When it comes to eating healthy, one of the hardest steps to take is breaking bad eating habits. To get unhealthy foods out of your system — while still enjoying what you eat — healthy substitutes can be a great solution to ditch unwanted calories. Making small changes to your diet is the healthiest and most achievable way to lose weight. Remember, small changes can add up to make a big overall difference to your diet. Taking these initial steps to help improve how you eat can make healthy eating easier down the line. The more you get into the habit of making healthy swaps, the easier it will be to crave healthy foods and begin eating the types of meals that are clean and nutritious. If you want to start making small changes to your diet and lose weight, try these delicious substitutes when you have your next meal or drink, or when you open the kitchen cupboard or fridge looking for a snack. Keep you good habits going because smart substitutions will help you look better, feel better and slim down, too!
1. Have fresh fruit instead of fresh juice
A glass of O.J. contains very little of the pulp or skin from an orange — and none of the fiber content. Skip the glass, and go with the whole piece of fruit to reap the full nutritional benefits of this sweet, healthy snack.
2. Have spinach instead of lettuce
Iceberg lettuce contains no nutritional value. Spinach, on the other hand, is full of vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, and iron.
3. Use Greek yoghurt instead of sour cream
You’ll get the same creamy coolness that you get from sour cream with Greek yoghurt while amping up the protein and slashing the fat.
4. Skip the bagel and reach for an Ezekiel toast
Ezekiel toast is made of sprouted grains, which contains fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and no sugar — a much better option as your vehicle for peanut butter or an egg than a refined, processed bagel.
5. Drink skimmed milk (or 1%) instead of whole milk
By making the simple swap from whole milk to semi-skimmed milk, you could save up to a third of a pint of fat per family over four weeks. If you’re already drinking semi-skimmed, try swapping to skimmed or 1% fat milk, this could still save over half a small wine glass (125ml) of fat.
6. Drink sparkling water instead of sugary soda
Making this substitute will help you cut out the 39 grams of sugar found in a typical can of soda.
7. Spread avocado instead of cheese
Try replacing your slice of cheese with avocado in your sandwich the next time around. Cheese can play a role in a healthy diet, but we often over do it, and the cheese in your sandwich is usually processed and loaded with sodium on top of the saturated fat. Avocado is a whole, real food loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, and antioxidants.
8. Sprinkle cinnamon instead of sugar
Use cinnamon instead of sugar packets to heighten the flavor of coffee without adding extra calories. Try it in oatmeal, too!
9. Choose salsa instead of cream-based dips
Dip chips into this fiery, flavorful alternative to cheesy spreads to get extra nutrients for fewer calories.
10. Opt for cacao nibs instead of chocolate
Who’s not a fan of chocolate? If you can’t resist the taste of chocolate, cacao nibs may be your best bet to curbing your cravings. They give that same chocolatey crunch, but they don’t contain sugar, and they are extremely high in antioxidants that help protect against high blood pressure and heart disease.
11. Brown rice instead of white rice
Instead of using nutrient-stripped, refined white rice, opt for brown rice instead, which contains more fiber. Or, if you’re not a fan of brown rice, brown basmati rice is another good choice. To transition from white rice to brown rice, try gradually increasing brown rice to your white rice intake. You will slowly get use to the taste of brown rice without even knowing it!
12. Try spaghetti squash instead of pasta
Spaghetti squash makes a great substitute for noodle dishes. Instead of refined carbohydrates, you now have a dish filled with fiber, vitamin A, potassium, and more.
13. Enjoy frozen grapes instead of Popsicles
It’s like eating bite-sized Popsicles with no added sugar!
14. Eat hard boiled eggs instead of fried eggs
Scrap the extra grease in the morning and drop some eggs in boiling water, and cook them up for a protein-packed breakfast.
15. Eat beans rather than meats
Consider kicking off your new health regimen with Meatless Mondays. Chickpeas, black beans, pinto, or cannellini beans, edamame, or even black-eyed peas are high in fiber and protein while being low in fat, and they are filled with antioxidants.
16. Swap cracker n’ cheese for apple n’ cheese
Enjoy that savory sharp cheddar with crisp apple slices instead of wheat crackers – and up your daily fruit count too! You’ll also save on sodium. Five wheat crackers: 200mg sodium. One medium fresh apple: Zero.
17. Go for dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate
Dark chocolate has half the sugar of milk chocolate. Plus, intense dark chocolate, savored slowly, can last as long and deliver the satisfaction you want. Try 2 squares versus a whole candy bar.
18. Have edamame beans instead of peanuts
Peanuts are heart-healthy but they contain 200 calories per ¼ cup. Trade peanuts for ½ cup shelled edamame, sprinkled with 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds. This healthy substitute not only help you cut 100 calories, but it helps you gain 4 extra grams of protein as well.
19. Eat regularly…the right way
Many popular diets these days leave you starving, restricting calorie to the point that your metabolism actually SLOWS. But there is a little-known plan called the 2 Week Diet that actually teaches you what to eat and when. This increases your metabolism, allowing you to shed weight and shed it FAST. Those on the diet report losing 12-23 pounds and 2-4 inches in a matter of 2 weeks – all backed by science. Watch this video to learn more about how the 2-week diet works.