Want to shift those extra few pounds, (especially after the holiday season) but don’t want to feel as though you’re sacrificing all your favourite foods? A few simple tweaks to your diet can make all the difference to your waistline.
“Watching your weight doesn’t have to be doom and gloom. It’s all about making savvy choices and putting a few strategies in place,” says Lily Soutter, Nutritionist and weight loss expert at lilysoutternutrition.com.
Our experts expose their top 10-calorie saving tricks….
1. Swap your latte for an Americano
“Some lattes can have any where from 200-290 calories. By only having a small splash of milk in your Americano you could save huge calories, whilst not sacrificing too much flavour,” says Lily.
2. Swap binging on oatcakes and flapjacks for 3 squares of good quality dark chocolate
“Instead of munching on oat cakes and flapjacks with your afternoon tea, which are high in calories, beat your sugar cravings with three squares of good quality dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa). This amount will only contain a relatively small amount of sugar, and there is also evidence that dark chocolate has health benefits. You can also try a small pot of sugar-free plain yoghurt, with a teaspoon of pure cocoa or raw cacao powder,” says Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com the online shopping destination for health & wellbeing.
3. Swap your bread for red cabbage cups
“Red cabbage cups are easy to transport, and packed full of antioxidants. You also save at least 200 calories per sandwich. All you need to do is fill each large red cabbage leaf with your usual sandwich filling,” says Lily.
4. Can’t say no to bread? Swap white sliced bread for rye bread
“Rye bread, as opposed to white bread, is usually lower in calories and will help keep you fuller for longer. Rye bread also has the health benefit of containing more fibre,” says Dr. Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar (from £7.98, Amazon), www.marilynglenville.com.
5. Swap your Caesar or Ranch dressings for olive oil & lemon
“Cheesy or creamy dressings can add 250 calories to your meal, making a healthy meal instantly unhealthy. By simply dressing your salads with a tablespoon of olive oil and a little lemon juice you can cut these calories by half,” says Lily.
6. Swap artificial sweeteners for cinnamon
“If you have a ’sweet tooth’ replace artificial sweeteners with cinnamon. Sweetener triggers sugar receptors in the same way that real sugar does. It causes increased production of insulin and — eventually — sugar rush. It will help keep your sugar cravings at bay and speed up your metabolism,” says Shona.
7. Swap rice for broccoli or cauliflower rice
“Cauliflower rice can increase your veg intake and instantly eliminate huge calories. Cooked rice has 218 calories per cup, with cauliflower rice coming at 25 calories per cup. This swap doesn’t have to be boring, you can flavour your cauliflower rice with a tasty combination of spices,” says Lily.
8. Swap dried fruit for fresh fruit
“Dried fruit is often considered a healthy snack. However, it has got a very high level of sugar that has been concentrated during the drying process. Alternatively, try to eat fresh fruit that will fill you up quickly, so you eat less. Watermelon, strawberries and grapefruit contain about 90 percent of water and are great as a snack,” says Shona.
9. Swap some avocado in guacamole for courgette
“Guacamole can still taste amazing without it’s calorie punch, by blending in a few cooked slices of courgette you can shave off at least 100 calories,” says Lily.
10. Swap the stuffed crust pizza for thin-crust or ‘Italian-style’ pizzas
“Thin-crust or ‘Italian-style’ pizzas contain less dough and therefore fewer calories than other types, whereas stuffed crust pizzas can add 50 to 70 calories per slice, compared to a normal pizza. If you really want to cut down on the calories share a pizza rather than having a whole one. A medium pizza can easily contain 1000 to 1500 calories or even more, with some large pizzas tipping the scale at around 3000 calories!” says Shona.