauce.

For crunch, I found some crispy rice noodles.  In moderation, these aren’t so bad, but if they are fried they could arguably be the least healthy ingredient in this recipe.

Depending on your carbohydrate goals for the day, you can opt for low-carb buns or just go bunless and eat the burger over the slaw or in a lettuce wrap.  Just remember to check the nutritional facts on the package to make sure there are no added sugars or unnecessary preservatives.

At this point, all that’s left is to grill up your burgers and assemble them with your toppings.  I would recommend serving up some grilled vegetables on the side, this will help you to feel more full and it’s always a good idea to sneak extra veggies into your diet!

See the full recipe here!

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