Have you ever eaten a plain chicken salad? You know, one that's simply grilled and placed on a bed of lettuce–without any spices or seasoning at all? No dressing, dips or anything to give it any flavor?

It wasn't very good, was it?

Spices and seasoning are essential to making food taste good. Unfortunately, they can sometimes add a lot of extra calories to meals.

But fear not, healthy eaters. You don't have to sacrifice flavor to save your diet. Here are a few clever ways to add flavor to your food without adding calories:

Use herbs and spices

The great thing about using all-natural herbs and all-natural-spices in the kitchen is that they can turn an ordinary meal into anything you want it to be. Need some heat? Bring the chili powder. Want something with just a little more kick? How about a mixture of basil and oregano? Herbs and spices add flavor to any type of food without adding a lot of extra calories.

Buy better food

It seems counter-intuitive, but it's true: The more processed foods are, the less flavor they have. Naturally produced food taste better. It's the reason fresh green beans taste a lot better than canned green beans. They also tend to have fewer calories and less sodium.

Make your own food

This tip goes hand-in-hand with buying better foods and using herbs and spices. If you spend a little extra time in the kitchen making your own food instead of just popping open a jar of something, your food will taste better. Think about spaghetti sauce–you make your own, adding your own herbs and spices and using fresh ingredients, and it's sure to taste better than a highly processed brand from a jar.

Use marinade

The simple act of marinating chicken breasts–or pork chops or even read meat–for an hour or so prior to cooking can transform a simple piece of meat into something tasty and delicious–without adding a lot of extra calories or salt.