A nutritious and healthy diet doesn’t mean that you will need to remove all your favorite foods from your menu. In reality, a few simple food swaps will make all of the difference.
You are already implementing intermittent fasting as a useful tool for weight loss. Take it a step further and include these eight food swaps to boost your results!
#1 – Swap A Popsicle For Frozen Blueberries
Popsicles might as well be frozen sugar with artificial colors added to make them look appetizing. They are devoid of any kind of nutritional benefit beyond simple sugars. They are typically high in High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), which is linked to many health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Instead, you can swap them for frozen blueberries. Blueberries are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which are essential compounds for a healthy body. The frozen treat still offers plenty of sweetness to stop your cravings.
An added benefit is the low-calorie content of blueberries. A cup of frozen blueberries only contains 85 calories. It is larger than your typical popsicle for much fewer calories!
#2 – Swap Juices For Fruits
Juices can be healthy if they are blended with the full fruit, and the pulp isn’t removed. However, most fruit juices you find on supermarket shelves are a far cry from their naturally occurring fruits. They are also loaded with artificial colors, flavors, and HFCS.
In addition to that, even freshly pressed juice might not be the best solution. For one tall glass of orange juice, you will use around 3-4 oranges. Chances are, your meal plan probably doesn’t include eating 4 oranges in one sitting. Just like with the popsicles, they deliver nothing but a sugar rush.
Any time you think of drinking juice, simply reach for fruit instead. Apples are more nutritious than apple juice, oranges more so than orange juice, etc.
Whole varieties are fruit will deliver fiber, more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and contribute to more satiety from meals. They are also harder to overconsume. Liquid calorie consumption can increase calorie intake daily by hundreds!
#3 – Swap Potato Chips For Popcorn
This one may seem too simple. We all know that potato chips don’t help weight loss efforts and deliver minimal benefit for health. They are full of oxidizing industrial oils, like Canola and Cottonseed, that increase inflammation and increase the risk for major diseases. They simply don’t have a place in a healthy diet for most of us trying to lose weight.
But what if you crave some crunchy treat? Instead of chips, try out some homemade popcorn. It still delivers a crunchy texture that chips can offer while providing more fiber and less harsh ingredients.
You can season your popcorn after cooking with salt, pepper, or any seasoning mixture that you’d like. Get creative and find new ways to enjoy your popcorn. You may even find recipes that taste similar to those old potato chips that you swapped out!
#4 – Swap Butter Toast For Avocado Toast
Butter is not bad in moderation, but it doesn’t provide anything to the diet except fats. While fats are essential for optimal health and hormone function, there are better fat sources when looking to get healthy and lose weight.
Avocados deliver similar fat content to butter but also offer more micronutrients and fiber. Fiber can help you feel fuller after eating, and the micronutrient content is essential for staying healthy while trying to lose weight.
Plus, who doesn’t love the taste of avocado toast?!
#5 – Swap Granola For Oatmeal
Granola may be tasty, but it’s typically loaded with oxidizing industrial oils and too much sugar. The drawbacks of too much HFCS and oils high in Omega-6 fatty acids have already been discussed, so it’s easy to see why granola deserves more effort with food swaps.
Oatmeal tends to be the main ingredient in granola, and it is usually the only ingredient that offers any nutritional value. It is high in fiber and delivers a steady stream of complex carbohydrates for stable energy levels throughout the day.
Try it with some dark chocolate (75% or more cacao content) for a treat that is similar to granola.
#6 – Swap A Milkshake For A Kale Smoothie
Milkshakes are full of fat and sugar from the ice cream. They are ridiculously high in calories, making them an awful choice for those looking to lose weight.
Try and make a kale smoothie with fruits and maybe some plain Greek Yogurt for a similar creamy texture. Using frozen kale and fruits simulates the milkshake experience even more.
Instead of sugar and fat, you will have antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein from the yogurt, and way fewer calories in your enjoyable smoothie.
#7 – Swap Mayo For Mustard
Mayonnaise is made with the same unhealthy fats listed earlier in this article. Some varieties are made with avocado or olive oils to make them a healthy choice. But, healthy or not, it is too high in calories for many people to enjoy when trying to lose weight.
Mustard is a suitable replacement in most recipes and doesn’t contain notable calories. You can eat as much mustard as possible and probably only take in 50-100 calories. The amount you use for a typical sandwich will be fewer than 20 calories in total.
#8 – Swap White Pasta For Whole Wheat Pasta
White pasta digests quickly and causes a steep rise in insulin levels. Insulin levels that are regularly raised significantly can increase the risk of fat storage. All processed wheat products, like white pasta and white flour, will do this.
Instead, opt for whole-grain products, like whole-wheat pasta. The pasta’s glycemic load is lower and contains more fiber, making you feel fuller and improving digestion. The flavor is incredibly similar. You won’t notice a difference!
Food swaps are an easy way to boost weight loss efforts. The difference in flavor and texture of the foods will be minimal, but the results can be drastic.
If you choose to implement these eight food swaps into your Intermittent Fasting nutritional plan, you’ll see success, period!