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food swaps

If you're at all familiar with the world of fitness, you'll know that those in the industry advocate for a healthy nutrition plan in addition to endless squats, lunges and kettlebell swings.

From telling us that abs are made in the kitchen to insisting you can't outrun a bad diet, fitness fanatics are all too aware that no matter how much time you spend in the gym, unhealthy food choices will inevitably set your progress back considerably.

So, if 2017 is all about educating yourself on fitness and nutrition, one of the simplest ways to start is to learn which items to eliminate from your diet, and – most importantly – which ones to replace them with.

And here are five to get you started…

1. Swap sugar for cinnamon

You might have vetoed every chocolate bar you've encountered since January 1, but have you addressed the various other ways sugar creeps into your diet?

If you've got a sweet tooth, it can be incredibly difficult to ditch the sugar, so it's no surprise many of continue to add a sneaky spoon into our tea, coffee or morning porridge.

Ditch this habit by replacing sugar and sweeteners with a small spoon of cinnamon – you'll be surprised how good it tastes.

2. Swap diet drinks for sparkling water with lemon / lime

We've long since realised that diet drinks are not much better for us than the full-fat version, but that doesn't stop us slurping on them more regularly than we probably should.

One very simple way to reduce the number of diet drinks you consume is by replacing them with sparkling water and slices of lime and lemon.

In addition to the kick the fruit gives the water, the sparkling version makes weaning ourselves off fizzy drinks a little easier.

3. Swap crisps for nuts

If you're used to snacking on crisps or including them with your lunch, it can be difficult to break the habit.

Don't deny yourself a savoury snack, but do stock up on nuts like almonds, cashews and walnuts instead.

Most supermarkets sell handy little snack-sized bags which means you don't overindulge, but do get the savoury kick you're looking for.

4. Swap breakfast cereal for an egg-based dish

Eggs are an incredible source of protein and keep you feeling fuller for longer, so why not opt for an egg-based breakfast when you can?

Replace your sugary cereal for two hard boiled eggs or an egg-white omelette on alternate days, and record how long it takes before hunger pangs kick in each day.

Kicking your day off with a protein-rich breakfast generally sees you through until lunch-time, and stops you reaching for a snack mid-morning.

5. Swap a so-called 'healthy' snack for peanut butter and apple

Instead of reaching for a cereal or granola bar on your tea break, why not team apple slices with a large spoon of peanut butter?

Not only will a small plate of apple and peanut butter fill you up until your next meal, it's a great source of protein and vitamins.

Oh, and it's absolutely delish too.

 

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Sometimes we just can't let go of our favourite food (no matter how unhealthy it is). But if you want to mix up your meals a bit, these healthy swaps are an easy substitute to get your diet right on track.

Just try these five delicious dishes for a new superfood spin:

Swap rice for cauliflower

Yes, we might have hated cauliflower as kids, but it really isn't that bad. By just adding a little lime, coriander, salt and pepper, you are turning this vegetable into a gorgeous substitute for rice.

Whether you don't have a spare half hour to make the grain or you're just craving a lighter alternative, cauliflower is the way to go. 

 

Swap pasta for courgette

Pasta is something we could eat everyday for the rest of our lives, but it can still sit a little heavy. 

Every so often a tasty vegetable substitute is a great alternative – and a courgette is that vegetable. Tear off strips with a potato peeler or buy yourself a cool spiral slicer to make trendy courgetti. 

 

Swap white potato for sweet potato

Some people assume sweet potato is the boring cousin of our beloved spud, but with a little chopping, some oil and some baking, the sweet potato turns into a delicious bowl of crispiness. 

It's also sweeter and more nutritious than your average chips. 

 

Swap mayonnaise for Greek yoghurt

Mayo is something we all love to have in our sandwiches, even if we don't know it's there. 

Sometimes it can get a little boring so if you want a change-up opt for some Greek yoghurt. We know it might sound odd, but trust us, by just adding some herbs, lemon juice and a bit of seasoning, you might never go back to mayo. 

 

Swap croutons for nuts

We're forever being reminded of the health benefits of nuts but unless they're wrapped in Cadbury's chocolate and presented to us in bar form, we rarely eat enough of them. 

One way around this is chopping them up and putting them into your salad. It's much healthier and way tastier than oily, starchy croutons. 

 

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When you have a craving for an unhealthy snack, it can be hard to beat it without giving into temptation. Simple food swaps can satisfy the craving without overwhelming you with guilt afterwards. Here are five cravings and their food swaps that are better for your health. 

1. Chocolate
When you have a craving for chocolate, choose dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. You need less dark chocolate to satisfy a craving and it contains magnesium and iron. 

2. Sweets
Replace sweets with dried fruit. Even though fruit also contains sugar, it contains nutrients and doesn't have all the additives of sweets.

3. Bread
Opt for oatcakes instead of bread and add healthy toppings to fill you up. They help lower cholesterol and keep you fuller for longer periods of time. 

4. Crisps
If you can't resist a bag of Taytos, choose flatbread as an alternative. You'll find many tasty flavours just like crisps, but without the calories and fat. 

5. Fizzy drinks
Fizzy drinks can be difficult to resist when you're in the mood, but you don't need to abandon the fizz completely. Make your own with sparkling water and juice to satisfy the craving without the high amount of sugar. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The prospect of eating healthy can be daunting for some people – the thought of cutting out your favourite foods just isn’t appealing.

However, instead of cutting out anything, why not just ‘clean it up’ so to speak?

Here are some simple ways you can cut unhealthy fats and sugars from your favourite snacks and meals:

Pizza
Rather than having a full-on cheesy, doughy piece of heaven (we understand), grab a wrap, spread on some tomato sauce, your toppings of choice, a small bit of low fat cheese and grill. Cut into ‘pizza’ slices and you won’t feel so left out!

Tuna sandwich
You can easily upgrade your lunch time staple for a cleaner, leaner version. Instead of mixing the tuna with mayonnaise, stir in some low-fat natural yoghurt. A little goes a long way and we promise you won’t notice the difference!

Pesto pasta
Oil and cheese does not a healthy pesto sauce make. So, if you skip those and simply blend rocket, basil, garlic and walnuts you’ll instantly have a tasty pesto sauce that is that little bit better for you.

Spaghetti Bolognese
Veggies are so full of goodness that we ALWAYS need more of. By halving the mince in your Bolognese with lots of grated carrot and courgette, you’ll add to your five-a-day and cut down on fat. 

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It’s not always easy to let go of those last remaining mince pies and actually get back to reality. Use these super simple food swaps to get yourself a little healthier without even realising!

1. For breakfast
Swap a fry for porridge

2. For dinner
Swap white pasta and rice for the brown varieties

3. For your sweet-tooth
Swap white refined sugar for maple syrup

4. For the cinema
Swap fizzy drinks for flavoured water

5. For your coffee/hot chocolate
Swap full-fat milk for a plant-based milk such as soy, almond or hazelnut

6. For quick snacks

  • Swap crisps for popcorn
  • Swap crackers for rice or oat cakes
  • Swap butter for nut butters or some mashed avocado
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