Choosing to eat healthier foods is an important first step to living a healthier life, but it doesn’t have to mean a massive overhaul of your eating habits. In fact, tweaking your diet just a bit, can make a big difference in weight loss or weight maintenance. According to a Utah State study, drinking one 7.5-ounce soda pop each day for a year adds 36,500 calories – just over 10 pounds! So one small decision, such as breaking the soda pop habit, can help you lose 10 pounds in a single year, and that’s without exercise or other changes in diet.
Here are nine healthy food swaps that will help save you calories and provide you with better nutrition. These changes don’t take a lot of effort, but the results will be well worth it!
You’re Eating: A bagel and cream cheese
Swap Out: Instead of a bagel, chose a whole grain english muffin with 1 tablespoon fruit preserves or peanut butter to cut back on saturated fat and increase your healthy fats and whole grains.
You’re Eating: Chicken, beef or vegetable broth for cooking
Swap Out: Choose the low-sodium version of any broth you use. You could also make your own broth, which puts you in full control of how much salt you want to use.
You’re Eating: Maple brown sugar instant oatmeal
Swap Out: Make oatmeal using steelcut oats and then add 1 tablespoon each brown sugar and real maple syrup. The less processed the oats are the longer it will take to digest, keeping you feeling full.
You’re Eating: A bag of potato chips
Swap Out: Go for a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts.
You’re Eating: Fat-free yogurt
Swap Out: Try fat-free or low-fat Greek yogurt because it has twice the protein of regular yogurt and doesn’t use artificial sweeteners like aspartame.
You’re Eating: Corn- or rice-based cereal
Swap Out: Opt for whole wheat bran cereals as they contain much more fiber, which will work to keep you full.
You’re Eating: White rice
Swap Out: Stick to brown rice, bulgar and quinoa. Since these do not undergo additional processing, they have many more essential nutrients like B vitamins, iron and fiber.
You’re Drinking: A latte
Swap Out: Order your latte, but order it with skim milk, saving you almost half the calories. It’s still a great source of calcium and protein.
You’re Using: Vegetable oil
Swap Out: Dump the vegetable oil and make canola and olive oils your go-to. Use the canola oil for cooking because of it’s high smoking point, and use the olive oil for dips and salad dressings.