Ladies, let’s be real, hands up if you’ve ever decided to go on a diet but after two weeks of having salad for dinner every night, you just give up?
Instead of just cutting out everything you like to eat and depriving yourself of tasty food, the best way to make real changes to your life, create new habits and maintain motivation is to make small swaps that don’t feel like you’re denying yourself. This way, making progress doesn’t feel quite so grueling.
Below, we’ve rounded up 14 easy swaps to kick off your healthy habits this week, so you can enjoy delicious meals whilst sticking to your weight loss goals.
14 healthy food swaps
Choose oats over other breakfast cereals
We’re not sure there’s a more versatile food than oats, filling, comfortable and affordable, they’re a fantastic breakfast food. Whether you want to meal prep a few days of overnight oats at once, make your own granola or serve them with fruit and nuts for delicious oatmeal – there are so many options!
By making your own breakfast with oats instead of other cereals, you can control the sugar and what goes into your breakfast. Plus, oatmeal has about a third of the calories of other breakfast cereals.
Swap to zoodles
Zoodles? Short for zucchini noodles, you make them with a handy spiralizer. And you can quickly turn any vegetable into noodles using a spiralizer. For example, zucchini, carrots, beets, cabbage, cucumber, butternut squash and sweet potatoes can all be spiralized into noodles.
Also Read: Here’s how to keep junk food cravings at bay
As these are all much lower in calories compared to regular pasta or noodles, you can get the same comfort from a pasta dish but without the calories.
Avocados often get a bad rap as there are some misconceptions around how they’re high in fat, which is true. However, they’re high in the good kinds of fat.
Next time you have toast, skip the high fat butter full of empty calories and instead add a tablespoon of avocado to your toast to spread instead. This way, you’re adding some fiber, vitamins, and minerals into your diet, plus, mix it up with some salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon!
Choose whole fruit over smoothies
Smoothies and juices have become very popular over the last few years, but how often would you sit down and eat a banana, two apples, a pineapple, six strawberries, an orange, and a bag of spinach in one sitting?
Probably not that often, right? But when you’re drinking a juice or smoothie, that’s what you’re doing.
All foods have a satiety factor, and that’s how much they’ll satisfy us. If the foods that you’re eating aren’t satisfying, so low in satiety, they won’t curb your cravings. Plus, when we blend fruit, we destroy the fiber and make it more difficult for our body to detect the calories.
Also Read: Can you lose weight and still eat cheese?
Smoothies and juices are great for a treat, but just be mindful of what you’re actually drinking.
Bake fries instead of frying them
How often have you read that when you’re on a diet you need to avoid all carbs, especially potatoes?
Did you know that potatoes rank as number one on the satiety list? There’s nothing more satisfying or comforting than some tasty potato. However, you don’t need to avoid potatoes, just because you’re on a diet.
Instead, you just need to be mindful about how you prepare them. Baking potatoes is much healthier than frying them. Plus, skip adding any extra oils, butter, cream, and cheese, as these additives all add up.
When you’re craving something comforting for dinner, our favorite way to eat potatoes is to cut them into strips, season with salt, pepper, garlic seasoning and maybe some paprika and cook them in the oven at 350 degrees for about half-hour!
Swap dairy milk for almond milk
Even skim, 0% milk has 83 calories per cup. In comparison, unsweetened almond milk has just 36 calories per cup. Plus, it’s super easy to make yourself. If you choose to pick it up in the grocery store, make sure to go for the unsweetened version.
Opt for veggies on your pizza
Really craving that cheesy, comforting slice of pizza? Well, make some swaps and you can still have it. Skip any fatty toppings like pepperoni and instead top your pizza with lots of veggies. Alternatively, make your own homemade pizza, this way you can control how much cheese goes onto your pizza.
Switch out sugar
We all know that we should probably cut down on our sugar intake, especially white refined sugars, right? But when you have a sweet tooth, how do you ensure that you’re not missing out on that satisfaction factor?
Use fruit or cinnamon to sweeten your recipes instead. If you’re baking, dates, bananas and mangoes are all great for adding sweetness to your recipes. And try sprinkling a little cinnamon on your oatmeal to sweeten it.
Use applesauce instead of oil or butter
Did you know that applesauce is a great substitute for butter and oil in baking? It not only mimics the binding properties, but it’s very low in saturated fats and only has 100 calories per cup.
Roast beans for a tasty snack
Nuts are little powerhouses of protein, plus they’re really tasty. But did you know they’re also very calorie-dense? A cup of mixed nuts has a whopping 800+ calories.
Instead, if you’re looking for a crunchy, savory snack, roast some chickpeas or edamame beans with some spices for a tasty, protein-packed snack. A cup of roasted beans has around 200 calories!
Swap your regular cheese sauce for a bean sauce
Look, we know this one sounds strange, but beans and veggies are the perfect base for creamy sauces, plus, they’re a great way to add an extra way to get in more vegetables.
Typically, creamy sauces are typically very fatty and rich, tripling the calories of your favorite pasta. Whereas a creamy sauce made from veggies using cauliflower or carrots combined with nutritional yeast can bring down the calories of the whole meal.
Ditch the mayo
Mayo is incredibly fatty and calorie-dense. Instead, try adding flavor to your sandwich, without all the extra calories, by swapping out your mayo for hummus or mustard. Hummus has an incredible 75% fewer calories than mayo! Whilst mustard only has around 20 calories per ounce, making it a great way to add flavor to your sandwiches.
Make your own oil-free salad dressings
When we’re trying to eat healthily, many of us opt for salads. Salads can be very nutritious and low in calories. For example, leafy greens are high in minerals like iron, they can fill you up, and they’re very low in calories. However, by adding an oil-based dressing to your salad, all of your good work can go out of the window!
Did you know that a tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories? That’s probably more than all your salad ingredients combined.
Instead, we recommend creating or choosing a low-fat, oil-free salad dressing made from mustard, vinegar, beans, avocado, or seeds.
Make a bean chili
There’s something so comforting about chili. But have you tried making a meat-free version with a selection of beans? Not only are beans very low in fat and high in protein, but they’re also full of slow-releasing complex carbs. Beans have 50% fewer calories than the same amount of lean, ground beef. So, the next time you’re making chili, swap out the meat for beans.
So, there you have it, 14 healthy food swaps you can make this week to help you reach your weight loss goals. Make sure to note some of these easy swaps down for the next time you’re heading to the grocery store.
We know that armed with these healthy food swaps, you’ll be well on your way to smashing your healthy eating goals in no time! You got this, ladies!
But if you need a little help in supporting your weight loss, PhenGold is always here to help you achieve your goals faster than ever before. Our 100% natural ingredients have been carefully selected to help you burn fat, reduce cravings, and boost your metabolism.