12 Simple Food Swaps

Living a healthier life doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, sometimes the changes can be downright easy. Often when people decide to embrace a healthier lifestyle, they make drastic changes, making it hard to stick to their plan. But there are simple things you can do each day to help with your overall health and weight loss. Sometimes, it’s even as easy as playing a different video game.


1. Eat whole fruit instead of drinking fruit juice

A glass of orange juice is not the same as eating a whole piece of fruit. Drinking a glass of juice contains very little of the pulp or skin from an orange, and none of the fibre, writes Women’s Health. Next time you reach for a glass of juice, opt for eating a piece of fruit instead. It’ll have less calories and more nutrients.

2. Swap your latte for green tea

According to the Daily Burn, choosing to drink that morning latte could be costing you up to 300 calories and a ton of sugar. Rather than set yourself up for a sugar crash later in the morning, try drinking green tea instead. It contains zero calories and still has caffeine. It also has the ability to rev up your metabolism. Green tea has a thermogenic effect on your metabolism, meaning that it will speed up after you drink a cup.

3. Use oil and balsamic rather than processed dressings

Salad dressings have a ton of ingredients in them, meaning they’re not good for you. Less is more when it comes to the number of ingredients in your food. Try ditching the ranch and putting a small amount of olive oil or balsamic vinegar on your salad instead.

4. Pick spinach over lettuce

There are almost zero nutrients in Iceberg lettuce. Spinach, however, is packed with folic acid, iron and great flavor. Remember, usually the darker the vegetable, the more nutrients you’re going to get. Spinach leaves work great on a sandwich or for a salad.

5. Drink sparkling water instead of soda

“Try a fun flavor like lemon-lime or even vanilla if you don’t like straight soda water,” Women’s Health suggests.

6. Substitute chips for air-popped popcorn

We all enjoy salty snacks every now and then. Instead of reaching for the chips, air-pop some popcorn and add a dash of salt. You can have three cups worth, and it’ll only cost you 100 calories.

7. Opt for whole wheat

Make sure that the first ingredient listed on your bread is whole wheat, Men’s Fitness writes. It should say 100 percent whole wheat or whole-wheat flour. Multi-grain just means they’re throwing additional grains into the mix, but that doesn’t mean it’s whole grain that you’re eating.

8. Eat more

Don’t skip meals – this one’s super important. If you don’t make the time to eat, you’ll feel tired and run-down later. It also slows down your metabolism and could cause you to overeat later.

9. Swap out video games

Instead of opting for a sit-down game to play on the Wii, replace Super Mario Brothers with Wii Sports or Just Dance. It won’t seem like exercise, and you’ll be burning calories while having fun.

10. Swap a snack for a piece of fruit

This is a small change, but one that makes a big difference overtime. We all enjoy our daily snacks. So the next time you reach for your afternoon treat, eat an apple, orange or even grapes instead. Over time you’ll see yourself lose weight due to the snack swap. Meanwhile, you’re increasing your daily intake of key nutrients.

11. Pick toast rather than a bagel

Yes, everyone enjoys a good bagel. But they contain the caloric equivalent to eating five slices of toast, according to Women’s Health. Instead have a piece or two of whole wheat toast. It’s more nutritional with less calories.

12. Cook, rather than eat out

You can try as hard as you want to eat healthy at a restaurant, but there always seem to be more calories packed into restaurant meals. That salad you ordered? It most likely has way more calories than any salad you’d make at home. And, if you’re looking for even more incentive, it’s guaranteed to be great for your budget too. Over time, you can save a lot of money and calories by forgoing restaurant meals.