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I'm a Dietitian and Here's the Food Combo That Helped Me Lose 100 Pounds

Here is the unconventional way she seasons her food to lose weight.

Everyone knows that swapping out unhealthy foods for healthier ones will help you lose weight. However, one nutrition expert says that using certain combinations of seasoning and spices can also lead to weight loss. Ilana Muhlstein, RD, is a mother-of-two, nutritionist, and weight loss warrior (@nutritionbabe) who dropped 100 pounds naturally. (She also just wrote a terrific new cookbook, Love The Food That Loves You Back.) In one viral video, she reveals a surprising hack that helped her control her cravings, eat less, and lose weight. We also asked The Diet Diva, Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD/N, ACSM-CPT, a Board Certified Sports Dietitian, to weigh in on her tactic. 

She Says the Combo or Sugar, Salt, and Fat Is Addictive

@nutritionbabe These chicken tenders are unreal! #addictivefoods #chickentenders #chickentenderecipe #oreos #foodscience #dietitian #nutrition #nutritiontips #foodsciencefacts #healthyrecipes #healthymeals #healthyfood #healthyrecipes ♬ original sound – NutritionBabe

According to Ilana, there is a reason why some food is addictive while other foods are easy to put down. "The secret why you can't put down that bag of Oreos or Doritos, the combination of sugar, salt, and fat," she says in the TikTok video. 

An Oreo Cookie Is an Example

Ilana Muhlstein Nutrition/Facebook

She uses an Oreo cookie as an example. "When I was on my health journey, I discovered the food science industry and the source of addictive eating is this trifecta. You can even lick an Oreo cookie and taste that it's salty, which balances really well with the sugary fatty center," she continues. 

Related: I Lost 40 Pounds By Eating These 8 Foods

She Seasons Her Lean Proteins and Veggies with the Sweet and Salty Balance


She points out that food companies do this to make money. "More addictive food equals higher sales for the food company," she says. "I decided if they could do it to their food, I could do it to mine. Now I season all my lean proteins and veggies with this balance"—in the case of some chicken tenders, it looks like a mix of olive oil, dry cheese flakes and brown sugar—"and it really does keep me craving all the foods that make me feel good," she says. 

Try Fresh Herbs and Spices, Too

bunch of garden fresh herbs on wooden board from above

"I totally agree with seasoning your foods to make them tasty," says Collingwood. "But that doesn't mean it needs to be with sugar and salt or fat." Like Ilana, she says enhance your food with fresh and dried herbs, which "can go a long way for seasoning," she says. Another option? Lemon or lime juice "to provide tartness," she says. 

Related: Tone Your Body in Less Than 20 Minutes With This Beginner Routine

Or Hot Sauce


Another option? "Hot sauce has few calories and you only need a very small amount to have a big impact on flavor," she says. 

💪🔥Body Booster: Seasoning your food – whether it is with sugar, salt, and fat, fresh herbs, lemons, or hot sauce – will likely offer more satiation and less cravings to overeat than unseasoned foods. 

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more