Losing weight can be challenging.  Each year as the snow melts, I starting thinking about dropping a few pounds and toning up.  One of the biggest complaints I hear from friends is that they don’t want to live on salads and water. We all want to see results without making drastic changes to what we eat.  I don’t like giving up all of my favorite foods any more than you do, but there are simple, healthy swaps that you can make to cut fat and calories from your diet.  These swaps won’t leave you feeling deprived as you’re trying to get healthy.

Eat This – Not That – When Dieting

The best way to lose weight is to make small, simple changes to your lifestyle.  Totally redoing the way you eat and live can be overwhelming and if you feel overwhelmed, you may just give up.  Focus on making these small changes and you will get healthier and lose weight in a sustainable way.

  • Never skip breakfast.  Instead of a higher calorie breakfast like a pastry or bowl of granola, try having a bowl of whole grain oatmeal with fresh fruit.
  • Do skip the carbs. If you need to have a hot breakfast like eggs, make sure you skip the toast or bagel with it. Instead have a fruit salad or turn the eggs into a veggie omelet.
  • Watch the added sugar. If you enjoy yogurt, it’s best to pick plain, unsweetened yogurt and add your own fresh fruit. Many yogurts have added sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
  • Be aware of the drive thru. I’m tempted many mornings to grab a latte at the drive through but ordering a coffee almost always has less calories.
  • Choose broth, not cream. If you’re planning on a cup of soup for lunch, pick minestrone over cream of anything soups. You’ll save a lot of fat by skipping the cream.
  • Watch the sauces and dressing.  Salad is a great choice for lunch unless you are adding a ton of creamy dressing to it. Choose a light vinaigrette instead.
  • Skip the pasta. Instead of serving your spaghetti sauce over pasta, try spaghetti squash instead. You’ll save a bunch of calories and still enjoy the delicious Italian taste.
  • Replace starchy sides. If you are having meat, starch and a vegetable for dinner, replace the starch with an extra vegetable.  Skip things like potatoes, rice, bread or pasta.
  • Watch your snacks. Instead of a candy bar or granola bar, grab a handful of nuts instead. You’ll get a great dose of healthy fiber without sugar.

Work on making these swaps each day and ask you feel secure in making each one, try adding a few more.  You won’t feel deprived which will make your weight loss goal more sustainable. Don’t forget to add daily exercise to your fitness routine. Do you have any favorite diet swaps that you make?