Every day, thousands of people make the decision to start eating better and losing weight, and every day those thousands of people don’t really have any plan or idea of how to do this.
Whilst the whole idea of changing to a healthy lifestyle and loosing may be very daunting, by simply making wiser food choices you can reduce your overall calorie consumption and increase the nutritional value of your overall diet. A good diet along with regular exercise can get set you off on your weight loss journey.
Here are some nutritious alternatives you can incorporate into your diet.
#1 White Potato >> Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes and white potatoes have similar nutrition profiles – apart from the fact that sweet potatoes contain a higher dose of vitamins A & C.
Sweet potatoes also have a lower glycemic load and glycemic index than regular potatoes (meaning, your blood sugar won’t rise as high when you eat a sweet potato compared to a white potato!)
#2 Fruit Juices >> Homemade Fruit smoothies
Fruit juice – whether it be bottled or freshly squeezed – will likely contain a lot of sugar. When juices are extracted, the vitamins and minerals remain but the fibre is unfortunately also extracted.
However, smoothies are made using the whole fruit/vegetable, so you get all the fibre in your drink. Green smoothies have many health benefits and can include spinach, lettuce, kale, cucumber, basically any leafy green vegetables you like.
Bananas, apples, pears, avocado, and mango are great companions in these types of smoothies to as it adds a bit of sweetness without overloading them with sugar. The amount of vitamins you’ll get depends on the fruits and vegetables you choose for the smoothie, however, most fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins A and C!
#3 Vegetable Oil >> Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is very different from most other cooking oils and contains a unique composition of fatty acids which are about 90% saturated. This makes coconut oil highly resistant to oxidation at a high heat making it perfect for high-heat cooking methods like frying.
Whilst we are always told to avoid saturated fat, coconut is different as 50% of the fat content is lauric acid. The fatty acids in the oil go straight from the digestive tract to the liver, where they are likely to be turned into ketone bodies and provide a quick source of energy!
#4 Normal Milk >> Almond Milk
Almond milk is a drink made from ground almonds and water. It is a popular plant-based alternative to cow’s milk and it is lactose-free and low in fat.
Unsweetened Almond Milk contains only 33kcal per 250ml while the same amount of skimmed milk contains 83kcal.
Almond milk can be used in smoothies instead of traditional dairy products. Simply combine fruit and the almond milk in a blender and pulse it until it is combined.
You can also add almond milk to your protein shakes and substitute it for milk in cooking curries, etc.
#5 Milk Chocolate & Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has recently been discovered to have a number of health benefits. 28g Chocolate contains antioxidants. flavanols, vitamins and nutrients.
Whilst eating dark chocolate can lead to the health benefits please remember that chocolate is also high in fat and should be eaten in moderation!
Always choose dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids.
#6 White Rice >> Quinoa/Brown Rice
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and contains iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and fibre. It is one of only a few plant foods that are considered a complete protein as, unlike wheat or rice, quinoa contains all eight of the essential amino acids.
Quinoa can be used in the same way as rice and is a great accompaniment to various hot dishes as well as salads!
Take Home Message
Keep in mind that losing weight should never be a quick fix. A healthy a balanced diet and active lifestyle is the key to losing weight and keeping it off.
It can take several months to notice real changes in your body and ideally you should aim for around 1-2lbs weight loss per week.
Anything more than this is not realistic or sustainable. Work hard and don’t give up!