What is the Swap & Drop Diet?

This uniquely Canadian plan helps you get and stay slim by making small food and lifestyle changes, one week at a time

What is the Swap & Drop Diet?

Source: Swap & Drop Diet, Best Health (Reader’s Digest Canada); Image credit: iStockphoto.com

It’s not easy to find a truly motivating diet plan ‘ one that makes you excited to start your weight-loss journey. That’s why the editors of Best Health magazine created Swap & Drop ‘ a sensible, balanced and very Canadian approach to slimming down. Swap & Drop cuts through the hype surrounding trendy, ineffective diets, and empowers you to make simple changes that will not only shrink your waistline but lead to overall better health.

At the heart of Swap & Drop is an innovative 12-week plan that takes you step-by-step and swap-by-swap to a better body. We’ll show you how to tweak your eating and lifestyle habits for steady, sustainable weight loss, and how to keep it off once it’s gone. It’ll work wonders for your confidence and energy, too!

Each week introduces a new healthy diet habit to learn and practice. No foods are forbidden ‘ as long as you eat appropriate amounts. Swap & Drop recommends eating about 1,300 calories a day on this plan, although you can add roughly 300 more calories daily if you have a bigger frame or are very active.

Most diets ask you to throw out your old habits overnight and instantly adopt a new way of eating. That’s far from sustainable. Instead, Swap & Drop makes losing weight as straightforward and stress-free as possible. So don’t worry about being overwhelmed. We’re here for you, every swap of the way!

The meals and menus you’ll find in Swap & Drop have been designed to offer maximum nutrition with few calories ‘ you shouldn’t cut back on vitamins, minerals and fibre just because you want to lose weight. Scientific studies have also shown that diets with decent amounts of healthy fats are actually more successful than diets that restrict fat to an absurd minimum. And on Swap & Drop, you won’t have to weigh every gram or calculate every calorie ‘ we’ve already done it for you.

Our meal plans are designed to meet the following daily guidelines:
‘ Calories: from 1,300 to 1,600
‘ Calories from fat: 30 to 35 percent
‘ Saturated fats: no more than 10 percent of calories
‘ Fibre: at least 25 grams
‘ Calcium: about 1,000 milligrams
‘ Fruits and vegetables: seven to eight servings a day

Part 1: A 12-week step-by-step, swap-by-swap plan

Part 1 of Swap & Drop delineates our well-balanced approach, which tackles one weight-loss issue at a time and gets it right before moving on to the next.

We start by adjusting your portions in week one, then revamping your breakfast in week two, before taking on lunch, dinner, snacks and so on. We also provide vital coping strategies to deal with some of the most difficult diet saboteurs, such as stress, restaurant meals, holidays, weekends and even the dreaded Canadian winter.

The secret to weight loss isn’t restricting specific food groups ‘ it’s about controlling portion size and making the best choices for your needs. Swap & Drop advises readers to forget about points, carbs, protein grams or any other diet math. Instead, use our innovative Portion Checker ‘ with actual-size photos of healthy food portions, based on Health Canada’s Food Guide ‘ and you’ll know just how much constitutes the correct portion of all major food groups.

Part 2: A 12-week meal planner with over 100 healthy, delicious recipes

It can be hard to change your eating habits when you’re so busy you hardly have a moment to yourself. The Swap & Drop diet makes it easy for you to get in the healthy-eating groove: Just follow our complete 12-week meal planner. You’ll be able to enjoy three delicious meals ‘ plus snacks ‘ every day, without dedicating time to planning. No special diet foods, scales, supplements or expensive meal substitutes will ever be required.

Not only that, but we include over 100 mouthwatering recipes that the whole family will love ‘ no need to cook separate meals! Plus, Swap & Drop includes many alternative and vegetarian recipes, for whenever you want to switch it up or go meat-free.

Part 3: Eating in, dining out and grabbing a meal on the go

"Sure, it’s easy to eat well at home," you might say. "But what about those of us who can’t always control where we eat?" Never fear ‘ Swap & Drop is all about facing real-life situations and adapting them to your diet needs. To help with that, we rounded up major restaurants and fast-food chains from across Canada and singled out the best items on their menus, so you can eat out without worrying about gaining weight. Swap & Drop followers are encouraged to dine out twice a week ‘ it’s even in the meal planner!

Making some or all of the swaps in this section will really add up. In fact, we’ve already done the math, so you can see just how much weight you stand to lose. We’ll also show readers how easy it is to do a healthy makeover of some of Canada’s favourite dishes and snacks in this section.

Part 4: Walk it off in just minutes a day

Weight loss isn’t just about eating right ‘ it’s also about getting moving. In Swap & Drop, we show you how to go from sedentary to active as easily as possible. You can do it while following the meal plan, or wait until you’ve mastered the 12-week program before you get started ‘ you’ll lose weight either way. But if you really want to shed pounds fast, you can easily get started on the Swap & Drop 12-week walking plan, even if you’re not used to doing regular exercise.

It’s not easy to cram time at the gym into an already overloaded schedule. That’s why walking is the perfect active everyday movement: It restores the optimum balance between calories consumed and calories burned, without becoming a hassle. Plus, Swap & Drop also contains several key exercise workouts that will help you build strength, tone your body and burn belly fat.

With our easy-to-follow approach to transforming eating habits and improving health, Swap & Drop is the weight-loss plan that will get you started on a lifelong path to a leaner you. So what are you waiting for? Get swapping!

Did you know you could change your life in 12 weeks? This simple 12-week step-by-step plan serves up no-nonsense strategies and easy lifestyle changes that tackle one meal, one change… one day at a time. Order your copy of Best Health’s Swap & Drop Diet today!