Following restrictive diets is an outdated practice that sometimes results in temporary weight loss but almost never results in permanent weight loss. Instead of following diets that severely restrict fat and/or calories and lead to feelings of deprivation, consider taking the easier, more effective approach, and make the following simple food swaps.
Replace Sugar with Stevia
Unless you have been living under a rock your whole life, you are surely aware that sugar contributes to weight gain. Unfortunately, however, sugar is hard to avoid because not only do we add it to things ourselves, almost all processed foods contain sugar in them. Stevia is a natural sweetener, that is calorie- free and it does not cause blood sugar imbalances, which is beneficial because blood sugar imbalances can lead to cravings and weight gain. Instead of adding sugar to you coffee or tea add stevia, and if you love to bake, go online and find recipes for baked goods that use stevia instead of sugar. In addition, you should buy unsweetened products (such as yoghurt and oatmeal) and sweeten them up yourself with stevia and fresh fruit.
Replace Soda with Sugar-Free, Natural Beverages
Did you know that the average fast food serving of soda pop provides a whopping 310 calories and a can of soda contains approximately 150 calories? Since it takes 3,500 excess calories to gain a pound, if you were to consume one soft drink at a fast food joint and one canned soft drink at home daily, in less than 8 days you would be 1lb heavier! Diet sodas aren’t the solution either because artificial sweeteners stimulate the appetite and preliminary studies have found that they can actually cause more weight gain than sugar. Some simple soda replacements include sparkling or still water with a slice of muddled fruit added to it or a squirt of lemon or orange juice added to it. Or if you really want to treat yourself, make a sugar-free, alcohol-free Mojito by muddling up some mint in soda water, squeezing some lime juice into the water and adding a dash or two of stevia.
Replace Fast Food with Homemade Healthy Alternatives
Fast food is almost always high in calories and fat, as well as chemicals and a whole slew of other unhealthy, waistline destroying nutrients. Luckily, almost any fast food item can be made at home using healthy swaps, which are lower in calories and fat and higher in nutritional value. So instead of eating out, buy a weight loss cook book or search online, as there is an endless amount of recipe swaps out there.
French fries for example can be made with sweet potato fries, which are low in fat, high in fiber (which helps to fill you up) and chocked full of nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C and beta-carotene. To make sweet potato fries, you simply cut the potatoes into thin slices and lightly brush them with melted unrefined coconut oil (which has appetite suppressing properties) and sprinkle them with sea salt and pepper. Bake at 400 Fahrenheit for 15 minutes and you have a delicious, nutritious side plate that will fill you up and provide you with much less calories and fat than standard fries will.
Replace Fattening Meat with Low Fat Meat
Both the type of meat and the way that it is prepared will determine how much fat and calories the piece of meat will contain. When at the grocery store, choose extra lean ground beef, chicken, turkey and seafood, and lean cuts of beef without visible fat on them and avoid high fat meats such as bacon, sausage, ham, hot dogs and luncheon meat. When in the kitchen, remove the skin and cut off fatty edges and grill or bake you meat as opposed to frying it.