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There is a definite stigma around healthy foods based on the fact that they are generally more expensive and take longer to prepare. Even when people attempt to eat healthy foods, they may be doing more damage than good. When you are hungry but don’t feel like making anything, do you just reach for a bag of chips despite the fact that you want to be healthier? If the answer is yes, then that is all about to change. These food swaps for weight loss are so easy that you have no excuse not to try them.
1. Pan Frying vs. Deep Frying
When you deep fry food you are fulling submerging it in oil after fully battering it. With pan frying, it is a much more shallow fry, wherein the item you are frying is getting less of a fry, cutting calories and fat. If you are trying to be healthier, but absolutely cannot give up your fried chicken then this is a great option to try out.
2. Eat Fruit, Skip the Juice
If you are someone who craves a glass of OJ in the morning, try buying fresh oranges or clementines and eat one instead. Since it is less condensed, you are avoiding all of the sugar and other ingredients that are added to juice. Fruit also has many benefits including antioxidants that can be destroyed in the juicing process. It also removes all of the natural fiber! Stick to the natural source instead of buying fruit juices at the store.
3. Drizzle Olive Oil & Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar, not Store-Bought Dressing
Take a look at the back of a salad dressing bottle. Not only are there a ton of calories, fat, and sugar added to dressings, but there are likely ingredients you cannot pronounce like certain food dyes. You can make your own dressing adding certain spices to take flavors to the next level, or, you can simply drizzle some olive oil and vinegar or balsamic vinegar and call it a day. Eating a salad drenched in ranch dressing is counterproductive. In that case, you may as well just eat a burger. Instead, food swaps for weight loss let you enjoy the foods you want guiltlessly.
4. Swap Iceberg Lettuce for Romaine, Kale, or Arugula
Iceberg lettuce is full of water, so it is essentially a vehicle by which you are shoveling store-bought dressing into your mouth if you aren’t careful. Try to a more nutrient-dense lettuce. The darker it is, the more vitamins and minerals there are. The more you get out of your salad, the less hungry you will be an hour or two later.
5. Air-Popped Popcorn not Chips
Sometimes you’re just craving something salty. It is no secret that chips are bad for you because they’re high in fat and calories. Plain air-popped popcorn is a low-calorie snack that is a whole grain, antioxidant-rich snack. Sprinkle some salt and you can eat this without feeling gross afterward.
6. Avocado Toast instead of Buttered Toast
Yes, avocado toast is super trendy right now. While avocado does have fat in it, the fat is healthier than that in butter. Avocados have close to 20 vitamins and minerals, making them a superfood.
7. Serve Chips with Salsa not Dip
I love queso, spinach artichoke dip, guac, and black bean dip just as much as any other living, breathing human being. However, eating chips with dip is a quick way to consume a lot of calories and fat within a short period of time. Similar to eating food in front of the tv, you might not realize how much you are actually consuming. Salsa is low in saturated fat and high in a lot of vitamins. It also has fewer calories than dips.
8. Dark Chocolate Vs. Milk Chocolate
If you have a sweet tooth and can’t live without your chocolate, opt for dark chocolate instead. It generally has half the calories of milk chocolate and it lowers blood sugar as well as “bad” cholesterol.
9. Swap Cinnamon Rolls for Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Sometimes you just need something comforting for breakfast before your long day. Why not make two pieces of cinnamon raisin toast with butter and skip the fatty, high-calorie cinnamon roll? It will end up providing more nutrients and less empty calories so you will feel more energized.
10. Exchange Soda For Flavored Seltzer Water
Food swaps for weight loss are not just about eating calories: drinking them is bad too. Luckily, there’s an answer. I cannot get enough of seltzer water, especially with fresh lemon squeezed into it. You can squeeze lemon, lime, or both and it is a refreshing, calorie-free beverage. To make things even easier, you can buy lemon juice so you don’t need to worry about having fresh lemons on hand. If you get a Soda Stream you will end up saving money that you’d usually spend on soda.
What are your fave food swaps for weight loss? Share what works for you in the comments!
Young "professional," Providence College grad, above average procrastinator, reality tv enthusiast, high profile contributing member of society.