Healthy weight-loss is based on just one concept – burn more calories than you consume. While this may sound pretty simple and straightforward, but it’s easier said than done. For some of us, our calorie intake is so high, it automatically calls for an intense workout routine to burn the same amount of calories, let alone more.
But in between working all day, balancing relationships, and running errands, the last thing you want to think about is busting your butt at the gym five days a week. So here’s another solution instead. Consume fewer calories by controlling your portions!
And you’re worried about being doomed to dealing with a growling stomach till you achieve your weight loss goals, don’t worry. These healthy food swaps will not only help you make better choices without compromising on the taste and quality of your food but will also keep you from counting the minutes to your next meal so you’re not tempted to binge unnecessarily in between.
1. Nonfat Greek Yogurt With Berries And Nuts
Instead of: Non-fat or low-fat fruit yogurt
Greek yogurt is made by straining regular yogurt extensively to remove lactose and liquid whey. As a result, Greek yogurt is much thicker in texture. This version of yogurt packs in twice as much protein as compared to regular yogurt (15 to 20 grams in 6 ounces – equivalent to 2 or 3 ounces of meat)1 which means it keeps your tummy full for longer. Topping it off with fresh berries and nuts will give you a powerful boost of antioxidants, fiber, and heart-healthy fats that will slow down the release of sugar into your bloodstream.
2. Mashed Cauliflower
Instead of: Mashed potatoes
You may hate vegetables but packing as many of these into your diet is necessary if you want a trim waistline. One of the easiest ways to cheat yourself into eating a healthy portion of veggies is to mash them so as to disguise their appearance. Swap your regular potato mash that contains large helpings of milk and butter for a healthier mash made of cauliflower. With just a dash of skimmed milk and a few twists of the black pepper grinder, it will taste just as delicious while slashing your calorie intake by half!
3. Roasted Chickpeas
Instead of: Potato crisps
Ditch your deep-fried potato chips that have plenty of unhealthy fat and cholesterol to offer without any nutritional benefits whatsoever. Instead, rustle up a batch of roasted chickpeas. Not only are these delicious, but will give you a good boost of fiber and protein to work your metabolism and keep you feeling satisfied for longer. This way, you have yourself a tasty snack that won’t have you feeling hungry an hour later.
All you need to do is dry your chickpeas between two paper towels to remove as much moisture from them as possible. Saute your chickpeas with some olive oil and salt, roast them in the oven for 20-30 minutes, and toss in spices of your choice!
4. Boiled, Poached Or Scrambled Eggs
Instead of: Fried eggs
This is another really easy food swap that makes a huge difference to your daily diet – substituting fried eggs with poached, hard boiled, or scrambled eggs (without the milk or butter, of course!) Add plenty of chopped veggies to your scrambled eggs – this is another great way to sneak more vegetables into your plate without having to munch on them for eternally endless hours. In fact, you can even make yourself a vegetable-stuffed omelette for breakfast and save up to 300 calories in one single meal!
5. Wholegrain Bread
Instead of: White bread
Most diets deem bread an unnecessary item on your plate, but it’s natural to be suddenly struck by the temptation to eat a nice piece of toast for breakfast or a good sandwich for a snack. When that happens, swap your regular white bread for some healthy whole wheat or wholegrain bread. Whole grain bread has fewer calories and carbs but more fiber as compared to white bread. For this reason, eating whole grain bread will also take much longer to digest and will, in turn, increase satiety and stop you from bingeing on unhealthy snacks in between meals.
6. Meatloaf Made With Turkey And Veggies
Instead of: Meatloaf made with beef
Lean turkey comes with far less saturated fat as compared to beef. Making your meatloaf with chopped or pureed vegetables will also add more fiber and bulk to your meal. This way, you end up eating less meat (unhealthy calories) and fill yourself up on vegetables (healthy calories) that give you more minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber.
7. Unsalted Popcorn
Instead of: Crackers
Don’t be fooled by whole wheat or whole grain crackers – they still fall under the category of processed foods and will certainly come with unhealthy additives. Opt instead, for a bowl of unsalted popcorn that will give you the same long-lasting crunchy satisfaction sans the extra calories. Popcorn is a whole grain, which again, fills you up with a healthy dose of fiber – a nutrient that is essential to work your metabolism and burn more calories.
8. Water With Lemon And Mint
Instead of: Carbonated sodas
Even a small glass of carbonated soda has as many as 207 kilocalories and up to 49 grams of sugar.2 This spells nothing but trouble for people trying to lose weight, especially if they’re diabetic. Water, on the other hand, has zero calories. You can make yourself a batch of refreshing fruit-infused water by adding a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint. Leave it to sit in the fridge and take a swig every time you want to hydrate yourself.
|↑1||Greek Yogurt Protein. Berkeley Wellness.|
|↑2||Basic Report: 14148, Beverages, carbonated, cola, regular. United States Department of Agriculture.|