If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I talk about how, when it comes to weight loss, it’s not just about cutting calories. But, in saying that, some foods and condiments make it easy to pile on the calories without really realising it. What you do on a daily basis matters and can quickly add up to either be in your favour or against it. Making healthier food choices doesn’t need to be difficult. And, it doesn’t have to taste worse either so try these simple food swaps to reduce calories and not flavour.
Swap #1: Cereal or Granola for Porridge
Most breakfast cereals are really high in added sugar and calories. So, swapping them out for home-made porridge can be really helpful for anyone wanting to lose weight, reduce sugar cravings and encourage more even energy levels throughout the day. What’s more, porridge or oatmeal is high in a number of valuable nutrients such as protein, iron, magnesium and even calcium.
Forgo the temptation to add nutritionally empty toppings such as brown sugar. Instead, top with fruit, sweeten with cinnamon and sprinkle with nuts.
Swap #2: Regular Yoghurt for Greek
Pretty much every brand of flavoured yoghurts contain added sugar which ups the calories and downs the nutritional benefits of eating this healthy snack. Swap your regular yoghurt for a plain, unsweetened Greek yoghurt.
Some can be quite tart tasting so if that’s not your thing, try different brands until you find something that you like. Then, flavour it yourself by adding some healthy toppings such as berries, sliced mango, nuts, seeds, coconut flakes or a dash of honey.
Swap # 3: Lattes for Long Blacks
Lattes without added sugar or flavourings aren’t unhealthy as such. But, swapping them out for a long black with a side of full-fat milk is a simple way to cut calories without having to sacrifice your daily treat.
Swap #4: Rolls or Bread for Wraps
Bread rolls and large slices of thick-cut breads can add a large amount of calories to your lunch without doing your nutrition much benefit. Instead, enjoy your sandwich fillings in a wholegrain wrap that gives you more of an opportunity to fill up on lean meats and salad rather than bloat-worthy amounts of bread.
Swap #5: Mayo for Mustard, Hummus, Yoghurt or Avocado
The first time you read the ingredient list on a jar of mayo, you’ll probably be quite surprised. Unhealthy oils, artificial flavours, sugar and lots of salt make this condiment one that’s good to steer clear of. Instead, add flavour to your salads, wraps and sandwiches by using something less processed like mustards, hummus, yoghurt or avocado. Most people are surprised at the fact that you don’t need mayo and other high-calorie condiments if you choose the right fillings. You’ll also up the nutritional benefits of your meal too.
Swap #6: Sour Cream for Greek Yoghurt
This one is one of my favourites! Make any Mexican dish healthier by replacing sour cream with Greek yoghurt. Not only will you cut the calories in half, you’ll also add gut-healthy bacteria that’ll boost your overall health too. Greek yoghurt can be used cold or in warm dishes like curries too.
Swap #7: Sugary Treats for Fruit
If you often crave sugary treats or top your breakfast with sugar, swap it out for the natural option, fruit. While fruit is something you don’t want to overdo, two servings a day gives you a whole heap of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants along with a mood-lifting energy boost.
Swap #8: Potato Chips for Popcorn
If you’re someone who loves snacking on a pack of potato chips, simply swap them out for air-popped popcorn. Popcorn has more nutrients, is higher in fibre and has less than half the amount of calories of the same weight of salted potato chips.
Just be careful not choose flavours that pile on the extra calories such as butter and artificial flavourings. Instead, enjoy it plain or add your own such as smoked paprika and chili for a bbq treat or cinnamon and vanilla for something a bit sweet.