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Substitute For Sweet Potatoes

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I just started sessions with a personal trainer today and he put me on a 1300 calorie meal plan. I didn't want to whine to him about it, but does anyone have suggestions to replace sweet potatoes, nutrition-wise? I gag if I try to eat them (or any kind squash/pumpkin). :blush: I love brown rice and whole-grain pastas. Pretty sure polenta (my favorite) wouldn't be allowed on this diet! Suggestions?  

post #2 of 12

What is it about sweet potatoes that you don't like?  The flavor?  The texture?

 

Next what is your trainer's reasoning for suggesting sweet potatoes and not regular?

 

Both types of potatoes have their pros and cons.  Sweet potatoes are enjoying their "time in the sun" as a superfood.  Many sites are extolling the health virtues of sweet potatoes.  Some of it seems to be legitimate, but like so many things the hype has gotten out of hand.  Although they are sweeter, sweet potatoes are better for diabetics than regular potatoes.  Sweet potatoes are definitely higher in vitamin A but regular potatoes are higher in protein and potassium.  In other words both can be good for you, if you stay away from all the fat loaded toppings that make potatoes so great.

 

I would hate to make any suggestions about substituting as I don't know what your trainer is trying to accomplish or what he sees as some of your health issues, and I assume that he does see some problems if he has put you on a 1300 calorie diet.  You should really talk to him.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

I really don't like the flavor, no matter what's done with it. I think he suggested them because you get a lot of nutrition for not a lot of calories. This meal plan is one of his standard plans for new clients. Mostly it seems ok. I'm trying to figure out how to deal with a 400 calorie dinner made from scratch that also helps my kids gain weight. They're both small for their ages. I guess what I really don't like is someone trying to limit what I'm allowed to cook. My kitchen is my decompression/play time. Need to take a deep breath and figure out how to make it work! Just without nasty sweet potatoes ... 

post #4 of 12
can you ask your trainer what substitute he would recommend? I would say just regular potatoes but "diet" people like your trainer will find 100 reasons why white potatoes are evil. Which in my opinion is BS. A trainer should help you achieve fitness goals, not tell you what to eat.

I used to be a long time dieter and I can see that you're already starting to rebel against this diet. That's a pretty standard response to diets and also the reason why 95% of diets do not work and are statistically known to cause weight gain. They also foster a negative relationship with food which makes eating so much less enjoyable and food situations become mine fields. Anyhow, after considerable failure on a whole host of diets I decided to see a
Nutritional therapist who taught me all about intuitive eating. Life is good again, I can eat whatever I like and lost tons of weight and keeping it off. So unless your fitness trainer has some sort of magic formula to force you to live sweet potatoes you're better off trusting your own gut when it comes to food and ask him to just do his job and stay out of your meal business.

Sorry for the rant, it's a topic I feel passionate about. I loathe dieting!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jen clark View Post
 

I really don't like the flavor, no matter what's done with it.

 

Not to nit pick, but have you tried sweet potatoes plain?  I never liked them at Thanksgiving covered in sugar and marshmallows and what ever the heck else, but after many years I found I really like them just baked, or cut into wedges and roasted with a little oil.

If you make a pizza you can eat for a day.  If you make two pizzas you can eat for a day.
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If you make a pizza you can eat for a day.  If you make two pizzas you can eat for a day.
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post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank View Post
 

 

Not to nit pick, but have you tried sweet potatoes plain?  I never liked them at Thanksgiving covered in sugar and marshmallows and what ever the heck else, but after many years I found I really like them just baked, or cut into wedges and roasted with a little oil.

I've tried them plain, baked. Recently. Had to spit them out. Looking online for 400 calorie/serving dinners and ignoring his "meal plan." Thanks for the advice, everyone!

post #7 of 12
I would discuss it with your trainer. He probably has a reason for specific foods and a plan to achieve your goals. I did try a search and found a discussion re same that might help.

Sweet potato substitute at bodybuilding.com.

Good luck.
post #8 of 12

If you have an Asian market local, I find the big purple yams as well as the slim lighter colored ones with almost a pale/white-ish flesh (they are also drier) much more enjoyable than the standard sweet potato. Not nearly so much as a squash or pumpkin as it is like a sweet dessert. An enjoyable breakfast food.

 

If your personal trainer is putting you on a 1300 calorie diet while you're expected to exercise...that is absolutely not sustainable. Your body is going to be giving you signals (that you should follow!) that you need to be intaking more calories. 1300 calories is probably even a little under the calories you'd want in a fully sedentary kind of day. That's the type of calorie restriction that gets people rebounding off of a failed diet with vengeance. I wish his main emphasis was on giving you a wide selection of foods from which you can eat as much as you want that will naturally sustain you at a healthy body weight. The point is to be able to trust your body signals, after all.

 

Hopefully he hasn't put any restrictions on the standard potato - it's very nutrient dense while calorically friendly as long as you don't cook with oil/butter. I have been eating a lot of baked potatoes and various sweet potatoes/japanese yams recently and they can be very filling. A few recent lazy dinners have been 2 baked medium sized potatoes with diced tomatoes and cilantro and salsa, with a side of greens and/or mushrooms. Probably 400 calories or very close to it.

From a nutrient standpoint, potatoes and yams are very close to 'perfect foods' (covers almost all your essential macro and micro nutrients, you could almost live exclusively off of them, though sensibly it's good to have a colorful variety of foods).

 

Aim for foods that contain fiber for good steps towards satiety. Brown rice and whole grain pastas have nothing inherently bad about them, and you should certainly keep eating them. Polenta shouldn't be a problem either as long as you don't live off the stuff (they lack in more micronutrients) and the preparation method doesn't involve a lot of oil. 

 

For your kids, if you have nuts or beans or dried fruits that don't contain extra sugar in your pantry, they are quick and still healthy foods that provide greater caloric densities to help their growth. 

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by foody518 View Post
 

If you have an Asian market local, I find the big purple yams as well as the slim lighter colored ones with almost a pale/white-ish flesh (they are also drier) much more enjoyable than the standard sweet potato.

Oooooh.... those are just plain amazing. Nothing to do with your regular sweet potatoe though. They almost taste like chestnuts to me.

 

post #10 of 12

@French Fries There's also big purple ones with a pale yellow flesh. Very sweet and smooth. Also the other one I'm thinking of is slimmer and somewhat smaller, maybe a tan/beige skin with a much lighter flesh.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the info. I'm going to be listening to what my body needs rather than strictly adhering to a meal plan or calorie limit. I tried yesterday, and by 9:30, I was hungry again, so had a spoonful of peanut butter before bed. I won't be able to talk to my trainer until next week but will definitely go over things with him in better detail. We live in a very small town with 2 Kroger, a Walmart, an IGA, and a very small "healthfood" store as far as groceries go. In summer, there are a couple of Farmer's markets. Luckily, my version of Tom Ka fits very well into the diet he recommended, even with the coconut milk in it, and my kids love it. Everyone wins!

post #12 of 12

I'm a little concerned about the quest to find a 400 calorie dinner that will help you meet your goals but also help your kids gain weight.

 

Not possible unless you add something with some extra calories for the kids.

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