10 healthy food swaps

When you’re wanting to change your diet and lifestyle, all the amendments you are told to make can be really overwhelming. Am I right, ladies?

However, there are actually lots of little changes you can make that much of the time will go unnoticed. Simple like-for-like swaps can be an efficient way of cutting fats, sugar and salt, but without depriving yourself of the foods you enjoy.

So, let’s find out what you can swap out of your current diet to make a huge difference to your everyday health.

Cut out sugary drinks

Once you start to look at it, it’s crazy to see how much sugar you can cut out of your diet, just from drinks. By simply swapping to sugar-free sodas, low-fat milk and water, you could potentially cut out up to 1kg of sugar per household.

Additionally, if you’re looking to lose a few pounds, it can be really surprising to see how many calories you drink throughout the day. For example, if you like your coffee sweet, 1 tsp sugar is 15 calories. If you were to have 3-4 coffees a day in the office or at home, the calories start to rack up.

Opt for reduced fat cheese

By swapping out full-fat for reduced-fat cheese you could save up to a ⅓ of a pint of fat. When you’re next doing your grocery shopping, just grab the reduced-fat version. It doesn’t taste any different but there is a significant gap in terms of nutrition.

Swap out butter for spreads low in fat

You can easily lower your fat consumption by opting for low-fat butter and spreads. Whether you’re making a sandwich or using it for cooking, you won’t notice the difference.

Also Read: How to get back to exercise

Cutting back or swapping what you’re having will be beneficial to your health. Butter is high in fat and is caloric, increasing the risk of developing problems such as heart disease.

Eat plain cereal instead of the sugary kind

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it’s all about ensuring you have enough energy to take on the day. If you’re a cereal lover, try to change from sugary to plain cereals. Plain porridge and whole wheat cereal biscuits are great alternatives. Doing something as simple as this can reduce your intake by 83 sugar cubes a month.

Choose skimmed over whole milk

Making the simple change from whole to semi-skimmed milk can make all the difference to you and your family. In fact, in four weeks you could save up to a ⅓ of a pint of fat. However, if you’re already a fan of semi-skimmed, why not go skimmed or 1% fat?

Reduce your salt

A great way to reduce your daily salt intake is by swapping the salt you put in your dishes for herbs and spices. If you’re someone that likes their food with a kick, then add some heat with any of the below:

  • Ginger
  • Basil
  • Coriander
  • Curry powder

Now, reducing your salt intake doesn’t necessarily lead to fat loss, but salt can cause you to retain water. Additionally, cutting down on salt is likely to have a positive effect on your blood pressure. In doing so, you’ll be lessening the risk of strokes and cardiovascular disease.

Have smaller portions

If you find this is a problem you struggle with, then you’re certainly not alone. Many people say that when it comes to a change in health and lifestyle, portion size is a major part of it.

It is often the case that you fill your plate with the intention of eating it all. However, a much smaller portion would be more than sufficient. As nobody likes to waste food, we almost force ourselves to eat it all, even though the portion was too much to begin with.

Also Read: How you can lose two pound a week

Instead, try halving the portion you give yourself a meal time. Then, if you are still feeling hungry, you can go back for a little more. Although, you’ll likely discover that the first portion was enough to satisfy you. Another tip to try is eating from a smaller plate, it is then easier to control your portion.

Packed lunch instead of cafeteria food

Of course, you want to make sure that you and your family and getting healthy, nutritious meals, even when you’re not at home. A great way of ensuring this is taking a lunch you’ve made at home, instead of grabbing something on the go or eating from the cafeteria.

However, for children especially, schools offer healthy meal alternatives nowadays. So, if you see a hot meal that’d be suitable for them, go for it. It’ll save you time not making lunch that day, and a hot meal will likely keep them fuller for longer.

Go for healthier snacks

It’s incredibly tempting to raid the cabinets for chips and cookies when a craving strikes between meals. Many of us eat snacks that we don’t realize are high in sugar, fat, and salt. A way to get over this is to not have them in the house, simple. You can’t scramble through the kitchen for snacks and laze on the couch if they aren’t there, to begin with.

Also Read: 15 ways to cut calories with ease

Alternatively, if you want to satisfy your snack self, opt for the healthier snack options below:

  • Plain yogurt and fresh fruit
  • Pitta bread and low-fat dip
  • A handful of unsalted nuts
  • Crudites and low-fat hummus
  • A few squares of dark chocolate
  • Apple slices with a little peanut butter

Get your body moving

A healthy, balanced diet is going to have you halfway there. Increasing your activity in your daily routine is really important too. Even just 30 minutes of exercise a day is enough to strengthen muscles and bones, as well as keep your heart healthy. All of this is important in reducing your risk of serious health conditions and illnesses.

The thought of exercise can be very overwhelming, however, it’s not something that has to take over your life. There are so many simple changes you can make to your daily routine, for you to get your body moving, without even noticing. Why not try?

  • Walking to work instead of driving if you live close by
  • Park further away from your destination when you’re going somewhere
  • If you have a desk job, get up and move around every so often
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Walk the children to school, again if you live close by
  • Activities around the home such as cleaning, vacuuming, and gardening will all get your body moving

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