Smart Swaps: Healthy Substitutions That Won’t Take Away Taste

Make a change in your daily diet with these smart swaps that will help keep you on track to your goals!

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Change is not always an easy thing, and sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions can be tough - especially when you’re looking to change your eating habits. For many, it’s not just about eating healthier, but also losing weight and getting in shape. Everyone has to start somewhere, and quite often the journey to health begins with updating their eating habits.  

Sometimes, life can get in the way. Work, school and family obligations can make it feel like you're always on the go and that healthy options are somehow far out of reach. With our schedules seemingly jam-packed with things to do and places to be, finding the time to make a healthy home-cooked meal is not always easy. Even thinking about a healthy meal can pass our mind. With tons of easily accessible fast food joints and sit down restaurants across Long Island, it can be hard to maintain that willpower when there are so many instant-gratification options available.

It’s time to fight the temptation surrounding us, and ditch the junk food this year! We can help you stick it out with some tips that could put a twist on your diet to make it healthier!

  • Swap Out Soda For Water
    Drink water with every meal or when you’re thirsty rather than soda. Soda can contain artificial sweeteners as well as calories. These “liquid calories” can easily derail a healthy diet plan. Replacing high calorie beverages with water can certainly make a difference since water contains zero calories. It can also help the rest of your body feeling great! (Tip: Keep a reusable bottle handy. Not only is it good for the environment but it will help you keep on track.)
  • Swap Out Chips For Fruits & Veggies
    Let’s face it, we all get that snack craving at some point during the week, and have that urge to munch on something during the day in between meals. Rather than grabbing that bag of salted chips, grab some fresh fruit or vegetables instead such as baby carrots, celery cut into sticks, sliced up sweet peppers, sliced cucumbers, strawberries - you name it! All of these go great for dipping in some (light) ranch. Even pretzels and nuts could work as well to satisfy the need for something crunchy.
  • Swap Out Fast Food For Salad
    Let’s face it - We all love eating those hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizzas but it’s not always the best option. Rather taking in all that oil and grease, get some nutrients with a salad. Sometimes, the small change of swapping out for a healthier lunch can be a big help. (Note: Use dressing in moderation. Dressing can contain a decent amount of fat.)
  • Swap Out Processed Food For Fresh Produce
    Foods that are processed can lose a lot of their natural nutrients and usually contain many preservatives and additives. Eating fresh, less processed food can not only taste better but also be beneficial to your body. You can also save money not only by going to local farmers’ markets but by purchasing any fruits and vegetables in season - any fresh veggie options are better than processed ones.

According to WebMD, many snacks that we enjoy are unhealthy but as long as they are consumed in moderation, indulge yourself! In addition, keeping an eye out for reduced-fat and fat-free food products can minimize your calorie intake. Of course, it sure won’t taste that same but it’s a start! Check out some more healthy tips:

  • Eat only when you’re hungry and stop when you feel satisfied
    Put down that fork! Once you don’t feel hungry anymore, that is the best time to stop eating. Overeating when your body is already full can lead you to eat even more than you have to which in return can cause weight gain.
  • Eat Smaller Portions
    The eyes could eat more than you think! Rather than stocking up on a large plate, use a smaller plate. A smaller plate will hold less food so you will eat less. (Note: Measure out portions and serving size before cooking.)
  • Eat Slowly
    Eating slowly is key. It takes time for your body to get the message that it’s full. By the time you’re done eating, you may have overeaten without even knowing!
  • Exercise!
    Dieting doesn’t work just alone. Exercising will burn more calories which will not only help with weight loss but also your metabolism. A better metabolism will help break down what you eat much faster. Also, keeping yourself busy with things to do will take away your attention from wanting to indulge!

Watching what you eat can be tedious and annoying many times but as long as you make it a habit and be conscious of it, it’s not so bad. Try to read the labels found on back of all food products so you know exactly what you are getting - they are there for a reason!

Have another smart swap? Do you have any other healthy substitutes? Share them with us in the comments below!

[Source: WebMD]