With the wedding coming up, and a few bikini holidays in the mix before-hand, getting into the best shape of my life is at the forefront of my mind to say the least. We all want toned, healthy bodies come summer time and these simple fat-burning food swaps are a great place to start. Exercise is so important (for mindset as well as everything else) but the biggest results come from changing the way you eat.
I would never advise for people to avidly count calories … a) It’s a pretty miserable task and 9 time out of 10, leads to poor long-term results. However, there is some gold dust in knowing what your food contains and whether or not you’re eating more than you need to. Ultimately, fat loss is about creating a calorie deficit, i.e. consuming less calories (energy) than the body is burning. At a very basic level, there are 3500 calories in 1 pound of fat, so if you create a 500 calorie deficit every day, you could expect to lose around 1 pound a week. The quality of the calories you’re consuming however is just as important (even more so) and that’s what the below fat-burning food swaps take into account!
Start by incorporating these healthy substitutions into your every-day life and the balance will start to tip very favourably in your toned beach bod scale!
- Peanut butter to Nut Butter
Nut butters are made purely by grinding nuts into a paste and they actually taste much better than the classic sugary peanut butters. They contain all the essential fatty acids your body needs which have been proven to lower bad cholesterol and keep cravings at bay!
2. Crisps to Popcorn
This is such a delicious and healthy swap to make! With far fewer calories, saturated fat and salt, popcorn is a great way to gain nutritional value from snack food as well as being incredibly tasty! Home-made popcorn is simple to do and can be created with almost any flavour, see some of my home-made popcorn recipes here to get started.
3. Frappuccino to coffee
Starbucks Frappuccinos and drinks alike tend to be full of sugars and creams, and therefore weigh in high on the calorie scale. If you need a caffeine kick, swap to regular coffee with a little milk and cinnamon for taste. Not only does cinnamon have fat-burning properties but overall it is a far less calorific option than other ‘sweeteners’.
4. Pasta to Zoodles (Or Zucchini noodles)
Ever heard of a little gadget called the spiralizer? These kitchen wonders have sky-rocketed in popularity within the last few years and for good reason too. They make it slimmingly simple to swap starchy pasta for healthy, raw vegetables. Use Zucchini noodles for bolognaise-based dishes or lunch time salads. They are Zuper delicious!
5. Creamy Salad Dressing to Balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
Your lunch time salad may be a superfood green goddess bowl of healthiness but watch out for the dressings. A creamy sauce such as Caesar dressing can contain up to 80 calories per tbs (as well as seriously lacking in nutritional value)! Splash over some fresh lemon juice or add balsamic vinegar for a sweet and low calorie dressing swap.
6. Granola to Homemade Muesli
This is one of the best fat-burning (and money saving) food swaps to do. Shop-bought granolas are high in sugar and preservatives and contain very little nutritional value. It may say superfood on it but check the back of the packet – you’ll be surprised at some of the sugar contents! If you can spare just 5 minutes in the evening to bake some oats with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg and then add a few dried fruits and healthy nuts, you’ll be set up for a week of healthy breakfasts and snacks. The raw nuts are high in protein and healthy fats and the addition of a few dried fruits keep the tastiness of the cereal in check but calories low. I’ve got a few delicious home-made granola recipes here.
7. Fizzy drinks to Sparkling water with fresh lime
Sugar-filled fizzy drinks are a sure way to prevent fat loss (if not aid fat gain) as well as putting blood sugar on a constant up and down spiral. Rehydrate in the heat with sparkling water and fresh lime juice. It’s refreshing and the lime juice also acts as a digestion aid, similar to drinking lemon juice in the mornings. It actually feels like a ‘treat’ drink to me as I’m so used to drinking plain still water!
8. Mayonnaise to Avocado cream
Avocado cream is a brilliant creation and fantastic substitution for mayonnaise. Avos are loaded with powerful antioxidants, full of vitamins and minerals and healthy fats that give you the perfect dip or sauce. Simply blend 1 ripe avocado with 3-4 heaped tablespoons of Greek yoghurt and a splash of lime juice for a creamy, guilt-free mayo swap. My Spicy Shrimp Tacos are topped with avocado cream and they’re one of my favourite dinners to make!
9. Butter to unsweetened apple sauce
Cakes, cookies and every other treat that makes the ultimate beach bod a little less achievable typically contain a good half block of butter, which is why they are so calorific and fatty. Unsweetened apple sauce is a natural and easy way to sweeten up delicious indulgences, whilst also keeping them healthy. Have a look at this easy homemade apple sauce recipe here.
10. Ice-cream to natural frozen fruit ice-cream.
It may cool you down whilst getting some golden sun rays but ice-cream definitely won’t help with the waist line. Even though fruits are high in sugar, it’s a far better alternative to the unnatural, processed sugars in ice-creams that are also loaded with unnatural sweeteners and preservatives. Pick your favourite flavoured fruit, like banana or strawberries, slice them up and place in the freezer until frozen. Then whizz up in the blender until smooth and creamy and add some natural toppers like cacao chocolate chips and goji berries. Here’s my sticky, sweet Date and Banana ice-cream recipe.
Do you have any healthy substitutes you’ve found have worked really well? Let me know your thoughts on my Fat-burning Food Swaps!