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10 Simple Food Swaps to Lose Weight

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Many people struggle to lose weight and find it difficult to cope with the required changes in lifestyle and food choices to meet their weight loss goals. While most would agree that having a good balance of diet and exercise would be key in curbing a bloating weight, there are some effective ways to go about it to make the process simpler.

One effective way to monitor the weight is to watch the daily calorie intake. It is simpler than it sounds, and one doesn’t need to carry around a tabulated list of food calories or a calculator to achieve this. We recommend doing the following food swaps and in time, you will find that weight loss boils down to a matter of making conscious food choices.


Food Swaps to Lose Weight

Here are 10 simple food swaps to lose weight for the aspiring weight-watcherA person who is concerned about their weight, especially one who diets..

1From Chocolate Bars to Health Bars

health bars weight loss

“Muesli bars are marketed as healthy snacks but unfortunately many contain added sugar, refined starch and fat, and lack sufficient fibre…”

Whether for energy or as a tidbit, sugar-laden chocolate bars and crisp snacks are high in calories that you may not need and would be a huge obstacle to your weight loss goals. Switch over to healthier alternatives like granola bars, unsalted nuts, berries or vegetable smoothies, and watch your weight dip gradually.

It’s also important to note that not all health bars are created equal, so you will need to sort out and pick only the good ones – look for those which are high in fibre and wholegrains, and low in energy content (around 500 – 600kJ and under), sugar level (less than 15g of sugar per 100g) and saturated fats (less than 3g of saturated fat per 100g).

2From Sugary Drinks to Plain Water

soda water weight loss

Most people don’t realise the amount of fat that gets stored in the body as a result of drinking sugary fluids and fizzy drinks (which may contain as high as 8 teaspoons of sugar per serving) and concentrated cordial dilution commonly found in the home.

“In general, people who drink sugary drinks find it difficult to lose weight, even when cutting down on high-calorie foods, so this is one swap everyone should make.”

Even drinking diet soda, as proven conclusively by several studies, can lead to weight gain as this article by Inc. explains in scientific terms. When the brain detects artificial sweeteners in these so-called “diet” soda drinks, the pancreas secretes insulin to help control the blood glucose levels in the body. However, since the sugar never made it into the body, it disrupts this natural metabolic process in the body. This would later lead to belly packing, high blood sugar levels, and worse, high blood pressure.

Switch to the good ol’ universal solvent and elixir of life known as plain water to prevent weight gain, and for overall body wellness. It’s healthier, cheaper or free!

3From Mashed Potatoes to Mashed Cauliflower

food swaps to lose weight

“Whether you love vegetables or hate them, you need to eat at least 5 portions per day if you want to have a waistline to be proud of…”

For those who find it difficult or less enjoyable to consume vegetables (it’s ok, we understand that part and we’re not here to judge), an easy way to get a good dose of veggie intake is to mash them up. A cauliflower mash is a perfect example and you’d be surprised by how delicious it actually tastes (yes, we’ve tried it ourselves!). So, instead of a high-calorie mashed potato side dish, go for mashed cauliflower with a splash of skimmed milk and a bit of black pepper instead. You get the same fill in volume at twice the taste but half the calories!

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4From Rump Steak to Fillet Steak

food swaps to lose weight

The next time you’re out for a steak, consider ordering fillet steak. It may be more expensive than rump and sirloin, but it has a lot less fat. This swap retains the same order of taste, but saves you up to 125 calories on the get-go. So if you’re planning to lose weight and still want to have a steak tonight, this simple food swap will get you closer to your goals.

5From Cheddar Cheese to Edam Cheese

food swaps to lose weight

Cheese finds its way as an ingredient into many of our meals and why not? Cheese lovers will tell you it’s a crucial formula in their food make-up! But cheese like Cheddar is extremely high in fat, and if you’re on a journey towards fat loss, this one requires a food swap. You may consider swapping from Cheddar cheese to EdamA semi-hard cheese that originated in the Netherlands, and is named after the town of Edam in the province of North Holland. Edam is traditionally sold in rounded cylinders with a pale yellow interior and a coat (or rind) of red paraffin wax. Edam ages and travels well, and does not spoil; it only hardens. These qualities (among others) made it the world’s most popular cheese between the 14th and 18th centuries, both at sea and in remote colonies. cheese.

Edam cheese is a semi-hard cheese that melts just as well and tastes almost as well as Cheddar, with 7% more calcium to boot. It ages well and does not spoil. They have similar protein content, but Edam cheese consists of less saturated fat (by 14%), cholesterol (by 15%) and calories (by 11%) compared to Cheddar cheese.

6From Fried Eggs to Boiled, Poached or Scrambled Eggs

food swaps to lose weight

If you require or love eggs in your diet, this is an easy food swap to do. Instead of having your eggs fried for your meal, consider instead having it boiled, poached or scrambled. This takes the frying oil out of the equation. Preparing your healthier egg version is best done without adding milk or butter to the egg.

For breakfast, you may consider eating a vegetable-packed omelette instead of an egg sandwich or toast. That could already save up to 300 calories to your advantage.

7From Greek Yogurt to Natural Yogurt

food swaps to lose weight

Yogurt provides calcium and protein, and enhances healthy gut bacteria.

