When it comes to losing weight, monitoring what you eat is one of the most important things you can do. Exercising is key for weight loss, but it works best when mixed with a healthy diet. Even if you’re hitting the gym a few times a week, you might not see as much of a difference if you’re still eating foods high in fats, calories and sugars. Enter substitute foods, healthy food swaps that will help you lose weight!
By substituting a few unhealthy foods in your diet, you’ll see a significant change in your weight, as well as your energy levels. Foods high in sugar and unhealthy fats result in weight gain and are harmful to your overall health. I always feel so much better whenever I fill up on healthy, nutrient-filled food, rather than junk!
You might not even realize some of the foods you’re eating are as unhealthy as they are. Love eating veggie stir-fry on white rice? Quinoa is a much healthier option for topping your veggies on! Love spreading your bagels with cream cheese? Why not use nut butter instead?
If you’re looking to lose weight, try these substitute foods to enrich your health and help you reach your weight loss goals.
1. Quinoa (Healthy Swap for White Rice)
I’ll admit, I love white rice, but it’s not exactly the healthiest for you. Rice consists almost entirely of carbs, and white rice in particular has the bran and germ removed, leaving it with very few essential nutrients. Quinoa, on the other hand, is one of the most protein and fiber-rich foods out there, packed with lots of vitamins and minerals. It contains iron, magnesium, manganese and all essential amino acids. The next time you’re craving white rice, reach for the quinoa instead.
2. Zucchini Noodles (Healthy Swap for Pasta)
When you compared pasta with zucchini noodles, it’s a no-brainer which one you should choose for weight loss. Zucchini noodles contain less than a fourth of the calories of pasta and are much higher in nutrients. Zucchinis are beneficial for weight loss and your overall health in general, chockfull of vitamins and minerals. All you need is a vegetable spiralizer and your noodle dishes are about to become a lot healthier!
3. Nut Butters (Healthy Substitute for Cream Cheese)
If you love eating bagels in the morning, spread them with nut butters instead of cream cheese. Cream cheese contains a substantial amount of fat and not many nutrients. It’s a mixture of full-fat milk and cream, which isn’t an ideal combination if you’re trying to lose weight. Nut butters, on the other hand, contain healthy fats and are high in protein, but make sure to choose natural nut butters so there aren’t any added sugars and fats!
4. Greek Yogurt (Healthy Substitute for Sour Cream)
Greek yogurt and sour cream have similar taste and texture, but sour cream is less nutritious and higher in fat. Keep in mind this substitute is for plain Greek yogurt. There are flavored options, but these come with higher amounts of fat and sugar. Greek yogurt has more protein and vitamin B-12 than sour cream, and is also high in probiotics, which promote healthy bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.
5. Mashed Avocado (Healthy Substitute for Mayo)
I’ve never been a huge fan of mayo, and even more so after hearing its unhealthy benefits. It’s super high in fat, and just one tablespoon contains almost 5 percent of your recommended daily caloric intake. It also contains tons of sodium and cholesterol, which is harmful for your health. In general, you should limit your mayo intake as much as possible. Mashed avocado is a much healthier option. Their full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and healthy fats that you need in your diet.
6. Fruit-infused Water (Healthy Substitute for Juice)
Fruit-infused water is fresh, healthy and has much less sugar than fruit juices you’ll find in the store. Fruit juice lacks fiber and is loaded with sugar and high in calories. Fruit infused water is a much healthier option that will help with weight loss. Choose whatever fruit you love most, from apples to pomegranates, to oranges and strawberries. Drinking water naturally boosts your metabolism, and with the fruit, you get the flavour without the calories.
7. Coconut Oil (Healthy Substitute for Butter)
Not only is coconut oil known as one of the world’s favorite super foods, it also aids in weight loss. It can help you burn more calories and can also reduce your hunger, helping you eat less. Butter, on the other hand is extremely high in saturated fat, which raises blood cholesterol. Butter isn’t completely unhealthy, but it’s more beneficial to your health and weight to replace it with coconut oil.
8. Frozen Banana (Healthy Substitute for Ice Cream)
It’s not surprising that frozen banana is a healthier choice than ice cream, but do you know the reasons why? Ice cream is high in fat and loaded with sugar, which contributes to weight gain. Frozen bananas can be whipped up in a food processor to mimic the smooth, creamy texture of ice cream. Bananas are filled with essential nutrients and aid in digestion and weight loss.
9. Mashed Cauliflower (Healthy Substitute for Mashed Potatoes)
To make mashed potatoes, you typically use milk and sour cream, which are both filled with fat and calories. Potatoes themselves are full of starch and high in carbs, which isn’t ideal if you’re trying to lose weight. Cauliflower contains more vitamins than potatoes, and they have lower fat and carb content.
10. Chia Seeds (Healthy Substitute for Eggs)
Although eggs are high in protein and vitamins, chia seeds are a healthier substitute. Eggs are really high in cholesterol, which isn’t good for your overall health. Chia seeds are an amazing anti-oxidant, and are packed with high protein and fiber. Chia also helps with weight loss due to its high fiber content, since fiber absorbs water and expands in the stomach, making you feel full!
Are you trying to lose weight? These substitute foods will help you stay healthy and slim down!
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