Swap out high calorie foods for lower ones.
We all want those indulgent meals, and with little time for added exercise to negate those extra calories, knowing a few simple food swaps can be all you need to stay on track with your healthy living plan and still eat it up! Here are eight uncommon food swaps that you'll be surprised to try without the guilt!
Keep in mind that more and more research is showing that a high-protein diet can help maintain body weight, diminish food cravings and even reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes. Check out the comparable protein in the foods listed below and note that each gram of protein contains 4 calories versus fat at 9 calories!
1. Better Breakfast: Bacon for Sausage
Most people think bacon is bad for you, and in terms of healthy food choices, it may not make the top fifty best foods. However, on swapping out daily calorie choices many people do not understand the nutrient and calorie gap related to these two top breakfast choices. You need to have a great high protein, high fiber breakfast but eating up to five eggs to get that protein count up, you can opt for four slices of bacon over two sausage patties to boost the protein without adding tons of calories. Here's how bacon stacks up over sausage.
Two bacon slices: 92 calories / 7g protein / 6g fat
Two sausage patties: 170 calories / 12g protein / 10g fat
2. Nachos: Avocado for Cheese
Nachos may not be the healthiest snack but watching a football game at home or heading out to your local pub, here's one that you can feel better about. Avocados over cheese. Check out the serving size and nutrients in these two side by side but more importantly look at the saturated fat you'll be skipping while still enjoying a little cheat meal. Add a little cayenne pepper and cumin to the mashed avocado or a tablespoon of your favorite salsa with adding less than 25 calories to the bottom line for a delicious indulgence.
1 cup cheddar and jack Cheese: 455 calories / 28g protein / 38g fat
1 cup crushed avocado: calories 234 / 3g protein / 21g fat PLUS 10g fiber
3. Eating Out? Salad Instead of bread
You may scarf at this one. No brainer! but let's take it a bit further! It's not just the nutrients you're swapping out on this one -- it's the long-term effect of the entire meal. According to http://www.ssib.org/web/press.php" target="_hplink">University of Leeds in the U.K., "Eating a food that is associated with dieting can serve as a reminder to eat less." The study showed that participants that ate a 100 calorie salad first, consumed 21-percent less calories of pizza during the entire meal, than those who ate a 100-calorie slice of garlic bread.
100 calories salad includes: 0g fat / 3g fiber ( 4 cups greens, lemon dressing and diced veggies )
100 calories of garlic bread: 1 ounce of bread ( half slice ) 10g fat
4. Caffeine Cravings: Cafe Misto for Cafe latte
Believe it or not, by switching to a cafe misto at your local barista, can save you enough calories per year to lose five to 10 pounds! Many people subscribe to a daily late without the thought of the calorie count. Switch to a cafe misto and you'll save a few pennies but also a few pounds without sacrificing flavor.
Cafe latte: 95 calories / 6 g protein
Cafe misto: 55 calories / 3.5 g protein
5. Old Grains Made New: Farro for Quinoa
There's loads of information on the benefits of quinoa these days in your diet. From entire food chains like Protein Bar, basing their protein packed meals on quinoa in your diet to several varieties in your local grocery. You can't argue that quinoa is a great addition over common grains like rice or couscous. But step aside quinoa for the old grain Faro is getting some press. Faro is becoming mainstream and with more protein than quinoa, our meals just keep getting better all the time.
1 cup Quinoa: 222 calories / 8g protein / 5g fiber
Farro: calories 200 / 8g protein / 7g fiber
6.Go bananas: Swap ice cream for frozen bananas
Check out this simple recipe for the best flavor and craving of traditional ice cream for frozen bananas! Take 2 over ripe bananas and throw away the peels. Place them in a freezer bag and leave in the freezer overnight. When you're craving that ice cream, simply drop those bananas in your Vitamix or food processor with 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring until smooth. With the calories you'll save versus traditional vanilla ice cream you may opt for a few drizzle of carmel at 55 calories a tablespoon,you're still beating out the other option and indulging too.
2 cups of Frozen Bananas: 205 calories / 2g protein / 6g fat
2 cups of Vanilla Ice cream: 480 calories / 10g protein / 32g fat
7. Pasta Pleasure: Carbonara Instead of Alfredo
For those that love your pasta in portions but still want a creamy sauce instead of pesto or marinara, opt for carbonara instead. A simple carbonara can be made with 1 slice bacon ( chopped), 2 large eggs plus 2 additional yolks, 1/2 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, 1/2 cup English peas and a 1/2 cup basil leaves chopped. Cook bacon until crisp then chop. Add it to a heat proof bowl with eggs, yolks and cheese. Then take your pasta water ( a half cup), peas and a half cup of pasta and mix well in the bowl. You'll find it creamy like Alfredo but twice the protein and less calories.
1 cup Pasta Carbonara: 384 calories / 16g protein / 10g fat
1 cup Pasta Alfredo: 415 calories / 16g protein / 17g fat
8. Sandwich Spread: Hummus for Mayo
Adding more legumes into your diet can result in fewer calories consumed, higher fiber intake and less fat. This is where those little garbanzo beans take on the mayonnaise jar and win hands down on the sandwich showdown. Flavored hummus can bump up the taste factor and easily save calories. Keep a few tubs of hummus in your fridge to add into other areas of your meal planning like instead of butter on breads or even add a little water to it for salad dressing calorie savings too.
2 tablespoons Hummus: 54 calories / 2g protein / 3g fat
2 teaspoons of Mayonnaise: 114 calories / .5g protein / 9g fat
Don't sacrifice healthy eating for eating extravagantly. Look for simple ways to make your diet healthier without losing taste and keep in mind that moderation is key to happiness.