For the same amount, swapping your Greek Yogurt with a Natural Yogurt could easily save you at least 50 calories per serving. The best part is, you probably won’t be able to taste the difference, or so we were told. For that matter, you can’t tell that the calories are less too, but your body will appreciate the decision on this food swap to lose weight.

“I don’t really believe in diets. I love food. If I deprive myself, I’m going to want it more. I snack on yogurt, raw cashews and cherry tomatoes.”

Nicole Scherzinger

8From Breakfast Cereals to Granola

food swaps to lose weight

Check the calories, oil and sugar content of the granola you buy and choose the correct one.

Many people were sold the idea that breakfast cereals are a healthy option and do not realise that some variety of cereals actually contain high sugar content and hidden calories that lack fibre and protein, which can cause a blood sugar spike and crash before lunchtime. The healthier alternative would be to swap that with natural non-sweetened granola, and you can toss it a generous serving of berries, bananas and nuts to vary the texture a little. More importantly, you will not be taking in an excess amount of calorie that you don’t need.

“I go to great pains to find the best yogurt and granola.”

Ezra Koenig, lead vocalist and guitarist of alternative rock band Vampire Weekend.

9From White Bread to Wholegrain Bread

food swaps to lose weight

Most diet programmes would advise reducing or cutting out bread altogether as white bread, being a simple carbohydrate food with high glycaemic indexa figure representing the relative ability of a carbohydrate food to increase the level of glucose in the blood., contains mostly starch with little fibre or nutrients, and the carbs are easily broken down and cause the blood sugar in your body to rise quickly.

If you can’t take bread out of your diet, or if you simply love a good sandwich (we know we do!), then the alternative would be to take wholegrain bread instead. Being a complex carbohydrate food, it takes the body longer to break down this carbohydrate and thus allow the blood sugar level to rise more gradually for the body’s insulina hormone produced in the pancreas by the islets of Langerhans, which regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. The lack of insulin causes a form of diabetes. to handle. By swapping white bread with wholegrain bread, you can also save yourself up to 20 calories per slice of bread. Also, wholegrain bread is more satiatingsatisfying a desire, or an appetite in this case, to the full than regular bread, and can help curb an over-active appetite and resulting in eating less.


10From Low-Fat or Skimmed Milk to Full-Cream or Semi-Skimmed Milk

weight gain from milk

“Hold on…wait a minute. Shouldn’t it be the other way around…did I read that correctly?” Yes, you did…and it is not a typo.

“…there is little evidence that low-fat milk is a healthier dietary choice. In fact, an increasing body of evidence seems to indicate that whole fat milk could be a better choice.”
The Guardian

Popular convention dictates that drinking low-fat (or skimmed) milk would make you less fat than full-cream (or semi-skimmed) milk. Even the designation says it all. Low-fat milk was popular in the 1960s because of the awareness about saturated fats and how those led to weight gain and increased levels of LDLLow-Density Lipoproteins, also known as the “bad” cholesterol, because a high LDL level can lead to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries and ultimately heart disease. in the body, which in turn increased the likelihood of heart disease.

Nutrition experts see low-fat or skimmed milk as less appealing because it does not have a desirable balance of fat to sugar to protein.

“I don’t know anyone who would recommend skim.”

Suzanne Rostler, registered dietician and co-author of Ending the Food Fight

The difference in fat content between the two types of milk is this: full-cream milk contains 3.25% of fat, while low-fat milk contains 1 – 2% of fat. For the same quantity of milk, full-cream (semi-skimmed) milk contains fewer carbohydrates than low-fat (skimmed) milk. And sometimes, artificial flavourings and sugars are added to low-fat milk to compensate for the loss of taste due to the removal of fat. And like our example with wholegrain bread, you tend to feel more filling drinking full-cream milk, hence leading to drinking less and leading to lower calorie intake, including from the food you will be eating with or later on.

“Consumers may decide what type of milk is best for them personally based on their preferred balance of calories to fat to protein to carbohydrates specific to their health history and their genetics. Either way, no one should be drinking enough milk for the type of that milk to make much of a difference on his or her health overall.”

The Guardian

A study published in 2005 involving more than 12,000 children from 1996 to 1999 had shown that more milk drank led to more weight gained, and that low-fat (skimmed) milk had led to more weight gained than full-cream (semi-skimmed) milk. Those who had consumed more than 3 servings each day were 35% more likely to become overweight than those who drank one or two, despite the dairy industry touting that “Drink more milk and you will lose weight”. The same study also showed replacing soda drinks with milk did not lead to weight loss.

“The take-home message is that children should not be drinking milk as a means of losing weight or trying to control weight.”

Catherine S Berkey, Lecturer in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Biostatistician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and Lead Researcher in this study.

If you find this all too confusing, then it’s ok to skip milk and just drink plain water instead. There are after all reasons to believe that animal milk on the whole is bad for you. But hey, if you had to choose between the two choices of milk discussed here, at least you know which to pick.

Food Swaps Everyone Can Do

“In nutrition, there are no absolutes, only relative statements in the context of everything else someone eats.”

Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition at New York University and author of What to Eat and Food Politics

The 10 food swaps to lose weight listed above are those that can be incorporated to your daily food regime, and in most cases, some discipline will be required.

End of the day, whatever fat or calories you take in, it all depends on how you burn them via your activities throughout the day. If you find any of the swaps to be difficult, then just ensure that your lifestyle, whether it needs to be changed or not, can cope with the calories you need to burn.

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