They say that success in dieting hinges largely on knowing how to substitute high-calorie foods for healthier options. When faced with severe stress, most of us turn to comfort foods like ice cream, chocolates, cookies and pastries to make us feel good. When faced with a looming deadline that seems impossible to beat or after a recent breakup, our normal reaction is to raid the refrigerator and eat away. Of course, after we have actually handed in our work and the boss congratulates us for a job well done or long after our boyfriend or girlfriend (yes, boys do pig out too after a break up) has become nothing more than a bad nightmare in our lives, the effects of our unhealthy comfort food choices remain etched in our bodies-- bulging love handles and flabby thighs that we can't see to get rid off.

Admittedly, it is difficult to keep our wits about us when faced with extreme pressure. However, this is something that we must learn if we want to keep our figures or prevent ourselves from crossing the line where it would be impossible to look decent in a swimsuit. Learn the art of food substitution.

There are food alternatives for that traditional comfort food known as chocolates. Because chocolate has high levels of relaxing and mood-enhancing components, this is always the first option we take when stressed or sad beyond measure. Unfortunately, chocolate also has high levels of sugars and fats. Thus, having too much of them--which is often the case-- contributes to weight gain. Where chocolate is concerned, food substitution entails eating dark and bitter chocolate instead of other varieties. Dark chocolate contains less sugar and is infinitely healthier than milk chocolate. The slightly bitter taste takes some getting used to, but it will be worth it.

Instead of ice cream, opt for healthier food alternatives like low fat yogurt or fruit sorbet. Better yet, you can make your own fruit salad at home so you know what ingredients are included in your dessert. With the flavors now available, yogurt doesn't have to taste bland or sour anymore. For a healthier alternative, make your own fruit smoothie using different frozen or fresh fruits and low fat yogurt for a delicious and healthy snack.

Another comfort food that most of us crave for when we're feeling particularly down is that big bag of potato chips that are chockfull of salt with almost no nutritional value. This only makes you retain water that causes you to bloat. Instead of chips, give popcorn a try. Choose the lightly seasoned kind. You can also munch on whole grain snacks that also have added fiber.

Pizza is another food that ranks on top of our list of eating must-haves when we're faced with tough challenges. Thankfully, it can also be a complete and nutritious food when prepared the healthy way. Food substitution where this old Italian favorite is concerned means doing it yourself. Instead of the usual dough, use wholegrain or whole wheat bread. Use vegetables like zucchini and some leafy greens for toppings. Put in a little tuna and some low fat cheese before baking in the oven. You'll have a healthy treat in no-time at all!

If you are interested in being healthy, be sure to have a look at these Vitamix reviews, there are a ton of amazing Vitamix recipes that are extremely nutritious.

Author's Bio: 

Proud mother of 2 lovely girls, world traveler, and natural health advocate.