We always hear about exercise when it comes to fat loss, but what about food? Losing weight is done mainly in the kitchen, so that’s the best place to start to see fast changes.
The idea of counting calories isn’t a task that typically appeals to any of us, and more often than not it leads to poor long-term results. However, there is some gold dust in knowing what your food contains and whether or not you’re eating more than you need to. Ultimately, fat loss is about creating a calorie deficit, i.e. feeding your body less calories (energy) than it’s burning. At a basic level, there are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat, so if you create a 500-calorie deficit a day, then you can expect to lose around one pound a week. The quality of the calories is equally important and that’s what our suggested fat-burning food swaps take into account.
Start by incorporating these healthy substitutions into your everyday life and the balance will start to tip very favorably towards your toned, beach-bod scale.
Photographer Anna Shtraus Photo Editor Maya Itani Beauty Editor Frankie Rozwadowska
Swap Peanut Butter for Nut Butter
Nut butters are made simply by grinding nuts into a paste, and they taste just as good, if not better, than the classic sugary peanut butters. Nut butters are readily available in most stores and contain all the essential fatty acids your body needs, which have been proven to lower bad cholesterol and keep cravings at bay.
Swap Crisps for Popcorn
This is such a delicious and healthy swap to make. With far fewer calories, saturated fat, and salt, popcorn is a great way to gain nutritional value from snack food as well as being incredibly tasty. Homemade popcorn is simple to make and can be created with almost any flavor. See some recipes here to get started.
Swap Frappuccinos for Coffee
Starbucks Frappuccinos and similar drinks tend to be full of sugars and creams and therefore weigh in high on the calorie scale. If you need a caffeine kick, swap to regular coffee with a little milk and cinnamon for taste. Cinnamon has fat-burning properties and is a far less calorific option.
Swap Pasta for Zoodles
Ever heard of a little gadget called a spiralizer? These kitchen wonders have skyrocketed in popularity within the last year and for good reason too. They make it slimmingly simple to swap starchy pasta for healthy, raw vegetables. Use Zucchini noodles (zoodles) for bolognese-based dishes or lunchtime salads. They are zuper delicious.
Swap Creamy Salad Dressing for Balsamic Vinegar or Lemon Juice
Your lunchtime salad may be a superfood green goddess bowl of health, but watch out for the dressing. A creamy sauce such as Caesar dressing can contain up to 80 calories per tablespoon! Instead, splash over some fresh lemon juice or add balsamic vinegar for a sweet and low-calorie dressing swap.
Swap Granola for Homemade Muesli
This is one of the best fat-burning (and money-saving) food swaps you can do. Store-bought granolas are high in sugar and preservatives and contain very little nutritional value. If you can spare just five minutes in the evening to bake some oats with spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg, and then add some dried fruits and healthy nuts, you’ll be set up for a week of healthy breakfasts. The raw nuts are high in protein and healthy fats, and the addition of a few dried fruits keep the tastiness of the cereal in check but calories low.
Swap Fizzy Drinks for Sparkling Water with Fresh Lime
Sugar-filled fizzy drinks are a sure-fire way to prevent fat loss as well as putting blood sugar on a constant up-and-down spiral. Rehydrate with sparkling water and fresh lime juice instead. It’s refreshing and the lime juice also acts as a digestion aid, similar to drinking lemon juice in the mornings.
Swap Mayonnaise for Avocado Cream
Avocado cream is a brilliant creation and a fantastic substitute for mayonnaise. Avos are loaded with powerful antioxidants and are full of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that give you the perfect dip. Simply blend 1 ripe avocado with 3-4 heaped tablespoons of Greek yogurt and a splash of lime juice for a creamy, guilt-free mayo swap.
Swap Butter for Unsweetened Apple Sauce
Cakes, cookies, and every other treat we love typically contain a good half block of butter, which is why they are so calorific and fatty. Unsweetened apple sauce is a natural and easy way to sweeten up delicious indulgences, whilst also keeping them healthy. Have a look at this easy homemade apple sauce recipe here.
Swap Ice Cream for Frozen Fruits
It may cool you down whilst you catch some rays, but ice cream definitely won’t help with the waistline. Even though fruits are high in sugar, they’re a far better alternative to full fat ice creams that are loaded with unnatural sweeteners and preservatives. Pick your favorite flavored fruit, like banana or strawberries, slice them up and place in the freezer until frozen. Then whizz up in the blender until smooth and creamy and add some natural toppers like cacao chocolate chips and goji berries.