5 Simple Food Swaps that Can Help You Lose Weight

by Natalie on January 23, 2014

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In our culture, it is a common idea that weight loss can only be achieved by following a super strict, low calorie diet. While this is one way to go about it, there are many others.

A highly effective and sustainable way to lose weight can be done by making small changes over a long period of time. This works great for people who want to get healthy but have low motivation to do so. It also works great for people who have an extremely hectic and unpredictable schedule.

Take a look at these 5 simple food swaps to get an idea of how this works:

1. When out for coffee, choose an Americano in place of a cappuccino or latte. You still get something special but without the added calories. For an extra bang, avoid putting in any syrups or sugars (even artificial). A little half and half goes a long way.

2. Instead of pop, choose sparkling water like La Croix. If you are still really missing the sweet factor, add a splash of 100% juice.

3. If you are a cereal person in the morning, try unsweetened oatmeal. Oatmeal is wonderful because it is a whole grain. Most breakfast cereals are highly processed, so this makes oatmeal superior to them. To make it taste great, add some chopped fruit, a tablespoon of almond butter, and some cinnamon. For a little protein boost, you can add hemp or chia seed. Oatmeal is FAST. To make, place 1/2 cup of oatmeal in a pan with 1.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 3-5 minutes while stirring occasionally.

4. Buy unsweetened, plain yogurt instead of fruited yogurt. To the plain yogurt add chopped fruit and 1/2 teaspoon of honey. Fruit flavored yogurt usually contains tons of sugar. I’ve seen up to 30 grams of sugar per serving, making it more like a dessert than a healthy snack. As with all dairy products, go for Organic if you can.

5. For snacks, choose fresh fruit and nuts in place of a granola bar or cookie. My favorite combos include: banana + walnut and apples + almonds. For nuts, a good serving size is 1/4 cup, or a small handful.

These 5 small swaps all target sugar reduction. Sugar reduction should be the first place you attack when trying to lose weight. Decreasing the amount of sugar in your diet will reduce the amount of insulin you require, which will help your body burn fat.

What other simple swaps can you think of? Do share below!

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photos via epsos.de and celesteh on Flickr

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