Making small, simple changes can help you lose weight faster than cutting calories because you’ll still be able to enjoy foods you love without adding to your calorie intake. So whether you’re trying to lose weight, have reached a plateau, or are trying to find ways to plan healthy meals for yourself or your family, you should know a few simple food swaps to help you stay healthy and lose weight.
Food Swaps for Weight Loss
As you already know, small choices can drastically improve your health. For example, some foods can exacerbate health conditions to make you feel worse or unwell while eating healthy foods can improve your health to feel your best. Along with engaging in physical activity, you should eat a balanced diet to lose weight, including swapping out unhealthy foods for healthier alternatives. Here are some healthy food swaps for your weight loss journey.
1. Water for Soda
Swapping soda for water can help you maintain your bodily fluids to stay hydrated and improve the transportation of nutrients throughout your body. Water also aids in digestion and can help you feel fuller for longer. In addition, you can swap any unhealthy drink for water to help you cut down on carbs and calories that could contribute to weight gain. Many people who give up soda notice a change in their weight in just a few weeks.
Unfortunately, many people struggle to drink more water and stop drinking flavored carbonated beverages. If you don’t like the taste of water or absolutely love soda beverages, you can try drinking diet soda, but the healthiest option will be water. If you like carbonation, you can try drinking flavored sparkling water for a similar sensation.
Additionally, those struggling to drink more water can buy a water bottle that marks off how much water they should consume before a certain time. These water bottles are designed to help you drink more throughout the day without the need to set an annoying alarm you might not listen to anyway.
1. Fruit for Candy
Everyone loves candy, especially during Halloween, but some of us have more of a sweet tooth than others and eat candy every day. However, many times when you’re eating candy, your body might be telling you that it’s craving something sweet, not that it wants sugar. You can remove sugar from your diet by replacing candy with fruit. Fruit also contains sugar, so you’ll be satisfying your sweet tooth while also getting the added benefits of vitamins from natural food. Fruit is also high in fiber which can improve digestion and make you feel fuller longer while containing water to keep you hydrated even when you’re not drinking water.
2. Frozen Yogurt for Ice Cream
There’s nothing better than eating ice cream on a hot summer day, but while you may love the taste and cooling sensation, ice cream is loaded with calories and can contribute to weight gain, especially if you aren’t counting your calories. Luckily, there is an ice cream alternative so you can enjoy a cold treat on a hot summer day without adding too many calories to your day. Frozen yogurt is a great alternative to ice cream that contains half the calories.
Additionally, you can add toppings, such as fruit and nuts, to make your frozen yogurt even healthier. Be careful, though. Frozen yogurt still contains calories, so while it’s technically healthier than ice cream, it’s not healthy to eat it every night, especially if you’re already reached your allotted calories for the day.
3. Soy Milk for Milk
Many people are lactose intolerant, and they don’t even know it. If you experience bloating or an upset stomach not long after consuming dairy, you might have a slight intolerance. While bloat may not actually mean you’ve gained any weight, it does add a few extra pounds to the scale and changes the shape of your stomach, so it can trick you into thinking you’re not reaching your weight loss goals. However, by swapping milk for soy milk, you can get many of the same benefits of milk, especially if it’s fortified with vitamins. Soy milk can contain just as much protein as cow’s milk but is lower in calories and can help prevent bloating if you have a dairy intolerance so you can stay on track with your goals.
You can use soy milk in anything you put regular milk in, including mac and cheese and your morning coffee.
4. Black Coffee for Sweet Coffee
If you drink fancy coffee every day, you might not understand how many calories you’re consuming. Many of the most popular drinks from your favorite coffee shop are loaded with calories that you might forget to track because you’re drinking them. However, those calories add up over time and can contribute to weight gain. Instead, try making your coffee at home and drinking it black. If you don’t like the taste of plain coffee, you can add a no-calorie sugar substitute or soy milk to dress it up and make it easier to drink.
5. Tea for Coffee
Both coffee and tea have many benefits and are filled with antioxidants, but dressing up your coffee can add to your daily calorie intake and contribute to weight gain. Unfortunately, many people don’t like the taste of black coffee, so they need to get their caffeine somehow.
Many teas, such as green and black tea, contain caffeine to help you wake up in the morning and keep you awake in the afternoons. However, tea also comes with many benefits, including antioxidants and other potential health benefits. For example, many studies have proven that green tea may be effective for weight loss. Of course, you’ll still need to cut down your calories and eat a balanced diet to lose weight.
Losing weight isn’t easy, especially if you’re not eating a sustainable diet. Anyone can cut down on calories, but if you’re eating in a way that you won’t be able to sustain for the rest of your life, the weight will come creeping back. Instead, learn health alternatives so that you can sustain healthy weight loss and keep the weight off.
Julia Olivas graduated from San Francisco State University with her B.A. in Communication Studies. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing and content creation. Outside of writing, she loves cooking, reading, making art, and her pup Ruby.