Updated: Oct 19, 2020
It takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit. Instead of thinking of this as a daunting task, try thinking about it as an opportunity to turn small healthy choices into big health outcomes.
One of the easiest ways to make a change to your diet is by adding or swapping foods rather than taking foods away. You can try forbidding yourself from eating chocolate or cheese ever again, but severely restrictive diets are proven to fail.
Instead, try some of these food swaps next time you are looking to make healthier choices.
1. Seltzer instead of soda
If you enjoy the carbonation and refreshing sensation of soda, try a flavored seltzer instead. With 0 calories and 0 sugars, seltzer is a superior choice over the highly processed sodas on the market (yes, even 0 calorie sodas).
2. Greek yogurt for sour cream
Whether it's a topping for taco night or the main ingredient in an onion dip, Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute for sour cream. If you're still unsure, go half sour cream and half greek yogurt. You'll still save yourself from unwanted calories and fat content.
3. Grilled chicken over breaded
A nice grilled chicken breast is nutritious and full of protein. A breaded chicken breast has some of the same benefits but comes at the price of up to 200 more calories per serving. If you're at a restaurant that generally serves their chicken breaded or fried, ask if you can replace it with grilled chicken.
4. Mustard over mayo
The next time you're making a sandwich, try eliminating the mayo and see if you notice a difference. Typically with so many ingredients in a sandwich, you aren't even enjoying or noticing the mayo. If you're not ready to give up condiments all together, swap mayo for yellow mustard. At 0 calories, mustard will still add moisture and flavor to your sandwich without any added calories.
5. Whole fruit instead of juice
Fruit juices often have added ingredients including sugar. Instead of a glass of orange juice from a carton, freshly squeeze your own! Or, if you're running low on time, just eat half an orange instead.
6. Turkey bacon for regular bacon
This may be an unpopular food swap, but turkey bacon contains less fat and less calories than traditional bacon. Cook it on the stovetop or in the oven and achieve the same salty taste and crispy texture.
7. Tortilla over potato chips
Six ounces of tortilla chips over six ounces of potato chips will save you about 100 calories! If you're looking for something to crunch on, go with lightly salted tortilla chips instead of potato chips.
8. Swap you pizza crust
Cauliflower crust is not for everyone, but it can be a great swap to save calories on pizza night. If you're not interested in trying it, go for a thin crust pizza instead. This will still save you calories.
9. Make your own French fries
Can't fight the craving for those golden delicious French fries? Good news! You don't have to! Pick up a few potatoes, slice them, salt them, and throw them in the oven for restaurant-quality fries at home for fewer calories and no guilt.
10. Choose your coffee wisely
Many coffee drinks at your daily coffee joint are full of calories and sugar without any nutritional value. Ask for non-fat milk or fewer pumps of flavor in your drink to save you from extra calories.
Small Swaps, Big Changes
Implementing a few of these changes every day for a week could mean almost 1,000 fewer calories a week. This could be just the jump start you are looking for on your weight loss journey or help you to feel healthier.
After just a few weeks these healthy options will help you permanently replace the items in your diet that are preventing you from looking and feeling your best.
Give it a try, and be creative with your swaps!