While complete diet makeovers can be overwhelming, focusing on small simple changes makes weight loss more manageable and sustainable over the long term. These simple food substitutions cut calories painlessly and can add up to a big difference on the scales.
Sometimes those last few kilos remain not because we aren’t trying hard enough, but because we may not realize that day after day after day, our seemingly innocent indulgences really do add up. Here are common culprits that may be derailing your weight loss goals, with alternatives that won’t leave you feeling totally deprived.
Skipping Breakfast – Swap to always eating breakfast – you must eat 3 meals a day (breakfast and lunch and light smaller dinner) with 2 small healthy snacks to keep your energy up and your metabolism kicking those calories
Snacks like Biscuits, Chips, Chocolate Bars and Muesli Bars – swap to greek yoghurt, Vegie sticks and Homous, Air popped popcorn, Edamame Beans, Protein balls, Cherry Tomatoes, 5 Almonds, 1 cup of berries, ricotta on rye or tahini on toast. As for Banana Bread and Muesli Bars – There is nothing healthy about either of them. Unless you’re making your own with no refined sugar and no butter, with wholegrain oats or flour, don’t bother! Swap to a piece of wholegrain toast with smashed avocado or a whole banana!
Fruit Juice and soft drinks – swap for a healthy smoothie or freshly squeezed green juice or sparkling mineral water with lemon
Sandwich with deli meat – swap to a vegie rice paper roll for a change or chop all your sandwich fillings and fill a lettuce cup or make a greek salad. Deli meats are extremely processed and high in sodium and loads of preservatives. Stay away from processed meats and try poaching chicken breast or roasting turkey at home or boiling eggs and putting those on a wholemeal or spelt sourdough or rye sandwich instead
Meat portions – swap to a palm sized pieces of lean beef, chicken or fish. You should be filling 1/2 of your dinner plate with salad or vegetables – not the other way around where the meat is the ‘star’ You can also do meat free Mondays and use other proteins like lentils, beans, eggs, quinoa and tofu instead of meat which will also save you some $$!
Store bought Cereal – swap for homemade porridge or berries and greek yoghurt, poached eggs on avocado sourdough, fruit salad or home made bircher muesli (see my easy muesli recipe in healthy recipes)
White Bread, Multi Grain – Multi grain is white bread in disguise. Adding a few seeds and grains does not make it the best choice. Swap to Spelt Sourdough or Wholemeal
White Rice – Swap to Brown or Black rice and keep to small portions. You only need 1/2 cup per serve of cooked rice for a meal
Pasta – swap to Spelt or Wholemeal if you must eat pasta otherwise try spiralised zucchini noodles instead. You could also try using Quinoa, Soba Noodles or Cous Cous as bases instead as they are healthy good carb alternatives
White potatoes – swap for sweet potato that comes in purple or orange varieties and has more nutrients and less starch and carbohydrates than white potatoes
Chocolate – Swap from eating a bar of chocolate to eating 1 square of 70% dark chocolate with a small glass of milk
Peanut Butter – Swap to Tahini, ground sesame seed paste that’s a tasty alternative to high fat high sugar high salt peanut butter
Salad dressings – Dressings have a ton of ingredients in them, meaning they’re not good for you. Less is more when it comes to the number of ingredients in your food. Try ditching the ranch and putting a small amount of olive oil or balsamic vinegar on your salad instead
Packaged prepared meals – High in salt, High in Sugar, High in Fat, Don’t eat them, it’s that simple. Check the ingredients list – if it has more than 4 ingredients, don’t buy it. If any packaged food has sugar in first 3 ingredients, don’t buy it. Swap for for frozen vegetables and home made. You can make a healthy dinner faster than ordering takeaway and picking it up or waiting for delivery and your home meal will be alot better for you!
Fried food – stay far away from anything fried and swap for grilled, poached, baked, steamed, BBQ or pan seared with small amount of olive oil on low heat
Eat more vegetables – Swap out entrees at restaurants with a side salad or steamed vegies and start with a vegetable soup instead. Snack on vegie sticks like cucumbers, carrots and celery. Juice vegetables for a liquid snack.
Start swapping and see the results!
Hope this helps