Going on a diet sounds tough right? Salad all day long..no booze..no chocolate. Pah.
Those kind of diets aren’t for me anymore although I will admit I have done them in the past. Right now I am following a popular health plan which I started in October which when you look at it is quite simply less sugar and fat. I started to make small changes in what I eat and am starting to see physical changes as a result – bonus. I also know I am helping my insides out too. I am sharing with you today 10 easy swaps you can make to cut fat/sugar or give your health a boost and if you lose weight in the process thats nice but really its just about improving what you consume. Yes I still eat chocolate and crisps.. and an amaretto and diet coke of course but just not every day.
Easy Healthy Swaps
1. Swap semi skimmed milk for skimmed:
This is a really easy change or at least it was for me, within a day or two the change is barely noticeable and now it feels strange to have anything different. You could go one step further and change to almond milk – not for me but some people love it.
2. Less meat, more veggies:
Everyone knows that too much meat is not only more calorific but too much red meat especially can have an impact on your health too. Eat leaner meats such as turkey and chicken or include more fish. You could have a meat free day each week, recipes like mushroom risotto and sweet potato curry will ensure you don’t feel like you have missed out or just have less meat in your stews/casseroles and bulk it out with veg or a healthy grain.
3. Drink less carbonated drinks and more water:
I am a sucker for a diet coke and I won’t cut that out but I now drink more water too. It fills me up without leaving me feeling bloated like fizzy drinks do. Add fresh fruit for a change to your normal water and get a water filter – it makes the world of difference to the taste.
4. Move more. Lots more:
We are a pretty lazy generation because of the times we live in. Public transport is reasonably cheap and readily available. Everybody drives even on the local school run and how often do you walk to pick up groceries? Take baby steps. First of all just move more at home, put items away upstairs as you find them instead of waiting for a large pile to accumulate – your legs will thank you for it when they are getting toned from the extra steps. Chase your kids about at the park, dance with them or swing them about – safely of course.
5. Swap your white pasta/bread/rice for wholemeal options:
If this doesn’t appeal why not go 50/50 at first to see if you like it. You may be surprised.
6. Cut calories by using veggie noodles/rice:
Most supermarkets now stock prefaced courgette, cauliflower rice etc but they are so easy to make at home. Cauliflower rice can be whizzed up in a food processor in seconds and courgetti can be recreated using a spiralizer or a good peeler. Add a good, homemade sauce and its like having a pasta dish – really, try it. I was pessimistic but I am a convert. The cauli rice is great for a faux egg fried rice. Yes its not the same as a big bowl of tagliatelle but its good I promise.
7.Put your olive oil in a spray bottle:
You will be amazed at how much you used before doing this. Ideal for coating pans, homemade wedges etc. Saves you so much in terms of fat consumption and calories plus money as a bottle will last you agessss. Make your own or buy a 100% olive oil spray from the larger supermarkets don’t buy the 1cal butter type sprays with all sorts added – not good.
8. Eat breakfast:
Yes that statement that your mum said over and over again is true. I never want breakfast on waking as it makes me feel sick but I try to plan healthy breakfasts to take to work to stop me grabbing a mid morning biscuit or chocolate bar to keep me awake. I like poached eggs on sandwich thins when I am at home sometimes with avocado – high in fat but GOOD fat. At work its mostly fruit with greek yoghurt or porridge. I also like a good smoothie bowl.
9. Don’t cut out foods:
If you completely cut out carbs you will find yourself waking up halfway through the night after an especially vivid dream about tiger bread or mashed potato. Cut out chocolate and by the end of the week you will demolish an entire sharing bar of Dairy Milk – not that I have ever done that. Allow yourself a glass or two of wine too if thats your thing.. just don’t have it every night with dinner perhaps?
10. Meal plan:
This doesn’t have to be a rigid day by day plan but if you have an idea of what meals you are cooking that week along with the ingredients ready to make them you will not only stop yourself from ordering that mid week takeaway ( which is never as good as you hoped ) but it also saves you money on wasted ingredients.
There are lots more ways to change your eating/lifestyle habits I am sure but these are the small changes which are making big differences in my life right now.