8 Simple Food Swaps for Weight Loss
Can’t give up your favorite foods but you want to lose weight? You think it’s so hard, but it really doesn’t have to be. There are some easy changes that you can introduce into your daily diet and you will lose weight more easily than you can imagine. Of course, some of the food swaps will not taste the same, but once you get used to them (and it won’t take too long), you will be happy you made a healthy change that will both improve your overall health and make you look thinner. So, what is the problem in our regular daily nutrition? As a registered dietitian, Robin Anderson, puts it “The higher in salt, fat and sugar a food is, the more addictive it is”. So, it is natural that when we switch to different kinds of foods our taste buds need to adjust, but it happens fairly quickly and the change is basically painless. The end results of making these changes are you living a healthier life and eating much less calories – which leads to weight loss and a better overall feeling about yourself.
Take non-fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Sour cream is one of the favorite toppings for many meals, especially for baked potatoes. No judgment there, sour cream really is delicious as a toping, but Greek yogurt isn’t so bad either. For someone who got used to the healthy variants, Greek yogurt tastes even better than sour cream, and it is easy to get accustomed since both products have the same consistency and similar texture. An ounce of Greek yogurt has 50% less calories than sour cream and contains no fat.
Take regular coffee instead of a latte, frappuccino or a cappuccino. Coffee alone has no calories. However, when you go to a coffee place and ask for a flavored coffee with milk and crème, what you get is full-fat milk and fatty, sugary whipped cream, and an addition of around 370 calories, which is an amount of calories you take in during a meal. So why waste all those calories on one coffee? If you want your coffee with milk, ask for a non-fat variant, and if you want it sweet, take some stevia instead of sugar. But if you want to lose weight, stay away from the cream, whole milk, chocolate and other flavors. As you need to cut back 3500 calories in order to lose 1 pound, giving up this coffee (counting that you have one each day) will help you lose 1 pound in 10 days.
Eat less egg yolks. One egg white has only around 17 calories, while an egg yolk has more than 4 times as much – 75 calories. Not to mention the fat and cholesterol contained in the yolks. We are not saying ‘expel yolks completely’, but cut down. For example, when making an omelet you can put more egg whites and one yolk just for the taste. You will save on many calories, you will consume less fat, which will lead to weight loss and better health.
Instead of potato chips, choose popcorn or seeds. When you feel like snacking, it is often hard to come to your senses and choose something healthy to munch on. That is why you should get rid of the junk food, the unhealthy fatty carb-loaded snacks that will satisfy your cravings for a while but will also pile lots of fat onto your waist, hips and thighs. Not to mention it is much easier to control your portions when eating sunflower seeds or popcorn instead of chips (because they are much less addictive), so you will consume fewer calories and you won’t really have to give up the taste, because these are delicious as well. However, if you are really craving potato chips, make it yourself, and bake it instead of frying it and you will save around 25 calories per ounce, which still isn’t so bad.
Replace soda with water. You don’t need to stop drinking soda altogether (even though that would be a good idea), but replacing only one can with regular water (in which you can add a little lemon, along with mint leaves if you want it to have some taste). By doing this, you can save up to 140 calories per one can of soda you replace with water.
Choose fruits instead of sweets. Candies, cakes and other sweets are packed with carbohydrates, especially refined sugars that are your worst enemy if you want to lose weight. But if you want something sweet, there is no harm in eating fruits. For example, strawberries, cherries, or any fruit you like. And if you really feel like eating ice cream – make it yourself. Add a little non-fat Greek yogurt to the mixture, and you’ll have yourself a delicious treat without the excess of calories. You can save up to 440 calories by choosing this variant instead of the sugary ones.
Eat tuna packed in water instead of oil. Tuna is healthy either way, but eating the one in water will save you around 70 calories, which is not a negligible amount.
Take the light mayo instead of the regular one. Regular mayo contains around 90 calories per tablespoon while the light one has around 15 calories. This is a great reduction, without your taste buds suffering.