You try so hard to stay on track with your diet and healthy eating choices. Unfortunately, sometimes you bend under the pressure of your favorite goodies and thwart your weight-loss efforts. We’ve all been there. Perhaps rather than doing a complete overhaul of your eating plan, you just need to make a few smart swaps that will make a big difference and maybe even fulfill your cravings. Start with these:
Switch to water: Cutting out soda is difficult if you drink it regularly, because you get stuck on a sugar boost and an addictive carbonated kick. However, switching to water or sugar-free drinks will help you lose more weight, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In the six-month study of 318 overweight people, some switched to water, some switched to diet drinks and a third group was simply counseled on healthier habits.
As you might suspect, those who actually made a switch were twice as likely to lose 5 percent of their body weight. (So if you’re 160 pounds, that’s an 8-pound weight loss!) And those in the water group also saw improvements in their glucose levels, an important marker for risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Go for texture pleasure: For those who swoon for the creaminess of ice cream or crave the crunchiness of a cookie, the good news is that you can make satisfying swaps that will cut major calories. If you love ice cream, try this for dessert instead: chill half a banana for 20 minutes, then slice it up in a bowl. Top with 2 tablespoons of low-cal whipped cream and a slight drizzle of sugar-free chocolate syrup. You’ll cut your calories in half (at least) and get a dose of heart-healthy potassium and fiber, too.
If you’re a cookie lover, try a small handful of unsalted almonds paired with an ounce of dark chocolate. You’ll cut way down on sugar and get the mood-boosting benefits of the nuts and dark chocolate. You’ll also feel satisfied for longer, rather than feeling the need to binge again 20 minutes later.
Have you made any creative swaps with your food and drinks that helped you drop extra pounds? Tell us about them!
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