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Who said that losing weight means you have to cut out all of your favourite foods? More often than not, there are great alternatives out there that make it easier for you to upgrade your favourite snack. You definitely don’t need to miss out on that taste you’ve been craving. Check out our list below for some easy healthy food swaps to help you cut calories and satisfy your cravings.
Almond Milk instead of Cow’s Milk
You definitely don’t need to give up your morning coffee to lose weight. Replacing full cream milk (which clocks in at around 158 calories per cup) with Almond Milk (30 – 60 calories per cup) can save you over one hundred calories! Not only this, but Almond milk doesn’t contain the hormones found in regular cow’s milk, making it an even healthier option.
Cappuccinos instead of Lattes
You can cut even more calories in your coffee by switching from lattes (67 calories per cup) to cappuccinos (40 calories per cup). The difference in calories here comes from the fact that cappuccinos are frothy and contain more air than lattes, which means that they also contain less milk. You still get to experience that same coffee taste with even less calories! It can be a good idea to eat the froth off the top of your coffee with a spoon to help slow you down. If you take your time and drink your coffee slowly, it can help you to drink less and feel fuller for longer.
Kombucha instead of Soft Drink
Kombucha is a super healthy drink that helps to promote gut health and balance the digestive system. A cup of kombucha clocks in at only 26 calories per cup. While a cup of Coca Cola clocks in at 107 calories per cup. That’s a big difference in calories. Not only that, but with the numerous health benefits of kombucha and the negative health effects of Coca Cola, this is a great swap. You don’t need to give up that soft drink taste on a diet. Kombucha comes in a variety of flavours including pineapple, watermelon mint and dark cherry.
Carrots in Tzatziki / Hommus instead of Chips
If you’ve been eating potato chips for a while, they can be pretty hard to give up. When you’re craving the savoury taste and crunch of potato chips, you can try replacing them with carrots dipped in tzatziki or hommus. The carrots will help to satisfy that crunch you’re after and the tzatziki or hommus will help to satisfy that savoury snack craving too. When you run the numbers on it, this is a great way to cut out a lot of unhealthy calories. Carrots only have 41 calories per 25g, tzatziki has only 30 calories per 2 tablespoons and hommus has only 50 calories per 2 tablespoons. Meanwhile, potato chips are around 536 calories per 100g! It’s not a bad idea to have some carrots and dips on hand for movie nights.
Sweet fruits instead of Sweets
This is an easy one that anyone who wants to lose weight should consider. Fruits are packed full of nutrients and vitamins. They can also be used to efffectively satisfy sweet cravings. The next time your’re craving a chocolate brownie (466 calories per 100g), donut (452 calories per 100g) or chocolate chip cookie (488 calories per 100g), why not try some sweet fruit first?
Try strawberries (33 calories per 100g), watermelon (30 calories per 100g) or peaches (39 calories per 100g). For just a fraction of the calories, you can satisfy that sweet craving. As soon as you feel a sweet craving coming on, consider eating some fruit first before you reach for some candy. If you are still craving sweets after this, you could try and incorporate the fruit into your sweets until you can jump from sweets to fruits. Why not try chocolate covered strawberries to bridge the gap?
Cauliflower Rice instead of White Rice
This is a really easy swap. It doesn’t take long to grate some cauliflower and the results are really worth it. There are only 10 calories in cauliflower rice per 100g, while there are 151 calories in 100g steamed white rice. That’s a huge difference. Cauliflower rice has a pretty similar taste and texture to steamed white rice and also absorbs the flavours around it while providing a different texture. It’s an easy swap that is pretty simple, but can deliver some solid results.
Chicken and Fish instead of Beef
While there is nothing wrong with eating beef, it is a higher calorie protein than fish or chicken. While eating beef will probably not be detrimental to your weight loss efforts, switching to eating chicken and fish most days can help you to reduce your overall caloric intake. A chicken breast is only 165 calories per 100g, tuna is only 184 calories per 100g and beef is 332 calories per 100g. Switching to eating chicken breast most nights can cut your calories from meat by half! It’s great to enjoy a balanced diet and eat a variety of meats, but chicken can be your best friend when it comes to achievng your weight loss goals.
