Diet Tip – Food substitutions to help you lose weight

For a lot of us when we hear the word 'Diet' we envision a menu devoid of anything that actually tastes good – in other words deprivation and misery! Although there are many diets that do actually work, most of them are based on drastic changes that only the most disciplined of us can stick to long term. The reason why a dieting mentality often doesn't give us the sustained weight loss results we are actually after, is because psychologically we all want to rebel against a 'diet' and the thought of giving up all that yummy food sends us running in the opposite direction quick fast!

So what is the answer to losing weight and maintaining it long term? The key is to slowly replace those unhealthy habits, which have gotten us into the over weight state in the first place, with healthier, do-able options. Here are a few changes, which are relatively easy to implement and yet can make a huge difference in kick starting you toward your weight loss goals!

Substitute White Bread for Whole-wheat or Multi-grain varieties
White bread is no doubt very tasty, especially lathered with butter and jam, 
wholemeal bread by Grant Cochranebut it doesn't do much for you health. It is high in sugars and very low in nutritional value. It is digested very quickly, meaning you get hungry again pretty soon after eating it. Nowadays there are so many varieties of wheat and multi-grain breads available, that with a bit of taste testing you can quite easily find an alternative that you will be happy with. Whole-wheat bread is lower in fat and higher in fiber than white bread, which means it will make you feel fuller and will leave you more satisfied for a longer period of time after eating it. You can still have white bread as an occasional treat, but making whole-wheat or multi-grain your daily staple can greatly increase your health.

Beware of hidden fats when dining out
Let's face it, we all love dining out, but there is a reason why the food always seems to taste better in a restaurant. The chef doesn't care that you are on a diet! All they care about is making the food taste as good as possible – and that means fat, salt, sugar – whatever it takes! One of the biggest issues with dining out is portion control. Restaurant owners want repeat customers, which means giving value for money. The larger the portion the better the value! But, unfortunately that means the higher the calories too. So whenever possible choose entree sizes rather than main course. Most of the time the entrees will be pretty big anyway, and if you feel that you still need a bit more you could always add a side order of salad, vegetables or a dinner roll.

Also, when dining out stay away from creamy sauces. If you choose tomato based sauces instead, you will save a lot of calories as they are usually a lot lower in fat.

If you have to have dessert, then why not share it with someone. It's fun to share and you still get to indulge with half the calories!

Popcorn – friend or foe?
Going to the movies is never complete unless you have popcorn right? Well don't be fooled, just because there seems to be a lot of air in popcorn, doesn't necessarily mean it is friendly for your waistline. The popcorn you buy at the movies is full of fat and salt, so you are better off bringing your own lower calorie, home-made version. There are many varieties of microwave popcorn with no added hidden fats, which are just as good at satisfying that savory craving without all the calories.

Skip the fruit juice
Although it is true that fruit juice is full of vitamins, it is unfortunately also full of sugar. You are much better off eating the whole fruit, which also contains fiber so that you feel full longer. Instead of fruit juice you could have soda water with a hint of lemon or lime as a refreshing alternative. If you do love your juice though, why not dilute it so that you still have the delicious taste without the extra calories.

The above are just a few food substitutions you can make in order to benefit your weight loss. If you want to read some more then check out my articles: healthy snack alternatives to junk food and dieting 101 – where do I start.

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