11 Food Swaps to Help You Lose Weight
Dropping pounds can be as simple as making small adjustments to your daily food choices. Try these food swaps that will help you lose weight.
Swap so you can drop
Losing weight is tough (here’s why you’re having trouble). But, there are a few easy tweaks you can make to your diet that can make a huge difference. To drop a pound, you need to eliminate 3,500 calories, by burning them off and/or cutting them from your diet. Just by eating 500 fewer calories per day, in theory you will lose a pound a week. We rounded up some easy changes you can make. Pick a few swaps, and the scale will start to shift.
And remember, when introducing a food swap, give yourself time to get used to it, advises Robin Anderson, a registered dietitian with Revive Wellness, a coalition of health practitioners in Edmonton. “The higher in salt, fat and sugar a food is, the more addictive it is,” she says, “so when you eat something different, your taste buds need time to adjust.”
1. Make toast
Replace a bagel (354 calories) or bran muffin (410 calories) with 2 slices of whole-wheat toast (164 calories). Skip the butter, but you can add a tablespoon (15 mL) of honey (64 calories) or 1/2 cup (125 mL) of fat-free cottage cheese (90 calories).
You’ll save: Up to 246 calories.
Add it up: Make this change once a week and you’ll cut almost 12,800 calories a year—that’s more than 3 pounds.
2. Be a regular Joe
A Grande Strawberries and Crème Frappuccino with whole milk and whipped cream at Starbucks is 370 calories and 15 g of fat. Instead, choose a regular coffee. Alone, it has no calories, but even with cream and sugar it’s a much better choice: You’ll add 24 calories and 3 g of fat per tablespoon of cream, and 16 calories per teaspoon of sugar. (Also, find out the best time of day to have coffee.)
You’ll save: 330 calories and 12 g of fat.
Add it up: Make this swap once a week and you’ll cut 17,160 calories a year, which adds up to almost 5 pounds. (Think of all the money you’ll save, too!)
3. Skip a yolk
Nix just 1 yolk from meals that require 2 eggs (think omelettes). A whole egg has 75 calories and 5 g of fat, but there are only 16 calories in the white and no fat.
You’ll save: 59 calories and 5 g of fat.
Add it up: Make this change once a week and cut out 3,068 calories a year, which is almost 1 pound.
4. Swap your soup
Instead of dishing up a 280-g serving of cream of broccoli soup, which has 160 calories and 9 g of fat, choose a bowl of chicken noodle soup instead. You get just 110 calories and 2 g of fat for the same-size serving. (Or, try our Tofu Noodle Soup.)
You’ll save: 50 calories and 7 g of fat.
Add it up: Make this change once a week and cut out 2,600 calories a year, or more than half a pound.
5. Snack smart
Tame your munchies with popcorn instead of chips. A 28-g snack-size bag of chips has 150 calories and 10 g of fat. Swap that for a cup (250 mL) of air-popped popcorn at 31 calories and 0 g of fat. For a flavour boost, spritz popcorn with butter-flavoured spray (0 calories) and toss in a tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese (27 calories). (Did you know popcorn has health benefits?)
You’ll save: Up to 119 calories and 10 g of fat.
Add it up: Make this change once a week and you’ll cut out 6,188 calories a year—that’s almost 2 pounds.
6. Drop the pop
Replace just one can of pop a day with a glass of iced water (0 calories)—add a squeeze of lemon, cucumber slices or mint leaves for a nice refreshing flavour, or try one of these flavoured water recipes.
You’ll save: 140 calories.
Add it up: Make this change once a week and you’ll slash 7,280 calories a year, which adds up to more than 2 pounds.
7. Sweeten the deal
Need something sweet? Rather than reaching for 1 cup of premium strawberry ice cream at 500 calories and 16 g of fat, opt for 1 cup of strawberries at 56 calories. Still crave something creamy? Even 1/4 cup (60 mL) of light whipped cream (the kind in a can) adds only an extra 30 calories and 2 g of fat.
You’ll save: Up to 444 calories and 16 g of fat.
Add it up: Make this change once a week and you will cut out 23,088 calories a year, which adds up to almost 7 pounds.
8. Lighten up liquor
Instead of regular beer, which has 150 calories per bottle, opt for its lighter version at less than 100 calories. And instead of a 5 oz (150 mL) glass of Pinot Grigio at 120 calories, cut the calories in half by making a wine spritzer. To make: Combine equal parts wine and soda water.
You’ll save: 50 to 60 calories per drink.
Add it up: Make this change once a week and you will cut out 2,600 to 3,120 calories a year, which could equal almost a pound.
9. Substitute your sub
A 6-inch meatball sub is 580 calories and 24 g of fat; a turkey breast sub is only 280 calories and 3 g of fat. Or take it a step further and opt for a veggie sub at just 230 calories and 3 g of fat.
You’ll save: Up to 350 calories and 21 g of fat.
Add it up: Make this change once a week and you’ll cut out up to 18,200 calories a year, which equals more than 5 pounds.
10. Spritz your salad
Two tablespoons of ranch salad dressing racks up 140 calories and 16 g of fat. Using a store-bought balsamic vinaigrette spritzer, on the other hand, packs a lot of flavour but only 1 calorie a squirt (10 calories for an individual-size salad) and only 1 g of fat.
You’ll save: 130 calories and 15 g of fat.
Add it up: Make this change once a week and you’ll cut out 6,760 calories a year, which is about 2 pounds.
11. Go fish
If you normally have beef a couple of times a week, change one meal to fish instead. A 75-g serving of broiled steak has 230 calories and 14 g of fat. Compare that to the same-size serving of broiled cod at just 80 calories and 1 g of fat. Here’s the best fish to eat if you’re health-conscious.
You’ll save: 150 calories and 13 g of fat.
Add it up: Make this change once a week and slash 7,800 calories a year, which adds up to just over 2 pounds.
Swap & Drop Diet
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. You’ll learn portion control and still eat the foods you love. Over 100 delicious recipes in the meal planner means you’ll be treated to a full course of satisfaction! Busy schedule? Eat out as often as twice a week – the guide of the country’s top restaurant chains will help you make the right choices. And finally, the fun fat-burning walking plan will help you achieve tangible results both inside and out! Buy on Amazon.