33 Fun + Easy Ways to Trick Yourself Healthy

What if you could slim down, tone up, and completely boost your health, without even trying? Well, that's not possible...but you can come pretty darn close with these 33 tips that make getting healthy so easy you won't even notice the effort!

Weight loss can be hard, but not everything about it has to be. In fact, sometimes the smallest, simplest changes you make on your journey to better health can have the biggest impact.

In the spirit of keeping weight loss as simple as possible, we've rounded up 33 genius ways to make each and every day a little healthier, without having to put in a ton of effort. These healthy choices are so easy, fun, and downright indulgent-feeling that you won’t believe they’re good for you…until the scale tells you otherwise.

1. Put a leaf on it! A lettuce leaf that is. Next time you’re having a taco or burrito, nix the tortilla and wrap it in a big lettuce leaf instead. By getting rid of the least flavorful part of the dish, you’ll nix major calories and carbs without sacrificing taste. Bonus: added fiber and vitamins!

2. Unleash your inner child and embrace the longer days by spending evenings hanging outside. Play tag with your kids or fetch with your dog or bocce with a group of friends. You’ll take advantage of the weather, spend quality time with your loved ones, and get in some exercise.   

3. I love a good curry, but many recipes call for heavy cream. I substitute it with low-fat Greek yogurt and silken tofu. Blend the tofu until it's smooth, then mix with the yogurt. No one in my family even noticed the difference!" -Karyn, DietBet Referee

4. Sub black beans for chocolate. Okay, hear us out—this isn’t as insane as it sounds. Using black beans for chocolate baked goods makes your final product incredibly rich and fudgy while cutting sugar, carbs, and calories. Try it with brownies, cookies, or cake! 

5. Run your errands—no, really, run them. Okay, maybe just a nice power walk. Walk down the aisles with purpose to get your heart rate up as your cross things off your to-do list.

6. “In place of sour cream, I use plain Greek yogurt. It works great!” –Eric, DietBet Referee

7. Go with wheat over white. This is a great rule of thumb that applies across many situations. Whether you’re talking about flour, bread, tortillas, pasta, crackers, or any other grain, always opt for whole wheat over white when possible. You’ll slash empty calories, add nutrients, and feel full for longer!

8. Turn screen time into sweat time. With video games that get you up on your feet and sweating, you can make an otherwise “lazy” activity into an opportunity to get in some exercise! Whether it’s a Wii, a Sony Move, or good old Dance Dance Revolution, there’s an active video game choice for everyone.

9. “I LOVE ice cream. If I could live off of Ben & Jerry’s I WOULD! However, I can’t, so I found Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt bars. I am obsessed! My favorite is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. I keep these in my freezer and I am rarely tempted to buy traditional ice cream. I’ve had only two pints of regular ice cream n the past year since I discovered these. What I like most, it has all-natural ingredients! As someone who is sensitive to Aspartame and Sucralose, this is a huge game changer for 100 calories.” –Alexis, Assistant Referee Manager

10. Instead of rice or risotto, try cauliflower rice! It’ll reduce the carbs and calories in your meal and add in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. If you don’t have ricer, you can use a food processor or even a cheese grater to make your cauliflower the consistency of rice.

11. Speaking of cauliflower, try subbing out traditional pizza crust for a cauliflower one! It’s a fun and healthy variation that doesn’t leave you missing any of the saucy, cheesy goodness you crave in pizza. Try this great recipe from a DietBet player!

12. Okay, last cauliflower one (we couldn’t resist—it’s so versatile!): try mashed cauliflower rather than mashed potatoes! If you still want some of that potato-y goodness in there, go half and half. The cauliflower lightens up the dish and gives it a subtly nutty flavor and a creamier, silkier consistency.

13. Get on the old bike! Remember how much fun biking was when you were a kid? It was an activity you could do for hours on end. Tap back into that and incorporate bike rides into your leisure activities. You don’t need to buy a speed bike or enlist in a training regimen—just cruising around your town or a local park lets you get in some exercise while seeing your everyday environment in a new way.

14. “Just today for lunch, we had some really great meatballs and sauce over spaghetti squash instead of noodles. It’s so good! As a pasta lover, let me assure you, you will not miss it!” –Kristin, DietBet Referee 

15. No sugar, all spice. Where you would normally put sugar, consider whether a spice would do the trick to add the flavor you crave. Whether you’re talking about coffee, oatmeal, pancakes, baking, or anything else, try sprinkling on cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla extract rather than spooning on the sugar.

16. Walk while you talk. Next time you need to make a phone call, pick up your cell and go for a walk! If you anticipate being on hold, this will help you pass the time; and if you’re calling to connect with a friend or family member, walking will keep your brain fresh so you stay engaged and energized during the conversation.

