10 super simple healthy food swaps to help you lose weight

Have you ever completely changed your usual eating routine?

Maybe you were on an overseas holiday, maybe you went on a diet following someone else’s rules and meals. Was there a point where you thought to yourself “I can’t wait to get back to my usual routine and start eating normally again”

I am NOT fan of completely overhauling your regular routine in order to get leaner and healthier. I prefer to make-over some of your regular meals and make a few easy lower calorie swaps. This is what I teach my online fitness and fat loss coaching clients. 

Less changes and disruption to your current routine = Longer lasting results.

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We know that to lose weight we need to burn up more calories than we consume each day or each week.

**Side note – If we also consume adequate protein we can make sure that our lost weight  comes from fat and not lean muscle.   Read more about that HERE 

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Here are some lower calorie swaps that are super simple to do

10 healthy food swaps

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1. Coffee

  • Large skim cappuccino with 2 sugars = up to 300 calories
  • Swap for black coffee = 1 calorie

2. Fruit / juice

  • 1 bottle of apple juice = 200 calories
  • Swap for 1 apple   = 60  calories

Let’s not forget the fact that eating one whole apple containing all the wonderful fibre will give our body a nice slow release of natural sugars, just the way that nature intended AND help keep us full.

Drinking the juice of 4 apples in one go with all fibre removed will rapidly deliver 40 grams of sugar into our system and won’t do much to fill us up.

** The same theory would apply to most other fruit juices compared to one piece of whole fruit

apple juice
The sugar of 4 apples without the fibre or fullness effect

3. Pasta / noodles

  • 1 cup of pasta or noodles = 210 calories
  • Swap for 1 cup of spiralised or grated vegetables such as zucchini (zoodles) or crunchy cabbage in Asian stir fries. ** Throw in the fry pan for the last few minutes to keep the crunch. Yummo   = up to 30 calories
  • or 1 packet of Slendier Slim noodles or pasta (made from a vegetable) = 6 calories 
  • ^^^ try half and half for the best of both worlds

Also see my Slendier Slim rice paper rolls HERE – – So simple, healthy and yummy 

Image from Plan Eat Play
Thanks to Plan Eat Play for  zoodles image

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4. Cream

  • 1 tablespoon of sour cream = 108 calories
  • Swap for 1 tablespoon of Greek yoghurt = 59 calories

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5. Mashed potato

  • 1 cup of mashed potato = up to 220 calories
  • Swap for 1 cup of mashed cauliflower = up to 40 calories
  • ^^^ Try half mashed potato and half cauliflower for the best of both worlds. I also like to add pumpkin.

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6. Sauces

  • 2 tablespoons of high sugar sauces such as tomato, BBQ, sweet chilli, kecap manic, etc = up to 100 calories
  • Swap for lemon juice, vinegar or grain mustard = up to 20 calories
how much sugar in sauce
Click to find out which of these sauces contains the most sugar

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7. Pizza base

  • Half a regular pizza base = 340 calories (not including toppings)
  • Swap for half a Pita bread = 120 calories (not including toppings 
  • Be sure to add plenty of veg to your pizza topping. I like baby spinach leaves, mushrooms, cherry toms, capsicum, onion and zucchini.
My mexican leb bread pizza using left over nacho mince
Mexican Pita bread pizza using left over taco mince

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8. Bread 

  • 2 slices of regular bread = up to 300 calories (depending on the brand and the type of bread you choose)
  • 1 mountain bread wrap = 80 calories

 

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9. Potato

  • 1 potato (150 grams) = 135  calories
  • 150 grams of pumpkin = 75 calories
  • 150 grams of lower carbohydrate potatoes = 75 calories

I love these potatoes. They are all natural and have not been processed in any way. I find potatoes SO FILLING. I think they make a great addition to any fat loss plan.

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10. Portion sizes 

  • ANY meal, snack or drink.
  • Swap for a smaller portion size.

It’s not rocket science. Half a dessert = half the calories. The same goes for any food or drink.

Sometimes we are so worried about WHAT to eat, we forget that HOW MUCH is important too. Reduce the calorie content by reducing the serving size.

A lot of times the amount of food we serve up is out of habit, not out of true hunger.

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Bonus swap – Go for a walk

I don’t want you to replace eating a snack with going for a walk if you are truly hungry.

However a lot of times we eat and drink for entertainment, stress relief or other reasons that have nothing to do with physical hunger.

On these occasions please think about swapping your snack for something else that may fill the emotional need. A walk usually works for me, but feel free to choose your favourite activity.

** Also view – 11 wonderful benefits of walking

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Low calorie choices are not always the best option 

Here are some circumstances where low calorie food is NOT your best option.

  • Low in nutrients
  • Highly processed
  • Little to no fibre or protein
  • Doesn’t keep you full
  • You don’t like the taste

I like to compare some low quality, low calorie foods to a cheap dress that is on sale. It’s not a bargain just becuase the price is low. If you don’t like it that much, won’t get much wear out of it and don’t feel great in it…. then it’s a waste, not a bargain.

You will probably end up dissatisfied and might end up going back to buy (or eat) a higher quality product.

Please don’t drop your calories lower than you need to.

If you burn 2500 calories per day (you can get a rough calculation HERE), you can happily eat 1800 calories per day and still lose weight.