The premise is simple. Replace five foods in your current diet with these five swap outs, and lose (on average) five pounds (maybe more) in five weeks. Are you game? Let’s get started.
Beans instead of meat
Beans are inexpensive, easy to access, filling, full of protein and fiber, both of which will fill you up, and they also take time to digest. They are rich in unsaturated fat, unlike meat which can have a hefty dose of saturated fat, and they are relatively low in calories. Their real secret for weight loss lies in beans' fiber and water content, which really helps to satiate you, so you don’t feel deprived. Bean eaters also tend to have slimmer waists and weigh less than their non-bean eating counter parts, according to findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The list of beans you can choose is robust and includes: Lima, black, cannellini, garbanzo, soy, fava, Great Northern, kidney, navy, pinto to name a few. Rinse canned beans well to remove salt residue. This swap out is sure to help nudge weight loss.
Cinnamon instead of sugar, sugar substitutes
Just a half teaspoon daily can help to control blood sugar, and may help to limit post meal insulin spikes. It’s a wonderful spice to add to coffee, yogurt, and cereals like oatmeal, and it can also substitute for oil, butter and other caloric condiments. It’s calorie free with health benefits. What more can you ask for? Using it instead of sugar or fats on a regular basis will help you to lose weight.
Eggs and egg whites instead of bread
Say what??? That’s right – choose a quality protein like eggs, instead of many of the processed carbohydrate-based grains you are eating. Eggs are nutrient powerhouses. They are rich in protein, a good source of vitamins and minerals, and they contain choline, a compound known to help block fat absorption. Keep your daily intake to one whole egg and then choose additional egg whites or egg substitute. If you start your day with eggs (instead of cereal, waffles, a breakfast sandwich, a croissant, a donut) you will likely feel quite satiated, eat far less calories at breakfast, and studies suggest you will reduce calorie intake for lunch and throughout the day. Too rushed at breakfast to grab anything other than a nutrition bar and coffee? Have a hardboiled egg and some egg whites for lunch with a salad. If you get tired of eggs, try lentils, or non-fat Greek yogurt. The idea is to dramatically cut down (not entirely eliminate) your consumption of grains, especially highly processed grains by filling up with a quality protein instead. When you do eat grains, measure portions and choose superstars like ancient grains.
A daily lunch salad instead of a sandwich
Again, here’s an opportunity to nix the several servings of bread you may be eating at lunchtime (most buns and sandwich breads are equivalent to several servings of grains and contain a hefty load of blood-sugar raising sugars plus a solid dose of salt) and replace it with the bulk that a large salad provides. Use a base of two or three different types of greens – kale, spinach, red or green shredded cabbage, romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, radicchio, watercress, frisee, arugula, endive. Mustard greens, watercress, and then add at least five other vegetables. Take care to select simple dressings like olive oil and balsamic vinegar or just use fresh herbs and a dash of lemon juice so as not to add a huge fat-laden calorie load to this healthy lunch choice. Leftover cooked vegetables from last night’s dinner can also help to add taste and color. Make sure you include a serving of a healthy protein like shredded skinless white meat chicken, grilled tofu, grilled or baked fish, egg, beans or nuts and seeds. Adding fruit like berries or diced apples can also add a burst of low calorie flavor and fiber.
Fruis and vegetables instead of processed snacks
This habit is crucial to losing weight. So many of us turn to loads of snacks (if they are over 200 calories, mini-meals) during the day, and they are typically full of sugar, salt, processed grains, and unhealthy fats. Your body stores these extra calories and because of the nature of the ingredients, these choices often spur you to “grab another one.” Berries, apples, pears, frozen grapes, watermelon, melons-in-season, oranges; all fruits are great, BUT try to target a maximum of four servings a day. Then target about five servings of vegetables to be included in meals and snacks, and consider roasting or sautéing them to boost flavor. Adding fresh and dried herbs and roasted garlic cloves can boost flavor too. Make this swap out a regular habit and you will also notice that your bowel habits will probably become more regular….a lot more regular!!!
If there is one more habit I would suggest (aside from adding in daily exercise), it’s to swap out all caloric beverages for mostly water, zero calorie flavored waters, and unsweetened tea. You will reduce your daily calorie load significantly!!
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Published On: September 08, 2014