Alright everyone, summer is almost halfway over. Have we reached our health goals yet?
Don’t fret. Whether it’s losing weight, getting toned, or just changing your eating habits, it is never too late to set goals and get results.
That’s where we come in. These easy food and drink swaps will help you ease into a new, healthy, feel-good you. These might seem hard at first, but after a couple days you’ll get used to them and might even be ready to make larger lifestyle changes.
1. Skip the soda or second (or third) cup of coffee and drink infused water instead.
Spa water is just a fancy term for infused water. You can use all different fruits and vegetables to make a flavorful water that has no sugar, caffeine or calories. Green tea is also a great swap for soda, and even coffee, since it has caffeine, and is also a great metabolism booster. Here are our favorite versions of infused water.
2. Ditch the dense carb-filled bagel for a lighter, whole wheat English muffin.
Hey, I know it’s not ideal for a breakfast sandwich Instagram post, but just try it.
A plain bagel has around 250-300 calories, not to mention over 64 grams of carbohydrates, and will only fill you up for a few hours at most. Swapping your morning bagel for a whole wheat English muffin will save you calories and carbs.
3. Have a piece of fruit in the morning instead of a glass of juice.
See, even The Wolf himself hates OJ. Instead of having a glass of apple or orange juice with breakfast, eat an apple or an orange. Juices contain lots of sugar and often don’t contain more than 2% real fruit juice. You’re also missing out on vitamins and fiber if you opt for juice over a piece of fruit, so start chewin’ instead of juicin’.
4. Choose air-popped popcorn over chips and crackers.
Healthy snacks are key when you’re trying to watch what you’re eating. When you crave something salty, what do you turn to? The greasy, thinly sliced potato rounds called chips. Instead of feeling guilty after eating half a bag of chips, try snacking on air-popped popcorn. There’s only 140 calories in around 4 cups of popcorn compared to 140 calories for a measly 15 chips. Yes.
5. Swap rice for quinoa as your main grain for bowls and side dishes.
Quinoa is an ancient superfood packed with phytonutrients, low in fat, and high in antioxidants. It is also one of a few grains that is gluten free. Instead of using a rice as your bowl base, try incorporating quinoa. If you aren’t ready to fully commit, at least swap white rice for brown rice. You can even make your favorite P.F. Chang’s fried “rice” dish with quinoa. Protein, check.
6. Focus on your own food when you are eating, not other people’s food on Instagram.
Distractions, well, distract you from being in the present and enjoying your meal. According to a clinical study, “Attentive eating is likely to influence food intake, and incorporation of attentive-eating principles into interventions provides a novel approach to aid weight loss…” Aka put down your phone and eat your own damn food.
7. Eat Greek yogurt with fresh berries instead of sugary store-bought yogurts, like Yoplait.
“Fruity” yogurts, like Yoplait, are filled with at least 18 grams of sugar per serving and don’t always contain real fruit. Fage 2% Greek Yogurt, on the other hand, only has 8 grams of sugar and is totally customizable. Top your plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries for a healthy alternative. And if that isn’t sweet enough for you, add a drizzle of honey or agave on top.
8. Ditch your morning bowl (or two) of sugary cereal for steel cut oatmeal.
Just because cereal companies say their cereals are made of whole grains, doesn’t make them good for you. Most of the cereals we love and crave are full of sugar (that’s why we crave them) and don’t keep you full for very long. For a filling breakfast, have a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh fruit for sweetness and a glob of peanut butter for added protein.
9. Substitute mayo or salad dressed for mashed avocado on your sandwich or wrap.
Mayo is a thick sandwich condiment made of emulsified oils and eggs. Avocados, on the other hand, contain monounsaturated “healthy” fats. Mash up an avocado and substitute it in your favorite tuna or chicken salad mix. Avocados also make a great salad dressing.
Take it one step further by making an open-faced sandwich. Half the amount of bread with the same amount of deliciousness.
10. Use Greek Yogurt instead of sour cream in sauces and baked goods.
Skip the extra calories from sour cream next time you go out for Mexican food since 45 out of the 60 calories in two tablespoons of sour cream are from fat. Read: that’s 75% fat. Non-fat Greek yogurt is the perfect swap – it has the same texture and flavor profile as its fatty friend with less than half of the calories. Don’t know where to begin? We’re one step ahead of you; check out these unexpected uses for Greek yogurt.
111. Drink lemon water when you wake up and throughout the day.
Water. Water. Water. Drinking a big glass of lemon water in the morning will help jumpstart your metabolism for the day. The pectin in lemons also helps curb hunger, therefore helping you lose weight. Check out the other lemon life hacks too.
12. Wrap your burger in lettuce instead of a bun.
The bun itself has 120 calories. Pair that with a juicy burger, cheese and condiments, and you got a burger thats over 400 calories, not to mention your side of fries. Most restaurants offer a lettuce wrap option instead of a hamburger bun. Restaurants like In-N-Out and its East Coast equivalent, Elevation Burger, are just 2 of many restaurants offering the “protein style” burger.