These Photos Show How These Ridiculously Easy Food Swaps Can Help You Lose Weight
Sure, losing weight is a careful balance of eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, and managing stress. But what does "eating healthy" mean, exactly? You could be eating plenty of food you think is good for you only to find out it's sabotaging your weight-loss efforts.
Finding the right foods to eat can just be a matter of making simple swaps. As these photos show, you don't even have to give up your favorite foods — just make these tweaks, and you can save hundreds of calories, dozens of grams of sugar, and take in more healthy vitamins and antioxidants.
Easy Grocery Store Swaps
These supermarket staples may seem healthy enough: salad dressing, orange juice, and iceberg lettuce. But some bottled ranch is made with added sugar and canola oil. Instead, try Paleo ranch from Primal Kitchen for more natural ingredients.
Orange juice, even if it's made from 100 percent juice, is packed with sugar and calories and lacks the filling fiber from the actual orange, so eat the whole fruit instead. And while iceberg lettuce is low-cal, it doesn't pack the same vitamins and nutrients as other dark leafy greens like spinach. Here's a helpful guide to leafy greens that breaks down the nutrition so you can make the healthiest choice.
Simple Sushi Swap
Sushi can be a healthy option and is still a pretty low-calorie meal when made with white rice. But if you're looking to cut back on carbs and calories, swap the rice for lettuce. You'll still get the taste of the fish and other veggies for about half the calories.
Rethink That Granola Bar
Granola bars are one of those foods that have a health halo: they seem healthier than they are. Most are packed with sugar and have little fiber. Almonds and dark chocolate, on the other hand, have eight grams of fiber and just four grams of sugar. You can always make your own, and control the amount of added sugars, with these easy granola bar recipes.
Calorie-Saving Swap at Starbucks
Your daily Starbucks run could be sabotaging your weight-loss efforts. Swap your Venti Iced Vanilla Latte for a Venti Iced Coffee with sugar-free vanilla syrup to save over 250 calories (and almost $2!).
Veggie Noodles Instead of Whole Wheat Noodles
Although whole wheat pasta is a healthy vehicle for your favorite pasta sauce and has an impressive eight grams of protein per serving, you can save nearly 150 calories by switching to carrot noodles. Both are healthy options, but the carrot noodles may be better if you're looking to cut back on calories and carbs. Try our favorite carrot fettuccine recipe, and see for yourself.
Cut-Up Veggies For Crackers
Both crackers and veggies are great when paired with hummus, cheese, or your other dip of choice. But plain flour crackers aren't nutrient dense, don't have much fiber, and can be up to 100 calories for just a few. Cut-up veggies, on the other hand, are full of filling fiber, and you can get more bang for your buck calorie-wise. If you're looking for an afternoon pick-me-up, grab some veggie slices and enjoy with hummus.
Simple Weight Loss Swaps
These photos prove you can still enjoy the taste of your favorite seemingly "healthy" foods with a few simple swaps. Instead of banana chips, which are calorie-dense and easy to overeat, grab an actual banana instead. If you are looking for a tasty carb, swap your bagel for two rice cakes. And don't be fooled by bottled smoothies, which are sugar bombs; drink kombucha instead, which is full of gut-healthy probiotics.
Try Popcorn on Your Salad Instead of Croutons
If you like a salty crunch in your salad, swap your croutons for a handful of popcorn. You'll still get the same texture for fewer calories. And croutons aren't the only culprit — here are five salads toppings to skip if you're looking to lose or maintain your weight.
Everyday Swaps For Better Health
Some healthy swaps aren't just good for weight loss but are better for your overall health as well. A portobello mushroom cap has more fiber and antioxidants than a nutrient-poor hamburger bun. Lettuce has vitamins and phytonutrients compared to a white tortilla. Regular fruit has less sugar per volume of dried fruit, and full-fat Greek yogurt has much more protein and less sugar than frozen yogurt.
Easy Swaps For Weight Loss
Making small tweaks to your snacks and food orders can have a huge impact on your weight-loss efforts. If you're craving a salty snack, have popcorn instead of chips. Change up your Starbucks order by getting coffee and coconut milk instead of a sugary Frappuccino. And you can still enjoy a hamburger — just get it with lettuce instead of a bun.