You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. It’s true that you can eat what you want from time to time and have occasional treats, but they should be occasional. For a flat, toned tummy you can be proud of, your diet needs to be carefully considered. Follow these weight loss nutrition tips and check out our food swaps to help you shed the pounds.
Here are some handy food swaps you can try to save calories…
Swap chocolate for dates and cocoa bars
Chocolate is high in fat and refined sugar. By swapping it for date and cocoa natural bars you will not only reduce the fat content, but the sugar content will be from a natural, unprocessed source, too.
Swap sweets and ice cream for frozen grapes and bananas
Frozen fruit can be a great alternative to ice cream. Place your fruit in the freezer (keep the banana’s peel on), then if you crave ice cream, you can opt for a natural, no-fat, low-calorie option instead.
Swap smoothies for fresh fruit
The controversial swap. Yes, smoothies can be healthy, but only if you don’t add too much fruit. When preparing your smoothie, place all the ingredients on a plate and ask yourself if you would eat all of it in one sitting. If your answer is no then you are adding too much fruit. Plus, simply eating fruit will fill you up for longer.
Swap diet fizzy drinks for fizzy water with lemon
Even diet fizzy drinks with zero calories contain a substance call aspartame, which can indirectly cause weight gain. Research has found that people who drink diet drinks store a lot more fat around their waistline. This is related to the aspartame levels in your body. By swapping diet drinks to plain or fizzy water with a slice of lemon you’ll still have a zero-calorie drink, but the lemon will help to cleanse your body, too.
Swap cake for rice cakes and sliced bananas sprinkled with cinnamon
Sliced bananas sprinkled with cinnamon on a rice cake is a natural, no-fat, low-calorie snack. The cinnamon will also help to regulate your blood sugar levels. It makes a great pre-workout snack, too!
Swap condiments for spices
Condiments contain a lot of useless calories that most people don’t even consider. Spices don’t contain calories and by adding them to your food, you will improve its taste and your waistline. Try chilli, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, ginseng, mustard, turmeric
Swap white rice for quinoa
Quinoa is a grain that is grown for its edible seeds. It has more protein than rice and will help to stabilise your blood sugar levels, too. It’s prepared in the same way as rice and most shops sell it in the dried bean aisle, so the swap should be fairly easy.
Swap crisps for popcorn
Air-popped popcorn has less calories than crisps but beware of popcorn popped in butter or oil. And always read the label – microwave and sugar-coated popcorn can contain more calories than crisps!
Swap pizzas for pitta bread pizzas
Make your own healthy pizzas by using pitta bread. Add tinned chopped tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, ham, pineapple and a bit of cheese. They taste great and have a lot less calories.
Swap bread for wholegrain wraps
Yeast can cause a bloated stomach. By swapping to wraps or other breads that don’t contain yeast, you can help keep your bloating under control. Long-life bread contains a lot of preservatives and e-numbers too, neither of which will help your waistline, so steer clear.
Other ways to lose weight
- Drink a lemon refresher – ideal for stimulating digestion each morning. Upon rising, simply add the juice of half a lemon to a glass of warm water.
- Reduce gluten intake – gluten can often contribute to bloating and digestive upsets. By cutting out the gluten in your diet you will reduce your carbohydrate intake, too.
- Include gut-friendly foods – tackle any bloating by including fermented foods like yogurt, kefir or raw sauerkraut.
- Don’t forget to consume healthy fats – monounsaturated fats and essential omega-3 fats will support a healthy metabolism and help satisfy appetite, too, so be sure to eat some nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and oily fish each week.
- Include snacks – depending on your exercise levels you may need one or two snacks. But make these optional – don’t eat if you are not hungry.
- Focus on lean proteins and colourful veggies – by reducing carbs and optimising protein intake you will experience more rapid fat loss without going hungry.
- Keep hydrated – aim to drink eight glasses of water and herbal teas a day.
- Add in green tea – this is known for its fat-busting properties. Try including two to three cups daily.
- Load up on healthy foods – remember, low-glycaemic vegetables and protein-rich foods will help curb your cravings and
give your body a kick-start.
- Keep your digestive system healthy by including soluble fibre daily – chia seeds and flaxseed are ideal for keeping your bowels healthy. And the more you use the loo, the slimmer you’ll feel!