We all know it’s important to change our eating habits in order to lose weight and improve our health. But changing our diet all at once can be overwhelming.
Making small diet changes every day makes it easier to maintain healthy eating habits long term. Instead of throwing all the processed foods out of the house, focus on adding plant-based foods to your diet, day by day.
Below are food swaps to help you change your eating habits with ease.
1. Instead of drinking fruit juice, eat whole fruit
Fresh juice is definitely healthier than drinks with added sugar. However, it has almost the same amount of calories and sugar as soda. And like other sugary drinks, it increases hunger.
Whole fruits are a healthier alternative since they contain fiber, which helps control hunger and promotes weight loss.
2. Instead of eating chips, eat air-popped popcorn
Make air-popped popcorn your go-to food when you crave something salty. Popcorn contains fewer calories and isn’t as addictive as chips.
A cup of air-popped popcorn contains only 31 calories while one small serving of potato chips contains 222 calories.
3. Eat brown rice instead of white rice
Not only does brown rice contain more fiber, it has more vitamins and minerals compared to white rice. In fact, a study on overweight and obese women found that brown rice helped reduce waistline and weight compared to white rice.
4. Use avocado instead of butter
Spreading avocado on bread instead of butter can keep you full for long and give you many nutrients. This is one of many ways to increase intake of plant-based foods.
5. Eat oatmeal instead of sweetened cereal
Swapping oatmeal for ready-to-eat cereal can keep you full longer, according to a recent study.
Other than being rich in fiber, oatmeal has been shown to lower blood pressure and strengthen the immune system.
6. Substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream
If you’ve been looking for a healthier alternative to sour cream, greek yogurt can do the magic. Greek yogurt will give you more protein and probiotics.
Choose whole-milk greek yogurt and stay away from nonfat yogurts since they contain many additives.
7. Substitute hardboiled eggs for fried eggs
Frying eggs adds extra calories. For instance, one large boiled egg contains 72 calories while one large fried egg contains 90 calories.
8. Substitute raw nuts for nut butter
Nut butter may be delicious but it contains more calories, fats and sugar. Raw nuts on the other hand are more filling and they’re not addictive.
9. Substitute extra virgin olive oil for vegetable oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a healthier alternative because it’s loaded with antioxidants and healthy fats. Don’t use too much olive oil because it’s high in calories.
10. Substitute kale chips for potato chips
If you get bored with air-popped popcorn, opt for kale chips. A serving of kale will give you folate, calcium, and vitamin A and C.
Which foods swaps have helped you reduce your calorie intake?