MANY of us get intimidated when it comes time to make that lifestyle change that will guarantee weight loss — can we give up sugar totally? Rice? Flour dumplings? Can we survive on boring vegetables? What can we do when healthier options are not affordable?
For weight loss, you have to consider replacing high-calorie and processed foods with nutrient-dense options, says nutritionist Keisha Black. "So you would swap sugary snacks for fruits, opt for whole grains over refined carbs, choose lean proteins like poultry and fish, and include plenty of vegetables in your meals."
Additionally, she said to watch portion sizes and stay hydrated with water.
"It's about creating a sustainable and balanced eating plan," she said.
Here's what you should be swapping out for weight loss, and Black said you don't have to be intimidated — most of it won't result in major changes in taste or affordability.
Replace sugary drinks
Swap sugary sodas and fruit juices for water, herbal tea, or infused water with fresh fruits and herbs.
Choose whole grains
Opt for whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, and oats instead of refined grains like white bread and white rice.
Switch out fried foods
Choose baked, grilled, or steamed options instead of fried foods. For example, baked chicken instead of fried chicken.
Replace chips and candy with snacks like nuts, seeds, Greek yoghurt, or cut-up vegetables with hummus.
Trade high-fat meats
Choose lean protein sources like skinless poultry, fish and tofu instead of fatty cuts of meat.
Go for healthier fats
Swap saturated and trans fats with healthier fats found in avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.
Ditch sugary treats
Opt for fresh fruit, unsweetened yoghurt with berries, or a small piece of dark chocolate instead of sugary desserts.
Switch to low-fat dairy
Choose skim or low-fat dairy products over their full-fat counterparts.
Replace creamy dressings
Use vinaigrettes made with olive oil and vinegar instead of creamy dressings on salads.
Choose water-rich foods
Incorporate water-rich foods like cucumbers, watermelon, and leafy greens to help fill you up with fewer calories.
Replace high-calorie condiments
Use herbs, spices, and lemon juice to flavour dishes instead of high-calorie sauces and dressings.
Swap regular pasta
Try spiralised zucchini or whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta to reduce carb intake.
"Focus on creating a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods to support your weight loss goals," Black said. "It's also a good idea to consult with a health-care professional or registered dietitian to tailor your plan to your individual needs."