Seaweed Wraps / Rice Paper instead of Bread Wraps
If you find that you’re eating a lot of wraps, why not switch from conventoinal bread wraps to seaweed or rice paper wraps instead? Seaweed wraps are much healthier than bread wraps and can provide your body with essential nutrients. When you run the numbers, there are only 43 calories per 100g of seaweed wraps, 100 calories per 100g of rice paper, but there is 340 calories per 100g of bread wraps. That’s a fraction of the calories and you get the bonus of more nutrients!
Rice paper and seaweed may not be the best alternatives for every type of sandwich. If you can focus on making vegetable and meat based wraps on a smaller scale, you can really reap the benefits. If you’re eating smaller wraps, you are more likely to stick to portion control. You’re also less likely to over eat as you will be slowly eating one small wrap at a time and that will cause you to feel fuller quicker.
Frozen Yoghurt / Sorbet instead of Ice Cream
Ice cream is a popular dessert, but it can be easily replaced with delicious lower calorie alternatives. Next time you’re craving ice cream, remind yourself that it will cost you about 220 calories per 100g and with a usually low level of nutrittion. Alternatively, frozen yoghurt is only around 159 calories per 100g, while sorbet is only 60 calories per 100g. Frozen yoghurt can be a nutritious snack, but sorbet is ideal for weight loss because it is so low calorie and you can make it as nutritious as you’d like. The main ingredient in a sorbet is fruit, meaning that as well as being nutritious, there are a variety of flavours to choose from so you don’t get bored. It’s really easy to make sorbet from scratch as well, so you can experiment with different combinations and keep it interesting!
Spiralized Zucchini instead of Pasta
If you want to lose weight quickly, this is a great swap to try. Zucchinis have only 17 calories per 100g, while pasta has around 131 calories per 100g. That’s a major difference in calories. Spiralizing zucchini is quick and easy. All you need is a nifty little tool called a spiralizer (which you can easily get online here). The spiralizer can pay for itself several times over with the amount of calories it might save you. You can use the spiralized zucchini interchangably with pasta. Spaghetti is a great dish to get used to using the zucchini, as the spirals of zucchini have a similar texture to spaghetti. It’s a great way to squash your pasta cravings!
Apples Roasted with Cinnamon instead of Apple Pie
It’s the same taste of an apple pie without the calories. Who needs pie crust anyway? If you’re really craving apple pie or are struggling with any sweet cravings, this could be a great swap for you. There are only 52 calories in 100g of apples, while an apple pie has a whopping 237 calories per 100g, mainly due to the pie crust and added sugars. You can get the same taste by roasting or pan-frying apples in cinnamon until they turn a warm golden brown. If desired, they can be cooked with some butter, but it’s not neccessary if you’re looking to cut as many calories as possible.
Mashed Cauliflower instead of Mashed Potato
Cauliflower has only around 41 calories per 100g, while potatoes will set you back around 94 calories per 100g. The taste is pretty similar to mashed potatoes, as is the texture. By adding some spices, gravy or mixing it with other foods, you could convince yourself that you’re eating mashed potatoes. Making this swap will save you about half the calories from mashed potatoes, so it’s well worth it!
Avocado or Applesauce instead of Butter (in recipes)
If you’re into baking your own snacks and desserts, you already have an advantage when it comes to weight loss. It’s empowering to make your food yourself and to decide exactly which ingredients you want to use, instead of relying on someone else to do it for you. If you’re looking for a lower calorie alternative to butter in baked goods, try using avocados (160 calories in 100g) or applesauce (42 calories in 100g). These two alternatives may not suit every recipe, but they will save you a huge amount of calories, considering that standard butter conatains a whopping 720 calories per 100g. If you’re making a savoury dish, why not use avocado? Applesauce will go well with most sweet dishes and can help keep helathy desserts low calorie. Meaning that you can have two more bites instead of one!
Sweet Potato Fries instead of French Fries
A big point of difference here to keep in mind is that the reason sweet potato fries come with such a low amount of calories is that they are not often deep-fried and usually baked in the oven. Compared to conventional french fries that are often deep fried and oily, it’s easy to see how sweet potato fries clock in at around 100 calories per 100g, while conventional french fries are around 312 calories per 100g. It’s super easy to buy or make your own sweet potato fries. All you need are sweet potatoes, salt and a tiny bit of oil. They make a great side dish and you’re less likely to go looking for dessert after dinner because you’ve already had a sweet fix.
