Dieting? These Might Help!

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Are you ready for this? Prepare yourselves, it’s pretty great. You’re going to thank me. Okay, here it is…Have you ever been on a diet? If you have, then you know how much it can SUCK. If you let it, that is.

Let me start off by reiterating that I’m all about flexible dieting a.k.a. IIFYM. However, sometimes I actually enjoy the protein and veggies version of dieting and feel that it gives me the little extra boost I need. REMEMBER: DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT FOR YOU. Since it’s a new month today, I thought that it would be the perfect time to really kick my diet into gear; with my planned cheat meal coming at the end of the month for Mike’s birthday! This post is about the little things that get me by while I’m in the “dieting” phase a.k.a. bear mode phase a.k.a. right now. “Dieting” has been unfairly associated with feelings of dread and deprivation. Fear not! For there are 10 products that I want to share with you that help get me through the “hunger games” that is currently my life. Hopefully they can help you too! Let’s begin, shall we?!

#photo (6)1. My ultimate go to.. MiO or any generic brand!!! If you’ve never heard of this magical potion, prepare yourselves for the gift I’m about to bestow upon you. It’s a liquid water enhancer, and there are SO many flavors. Just to name a few: lemonade (my personal favorite), grape, sweet tea and Orange Tang (Yes. Really.)
It’s available at the grocery store; for me it’s on the bread aisle. That means, you can have your boring water, and actually enjoy it too! (Sometimes I drink water without it.. like when that water is COFFEE).photo 2 But in all seriousness, these water enhancers allow me to drink more water throughout the day (which is good, yes?!) Yeah, yeah, I know what some of you are saying right now… “B-B-But ERIN, aren’t there artificial sweeteners?!?! Well yes, there are. Personally, I’m not concerned about that. My concern is calories, and there are none. However, if this does concern you, you may also use tea bags (for tea) or lemon juice (for lemonade) and Truvia sweetener (all nat-ur-al) to enhance your H20. Did someone say LEMON JUICE?!

#2. Lemon juice! Nature’s best fish flavoring! I wouldn’t love my baked tilapia or broiled salmon nearly as much without it. REMEMBER, we don’t want our diets to be blah, right? Spice it up! Lemon and seafood go hand in hand! “I put that s**t on EVERYTHING!” Ohhh wait.. that’s from the commercial for….

—> #3: Frank’s hot sauce, I put that s**t on everything! Well, atleast my chicken and eggies. Hmmm, on fish? Never tried it, but I can’t imagine it’d taste bad. I mean, come on, it’s hot sauce! It’s been proven that spicy things stave your hunger longer, a lot like cinnamon. Try to keep up… you know where this is heading.

#4 CINNAMON: Ahhhh cinnamon. One of my favorite spices. Okay, this is gonna sound weird, but i need you guys to trust me. Are you listening? Next time you eat green beans, do me a favor and sprinkle some cinnamon on that shizz. OH quit gagging, drama queen! It’s good!

I spy cinnamon on those green beans! Cinnamon is also delish on sweet potatoes, but everyone knows that. You know what makes vegetables taste better? When they taste more like butter than they do vegetables. How do you do this without the added calories of real butter, you ask? (Now don’t start screaming at me, I am very much PRO-butter, it’s just not what I want to spend all my calories on it when I’m in deficit mode.) To answer your question, before I so rudely interrupted myself, you can get that scrumptious buttery taste with Crisco’s calorie free butter spray!

#5. Crisco cooking spray (Butter flavor)– It’s fantastical. I spray it on my fish before i bake/broil. I spray it in the pan before I cook my morning eggs. I spray it on my veggies as mentioned above. I even spray it on my popcorn. I’d drink it if I could, but I fear that would be frowned upon. Cinnamon and butter flavor go grrreat together, but cinnamon also makes me think of gum.

#6. Chewing gum! Any gum will do. However, if you’re trying to distract your brain from the fact that you feel SO hungry you’re going to gnaw your arm off, I’d recommend a minty gum. Have you ever brushed your teeth and then realized you still needed to eat? You take that first bite of your food and realize it doesn’t taste all that great because it’s smothered in a weird minty blanket. BLECH. What better way to keep yourself from eating something that doesn’t fit into your macros when you’re eating at a deficit?  Also, chewing gum usually makes me forget about being hungry… temporarily anyway. Just so you know, there’s Sour Patch Kid gum that tastes just like the candy (red for the win!). They also offer dessert flavored gum now in things like cinnamon bun, peach cobbler and mint chocolate chip ice cream. Speaking of dessert flavored things…

