One of the easiest ways we fail in our weight loss goals is by creating incredibly strict rules for ourselves, and not allowing any room for ourselves to mess up. By doing this we often crack at the first sign on failure, and then quickly go back to the comfort of simple carbs, sugars and trans fats.
Drop this "all or nothing' attitude and make some of the following food swaps to improve your regular diet. Here are some fantastic and delicious food swaps for weight loss for a healthier you.
Drink smoothies instead of fruit juice
There is a lot of buzz around juicing, but the real truth of the matter is liquefying your fruits and vegetables means you lose all the fiber content get hit with a massive dose of sugar.
Instead try making a smoothie and go heavy on leafy greens, vegetables and berries. If you want to make your snack a little more filling then add your choice of protein powder into the mix. This treat will do a lot more good for your body than a tall glass of juice.
Drink soda water instead of soda
It may seem like a pretty significant downgrade, swapping your favourite cola for a can of carbonated water"but the health benefits make it worth it. Cutting sugary soda out of your diet can actually be a factor in early weight loss, and you may be surprised at how many calories you had been previously consuming.
If you find yourself unsatisfied with the soda water then try adding in lemon, lime or cucumbers. Cut citrus or vegetables can turn a glass of boring bubbles into something reminiscent of a drink you'd have sitting at a day spa.
Swap out your big plate for a smaller one
A little bit of psychological warfare might be exactly what you need when trying to lose weight. Did you know that eating off a smaller plate can actually trick your body into being satisfied with less food?
When it comes to making healthy choices many of us struggle when it comes to listening to our bodies and eating past the point of being full. With a smaller plate you will select more food, and if you're still hungry you can always get seconds.
Swap out fatty meat for lean meat
Protein is a vital part of a balanced diet, but there are definitely some choices you can make that are a lot healthier than others. Try eating turkey, chicken and salmon instead of pork and beef. You get the same health benefits with less of the unhealthy fat.
If you're already lamenting your burgers, hot dogs or bacon at least try other types of healthier meats"and remember, there's always cheat day!
Eat oatmeal instead of cereal
Most of the cereals that we can buy at the grocery store are a pretty poor excuse for a breakfast"loaded with sugar, simple carbs and food colouring. If you want to start the day out right consider making oatmeal your breakfast of choice. Avoid instant and quick varieties, which aren't much better than any processed cereal.
Rolled oats and steel cut oats are both excellent options, and will keep you full until lunch. As a topping try berries, cinnamon, peanut butter or a splash of maple syrup. Delicious and nutritious!
Eat popcorn instead of chips
Popcorn is a fantastic snacking food"as long as you avoid the chemical laden microwave variety. Air-popping your own popcorn is a delicious way to whip up a low calorie snack, one that can easily be seasoned with sea salt and vinegar as needed.
The good news is that popcorn is significantly lower in calories than chips, which means your bowl of snacks will go a lot longer than a measly handful of chips. Delicious!
Make your own lunch instead of buying it
How often do we head to work without brown bagging it, promising ourselves to order something nutritious when we head out to lunch? Avoid the temptation of raiding the vending machine, or racking up the calories with a fast food meal. Packing your own lunch allows you to choose exactly what you want to eat for the day.
Remember that snacks are important for keeping mid-afternoon cravings at bay, so throw in something simple and healthy you can munch on a couple of hours after lunch.
Make your own dressing instead of using store bought
Most bottles of salad dressing carry a ton of calories, unhealthy fats and contain an ingredient list absolutely full of unpronounceable things. Go ahead and do something a lot simpler and make your own balsamic vignette with just two simple items"olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
If you're planning to pack a salad for work then put the dressing in a little container and use it when you're ready to enjoy your meal.
Enjoy frozen fruit instead of ice cream
Sometimes we want something sweet, cold and rich"but before you go reaching for a carton of ice cream, consider keeping some fruit in your freezer for this very occasion. Frozen grapes, mango and pineapple are all great options.
If you're still missing the creamy nature of ice cream then a little blending may be in order. Stick a frozen banana in a blender to create a base for any type of healthy ice cream that you desire"you can add in peanut butter, cocoa powder or fruit to change up the recipe.
Enjoy your food instead of being distracted
How often do you eat your meals in front of your computer? Or, find yourself eating on the go while sitting in traffic or during a commute? When we are distracted eaters we tend to eat a lot more, and feel stressed out while we do it. If you can find the time sit down, relax and take the time to enjoy your meal.