Everyone is gung ho to hit the gym and lay off the carbs before spring break so we can look great in bikini shots on the beach, but after a long week of boozing and fast-food gorging, we need to pay attention to what we’re eating even more. Getting back into a fitness routine after a draining week in the sun can seem daunting, but here a few easy swaps to get you back on the right track and help fight the bloat that comes with a week in paradise.
Swap: Bagel with Cream Cheese for English Muffin with Laughing Cow Cheese
You don’t have to sacrifice your carbs and cheese for breakfast when you’re dieting. Switching out a calorie-dense bagel with cream cheese, which is about 500 calories, for a whole wheat English muffin with a Laughing Cow cheese spread on top can save you about 300 calories. Not to mention the extra whole grains provide a great source of fiber, which can regulate your digestive system and help deflate your beer belly.
Swap: Pasta for Spaghetti Squash
If you’ve never heard of spaghetti squash, you have missed one of the greatest ways to cut calories and carbs. After some simple preparation, a spaghetti squash provides you with the same stringy texture as spaghetti but it comes out of a vegetable.
Spaghetti squash can help flatten out our midsection because it is a good source of fiber and cuts down on the bloat that a carb-heavy bowl of pasta dishes out. You can still top it with your favorite pasta sauce. My favorite is Pad Thai Spaghetti Squash, but the possibilities are endless. The best part? The whole squash totals just a little over 100 calories. Learn how to make it in the microwave.
Swap: Fries for Baked Potato Wedges
It’s hard to go without your spud fix even when dieting. Instead of driving through Wendy’s for a large fry, which is loaded with fatty acids that promote bloating, whipping up some easy but delicious potato wedges can be a perfect healthy alternative to kick your craving. Check out the oven-baked and delicious recipe.
Swap: Iced Latte for Iced Coffee with Skim Milk
Especially when you’re trying to get back into your routine of work and class you will most likely need a little caffeine kick to get yourself in gear. You don’t have to wreck your no-bloat-diet to get a little buzz on.
At Starbucks, a grade iced latte averages 300 calories. If you swap out your order for a grade iced coffee with skim or soy milk you can save 200 calories. You not only save calories but also cut back on fatty whole milk and extra sugar from the syrups, which will cut back your waistline at the same time.
Swap: Chipotle Burrito for Homemade Chicken Burrito
Sure, it’s easy to pop in your neighborhood Chipotle, load up a chicken burrito and justify it by citing the natural ingredients Chipotle uses. But while they may be committed to natural ingredients, an average Chipotle burrito totals out around 1000 calories, more than any one meal should be.
If you have a craving for a burrito, your best bet while trying to combat Spring Break weight gain is to make a chicken burrito wrap at home. Using your own tortilla (extra points if it’s whole wheat – added fiber) lets you escape the dangerous tortilla Chipotle offers. Chipotle’s famed burrito blanket packs 300 calories, 10g fat (equal to a tablespoon of butter), 690 mg of sodium, and 46g of carbohydrates (equal to 3.5 slices of bread).
Swap: Cookies for Protein Balls
This doesn’t sound appealing to swap out a warm, gooey cookie for a protein ball, but if you follow this delicious recipe for Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Oat Protein Balls, I promise you won’t regret it.
Nothing pairs together better than chocolate and peanut butter and this recipe will also supply you with the energy you need to hit the gym or the library when a cookie would leave you with a sugar high and fast crash. Added fiber also helps to regulate your digestive system and fight that nasty post-beach bloat.
Swap: McGriddle for Egg White Delight Sandwich
If you can’t seem to kick your McDonald’s habit even while trying to drop your spring break bloat, here’s an easy way to still get that McDank Breakfast without all the guilt. A McGriddle had 570 calories and 34 grams of fat, but if you switch it out for Egg White Delight sandwich you save 320 calories and 26 grams of fat. Your post-break stomach will thank you for that drop in fat content.
#SpoonTip: spice up the Egg White Delight sandwich and order a little buffalo sauce on the side. Spread some on the top bun for an extra kick for barely any added calories.