17. “For a delicious and sinless apple pie substitute, simply core an apple, fill with a little cinnamon, Splenda, and melted butter, and bake!” –Tim, DietBet Referee

18. Consider your dip vehicle. Who doesn’t love dip? It’s delicious…but oftentimes, not super healthy. We’re not saying you should cut the dip out of your life, but there’s no need to add in a ton of extra calories from the chips or pita bread you’re using to scoop it up. Instead, use sliced veggies to pick up the dip—all the taste you want, and half the calories and fat.

19. About that dip…There are some easy ways to lighten things up without losing all the flavor you love. One of our favorites is to add some cooked zucchini to guacamole! It sounds a little weird, but it can help a lot with the nutritional impact of your guac (because despite all that healthy fat in avocados, they do pack a serious fat and calorie punch).

20. Take a hike! Hiking is one of our favorite ways to trick yourself into working out. It has so much going for it: being outdoors, seeing some cool nature, hanging with friends, and a serious sense of accomplishment when you get to the top.

21. “I don’t eat meat but sometimes I crave something meaty! I like to take vegan hot dogs (Smart Dogs) and cook them with veggie bacon wrapped around them. I toast a hot dog bun with some vegan cheddar (Daiya or Follow Your Heart), and top with the bacon dog, BBQ sauce, and pickled jalapenos, and enjoy! It’s not an everyday eat but it is definitely a little less sinful than the real deal!” -Jen Z., Head Referee Manager

22. Go for a swim. Swimming, like bike riding, is one of those beloved childhood activities that we somehow forget the joy in as we get older. Reclaim the fun of swimming by hitting the pool this summer! Horse around with your kids, or swim a few laps on your own. Because it engages your whole body, swimming is one of the most effective workouts ever, so you’ll only need a little bit of time to get some serious exercise. 

23. Healthify your fries. We wouldn’t want to deprive you of fries. Fries are the best. Instead, make yours way healthier by going for sweet potatoes over regular potatoes (you’ll add fiber, vitamins, and minerals and reduce carbs and calories), and choose to bake rather than fry (I promise, they’ll get just as crispy and delicious!).

24. “I like to get cheeseburgers wrapped in lettuce rather than a bun. It cuts out a good chunk of the calories, and I’m not a big bread guy.” –Dean, DietBet Referee 

25. An apple a day keeps the sugar at bay! Applesauce, that is. When you’re baking, sub in some applesauce for the sugar. It’ll add sweetness, plus nutrients like fiber and vitamin C. Just be sure you pick the unsweetened variety, as sweetened applesauce comes loaded with lots of added sugar.

26. “Zoodles are super tasty with just a little bit of good olive oil, salt, and pepper. I’m a big fan of zucchini to begin with, but even my anti-veggie husband will eat them!” –Jenn D., DietBet Referee 

27. Have a ball! If you spend a lot of time sitting in work, consider buying a stability ball and using that in place of your chair. You’ll built up core strength and burn extra calories, plus probably help out your back health by forcing you to maintain good posture!

28. Ditch the salt. Salt is one of those sneaky additives that seems to find its way into everything. And though it’s zero calories, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Reduce the added salt in your life by adding fresh herbs or a squeeze of lemon to dishes rather than a sprinkle of salt—it’ll release the flavor just as effectively.

29. “I trick my tastebuds with healthier ice cream. I blend a couple frozen bananas with Greek yogurt. It tastes a bit like cheesecake. Sometimes I add a bit of chocolate or peanut butter. So delicious!” –Stacey, DietBet Referee 

30. Get down! For a fun, silly way to burn calories without even realizing it, have a dance party! Whether you’re by yourself or with friends, crank your favorite tunes and just let loose for as long as you want. Bonus: all that music and movement releases tons of endorphins, so you’ll be left in an awesome mood afterward.

31. Make sure you’re buying tuna packed in water rather than oil. It can be easy to pick up the wrong kind, but choosing oil-packed tuna will add lots of unnecessary fat and calories to your otherwise healthy, protein-packed choice. All cans will be clearly labeled, just make sure you’re on the lookout!

32. “I love pizza, so now I use healthy FlatOut Flatbread and make a delicious healthy personal pizza. Toss on 15 grams of cheese, some extra lean ground turkey, some diced onions, peppers, and pineapple and I can’t tell the difference. It’s AMAZING!” –Jeff, DietBet Referee

33. Laugh! Laughter really is the best medicine. Plus, it burns calories, tones your core, and boosts your mood. So whenever possible, try to find the humor in life. After all, isn’t that what life is all about?

Make it WayBetter

Get more satisfaction out of your "prank" by seeing if you can trick a junk food addict! Make one of these healthy substitutions, give them a taste, and only tell them what you did until after they've raved about how good it is!