Many of the dietary decisions you make each day seem incredibly harmless, but the cumaltative total of all those choices can cause significant health and weight problems. Eating healthier, and trying to lose weight, isn’t about making one big change.
There are dozens of small changes that add up to a big difference in weight and body composition. Here’s some simple food swaps you can make each day to eat healthier, feel better, and drop a few pounds.
Eat Instead: Popcorn
Potato chips are a convienent snack most people reach for in mid afternoon or while watching tv. Potato chips are also loaded with calories, and not very filling resulting in excess calorie consumption. You can’t eat just one, right? Most people can eat 400-500 calories of potato chips and still feel hungry.
The next time you have a craving for a crunchy snack, try swapping chips for popcorn with light or no butter. If you need more flavor, opt for a powdered seasoning instead of packing on the calories with extra butter.
Eat Instead: Whole Fruit
Fruit juice is a surprisingly hard habit to break. It’s sweet, convenient, and a well established morning habit for many people. It’s also a major contributor to consuming excessive calories each day.
If you add up all the calories you drink from juice each day, it’s often the equivalent of eating an extra meal. Try swapping to fresh fruit, instead. It’s sweet enough to satisfy your craving, and has much needed fiber to prevent you from over eating.
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Eat Instead: Eggs, Protein
Fortified cereals are very beneficial to young children, ensuring they’re getting the needed nutriets for proper development, but it’s not the best choice when it comes to weight management. Most cereals are packed with sugar, and don’t have enough fiber to satisfy your hunger for more than an hour.
Eating a breakfast high in protein will satisfy your hunger much longer, and studies have shown a lower daily calorie consumption for most dieters if you eat protein first thing in the morning.
Eat Instead: Whole Wheat Bread
Other than taste, it’s really hard to defend white bread. The bad aspects far outway the good, especially compared to whole grain breads. White bread has much of the fiber and protein removed, and it disrupts your blood sugar levels.
Studies have shown eating white bread, and other refined grains, increases weight gain and other more serious health risks like type 2 diabetes.
Related: Diet foods that cause weight gain
Eat Instead: Dark Chocolate
Sometimes it’s better to address your sweet tooth with a healthier alternative, rather than feel guilty about cheating. If you have a chocolate habit, try switching to dark chocolate instead of the traditional candy bar. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, important vitamins, and can help lower blood pressure.
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