photo 5#7. Have you guys ever tried a Quest Bar? I mean, those things have got to be saving dieters ALL AROUND the WORLD. They’re SO Tasty! I’ve been working on a review post for them. I made it my goal to try them all (hard life, right?). I’ve tried 10 different flavors, my favorite so far being Chocolate Chunk. Throw that sucker in the microwave for 12 seconds and it’s like an ooey gooey brownie. IT’S. SO. YUMMY! There are also other flavors like cookie dough (second favorite) banana nut muffin, apple pie, etc… The best thing about them? They range from 160 to 190 calories, with 20 grams of Protein. I always make sure I have enough room left in my macros at night to eat one for dessert. Quest Nutrition’s hashtag on Instagram is #cheatclean, and let me tell you, that’s exactly what it feels like!

photo 1 (1)They also offer peanut butter protein cups, that are a little higher in calories (240), but also in protein (26? Sorry, I’m not entirely sure. I threw the wrapper away right after I devoured them). When I NEED a chocolate fix, these are just the ticket! They taste strikingly similar to Reese’s! (You can get Quest bars at Publix, any vitamin store, or right here.) I believe you can only get the peanut butter cups online. (If you find them in a store, PLEASE let me know!)

#8. Quest also offers protein potato chips. A single serving bag has 120 calories, ONLY 5 carbs and a whopping 20 grams of protein (IN A FREAKING BAG OF CHIPS. WHAT?!) and they actually taste GOOD. BBQ is my favorite. I think it’s safe to say I looooove this company. (They can be bought on amazon here!)

photo 1 (2)

#9.- I’m probably most excited about this one….. PB2! I’m a peanut butter FREAK. A lot of people have not yet heard about this one so I’m here to share the good news! It’s a peanut powder. They press the peanuts which takes a lot of the high calorie oils and fats out and then mix it with cocoa powder. The end result is delicious. (I got mine here.) I put it in my protein shakes and vanilla greek yogurt. It tastes just like peanut butter. 2 tbsp. of PB2 is ONLY 45 calories (compared to 2 tbsp. of peanut butter which is a redonk, 190 calories.) CRAZY RIGHT?! You can also take the 2 tbsp. of PB2 and mix it with 1 tbsp. of water which turns it into a paste that you can eat with a banana, a spoon or finger (We’ve all done it, don’t lie) or on a protein waffle! “What kind of protein waffles do you eat, Erin?” Ha, funny you should ask!

photo 2

#10. Kodiak cakes Protein-Packed Power Cakes! They’re so so so good. Like, legitimate pancakes and waffles. You have to try these! A serving (2 waffles) is 190 calories: 2g of fat, 30g of carbohydrates and 14g of Protein! On a side note, the syrup I love is Aunt Jemima Butter lite (1/4 cup is 100 calories) but you could also use the Walden Farms calorie free pancake syrup. Sounds good to me. Perhaps that’s what I’ll have for dinner 🙂

SO. Did any of those products peak your interest? Have you utilized any of these items? If you have, which ones? If you haven’t, what are you excited to try? Let me know what you think if you try any of them! I’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you have anything you’d like to recommend? I LOVE trying new things! I hope this has helped you guys realize that even if you are cutting back on your calories, you NEVER have to feel like you’re deprived. “Dieting” doesn’t have to be boorrriiinnngggg.

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Until next time…


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I'm an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. I worked in a gym setting back in Florida for over 2 years, training one-on-one clients and leading group fitness classes. I absolutely loved it, but once we moved across the country to Colorado, I decided to take the opportunity to pursue a slightly different career! My obsession with exercise and love for writing collided, which is how I became a fitness lifestyle writer.


  1. Dave

    March 1, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    I just love reading your post’s. Very informative and easy to digest! Keep’em coming!!

    • Chinups_and_Cupcakes

      March 1, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      Thanks! I love writing them 🙂

  2. Marty

    March 1, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Did you mean to say “Melitta Coffee”????

    • Chinups_and_Cupcakes

      March 1, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      I just assumed that was a given… Is there any other coffee?

  3. Mike

    March 1, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Great post, although I’m a little upset you’ve told me about these protein chips or the PB2…

    • Chinups_and_Cupcakes

      March 1, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      Did you mean, never told you? Well unfortunately, I’ve eaten allll the chips. But I do have so pb2 still (which I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about…) come over and try it!

  4. Sharon

    March 16, 2015 at 10:24 am

    love reading your post! Great job-:)

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