Losing weight is all about making smart decisions. There is no trick or secret formula to being slim and healthy. It’s simply about making smart eating choices and staying active. I understand that making long-term changes to your diet can seem daunting. That’s why I wrote today’s blog; show you how easy it is to make simple swaps in your diet to improve your health and help you lose weight. The idea of completely giving up that comforting cup of coffee, or bowl of pasta seems impossible for many, but when you have equally delicious replacements, you’ll be just as happy. Not to mention, you will look beautiful and feel amazing!
Lets start with one of the most standard American side dishes – mashed potatoes. This one can easily be swapped out with pureed cauliflower. Potatoes are not the worst choice, but they are very starchy, and when prepared with milk, cream, butter and lots of salt, it can be a diet nightmare! Instead, puree vitamin-rich cauliflower, and add some almond milk for creaminess, and maybe a few sprinkles of sea salt for flavor. Try my Raw Mashed Potato recipe.
Refined carbohydrates are difficult for people to say goodbye to as well. But this is probably the easiest food group to substitute. There are so many great gluten-free replacements for bread, pasta and even pastries. Gluten, the protein in wheat, is difficult for many to digest, which leads to weight gain, and is a weak, highly pesticide-sprayed crop. There are so many other better grain choices. My favorite substitute for white or wheat pasta is quinoa pasta. It tastes great, plus its got way more fiber and protein than standard noodles. Brown rice pasta is okay too. Of course, I also recommend eating gluten-free sprouted bread and crackers instead of wheat or whole grain. Many health food stores also sell gluten and sugar-free cookies and pastries as well. Just make sure to look out for what type of sweetener is used. If a product contains agave, I put it down and advise you do to the same. Stevia, xylitol and even natural honey are better choices than agave, which is almost entirely fructose. Consuming fructose is an easy way to pile on pounds, even if can be low glycemic.
If you have that intense urge for a candy bar, instead of grabbing a heavily processed version, try to stick to organic dark chocolate. Its minimally processed and dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants. Just make sure to limit yourself to about an ounce- it still contains sugar and caffeine. Speaking of sweet treats, when you’re craving candy, try to resist the urge to eat the packaged candies at the store. That sweet urge can easily be substituted with fresh berries, especially during the summer. You will be just as satisfied eating ripe blueberries, raspberries or strawberries instead of a bag of candy. Or one of my all time faves, which is in season right now- figs! Be sure to eat on an empty stomach.
The oil you cook with is also extremely important. Just be switching to coconut oil for all your cooking uses, you can lose weight. Why? Coconut oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids which are metabolized differently than other oils. Rather than packaged into lipoproteins and carried through the bloodstream, they are sent right to the liver and converted into energy rather than stored as body fat. The slight “coconuty” taste can easily be covered with garlic or whatever you are cooking with. The worst oils of all to cook with are vegetable oils, which include canola, corn and soy oils. These get rancid with heat, and will make you fat.
Once you break out of your everyday mold and make these simple swaps, you will feel so good, and you’ll never miss your old habits. Losing weight and staying slim is not about cracking some secret code or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Instead it’s about making conscious decisions, and eating foods that you enjoy, and make you feel satisfied. So many people are trying to lose weight by eating diet foods, diet sodas and low calorie, low carb foods. Those items may have zero calories, but they are filled with chemicals and toxins that will not make you feel good inside and out. They will diminish your natural beauty because they are not natural. Eating simple, natural foods is the best way to find the healthiest, most beautiful version of yourself. I have many more easy swap ideas to share. Check back later this week for more!