Coconut Water instead of Fruit Juice
Coconuts have a great reputation for weight loss and over-all health benefits. Not only can coconuts be very healing, they are also highly nutritious. On the flip side, most people don’t realize just how unhealthy fruit juice really is. If you think fruit juice is just made of fruit, think again. Most fruit juices contain a lot more sugar than you’d suspect. Next time you go to buy a bottle, check out exactly what is in your juice.
While there are some healthy juices on the market, it’s usually a better idea to eat the unprocessed ingredient: fruit. If you’re craving orange juice, grab an orange. Not only will you miss out on a large amount of sugar, you will also miss out on a lot of extra calories. A regular orange is only around 50 calories, while fruit juice is around 160 calories per cup. If you’re craving a cold fruity drink, you really can’t go past coconut water. At only 45 calories per cup and packed with nutritious goodness, you’ll probably notice the change that this swap can make straight away.
Chia Seed Pudding instead of Chocolate Cake
Chia seeds are a superfood in their own right and can pack a powerful punch of omega 3s, fibre and several other nutrients. Not only are they nutritious, they are also very filling and have a pretty muted taste that compliments whatever you mix it with. In it’s purest form, you can eat chia seeds mixed with just water or milk. Don’t swallow them without allowing them enough time to expand (24 hours is a good amount of time). You’ll notice when you leave chia seeds suspended in liquid that they will start to form gelatinous little beads. Once you’ve placed chia seeds in milk or water, it’s a good idea to stir them at least twice during a 24 hour period, as this will stop them from forming a cement like mixture in the bottom of the jar.
You can add chocolate powder, raw cocoa powder, apple and cinnamon, maple syrup, honey or really anything you can think of to a chia seed pudding! Adding either organic raw cocoa powder or chocolate powder with chia seeds and any milk of your choice, will result in a pudding of around 107 calories per 100g. Chocolate cake meanwhile, will cost you around 389 calories per 100g. So, if you’re craving chocolate cake, why not stop your cravings with a superfood and get the best of both worlds!
Vegetarian Pizza instead of Pepperoni Pizza
If you’ve decided to have a binge and order pizza, or you’ve found yourself in a situation where eating pizza is unaviodable, there are choices you can make to minimize the damage to your weight loss goals. There are only around 835 calories in large vegetarian pizza, while there are around 1120 calories in large pepperoni pizza. If you can, pick a vegetarian pizza, as these usually contain the lowest amount of calories. As well as this, try and order your pizza on a thin crust base. It can really make a difference and save you from consuming a lot of extra calories, while giving you the same taste.
English Muffin instead of Bagel
You don’t need to give up your morning tea to lose weight. There are only about 134 calories in one english muffin, while there are around 359 calories in a large bagel. You can do pretty much anything with an english muffin. Add raspberry jam if you’ve got a sweet tooth, or bacon and eggs if you’d prefer something more savoury. This is a simple swap, but it can definitely help you conserve some extra calories throughout your day!
Macaroons instead of Eclairs
There’s nothing wrong with including a small amount of sweets in your weight loss regime, so long as it’s limited and you choose items that won’t ruin all of your hard work. A great alternative to pastry sweets like eclairs (which come at around 142 calories per one eclair) are macaroons. Macaroons are a low calorie alternative for when you really want to feel like you’re indulging in dessert. One macaroon is only around 60 calories and they come in so many flavours to choose from that you’re bound to satisfy any craving you have. If you’re craving lemon meringue, try a lemon macaroon. If you’re craving jammie dodgers, try a raspberry macaroon. What a satisfying way to save some extra calories!
Crumpets instead of Doughnuts
If you enjoy a doughnut with your morning coffee, there is a better way to satisfy your craving! A single crumpet contains only around 95 calories, while a single doughnut contains around 250 calories. This swap alrleady eliminates more than half of your normal calories for this snack! Crumpets are a delicious and versatile food and can be accompanied with a small amount of butter, jam or other condiment. Try using a bit of honey or maple syrup if you normally have a super sweet doughnut.
There you have it, 20 Easy Healthy Food Swaps that you can implement today to help you start losing weight without feeling like you’re missing out. What do you think of these Top 20 Easy Healthy Food Swaps? Have you tried other swaps that you’ve found to be successful? Send an email to emily@zenithfitnessandwellbeing or leave a comment down below, I’d love to hear from you!
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