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10 Easy Food Swaps to Kick Start Your Weight Loss

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Just because you’re trying to lose weight, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice all the good foods you usually love eating.  Being too strict on your diet and trying to avoid too many of your favorite foods all at once can be overwhelming. I encourage my clients to focus on making small, simple changes, which makes healthier eating more manageable and sustainable over the long haul.   With the following easy tweaks, you will save calories, slim down, and love what the scale says.

  1. Swap out pasta for “Zoodles” 

This swap is tasty, healthy and fun to make.  Instead of loading your body with too many carbs in one meal, you’ll substitute with noodles made from yellow squash and zucchini. This way, you’ll fill your pasta craving with delicious, nutritious, and fiber-rich veggies your body is craving.  Have fun making zoodles with a special peeler, or use a quick and simple zoodle machine for a fast meal.

2. Another swap for pasta is spaghetti squash 


Spaghetti squash is a tasty, veggie-filled pasta replacement that is low in calories and high in fiber.  In addition to making this swap, you will be saving calories and getting generous helpings of vitamin C, folate, and magnesium, which will increase your energy.  

3. Swap out candy bars for 70% dark chocolate

Replace calorie-laden chocolate candy bars with those that have a cacao content of at least 70%. You’ll get maximum nutritional power and only a small amount of sugar.  The darker your chocolate, the less sugar and milk and the more antioxidant-packed cacao it contains. It may take time to adjust, but once  you do, your body will thank you.


4. Swap out a white flour muffin for a whole-wheat muffin

As healthy as a raisin bran muffin may sound, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a good breakfast choice.  A “healthy sounding” muffin can reach as high as 400 calories. Instead, choose an English muffin, which has less than one third of the calories of a regular muffin and more fiber.  You can add a tablespoon of peanut butter for added protein and healthy fat and still save about half the calories of a muffin. 

5. A Swap for Fruit Smoothies

Smoothies are a great breakfast or meal option– It’s just best to make your own or learn how to order a smoothie wisely.  My healthy homemade smoothie concoction contains a source of protein, a fiber rich carb, no sugar added and a healthy fat source with added superfoods, such as ginger, spirulina, turmeric and maca powder.  For healthy smoothie recipes, check out my website: pattyrd.com

6. A Swap for Low Fat Cheese

Your body will benefit more from fresh goat cheese or feta as opposed to “low fat” cheese brands, which are filled with additives and preservatives, not to mention not much true cheese flavor.   Ad added bonus: Goat and Feta cheese contain conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which may help your body burn more fat

7. A Swap for Nuts

You can still enjoy your nuts – but don’t go nuts eating them!  Why? Just a small handful has at least 170 calories! If you are trying to lose weight, I suggest diluting them with something that has a lot of volume, such as a high fiber cereal or air-popped popcorn.  

8. A Swap for Sour Cream

Plain Greek yogurt and sour cream are so similar in taste and texture that you really have no excuse not to use the lean, protein-packed alternative over fattening sour cream. As a quesadilla or taco-topper, salad dressing base, or chip dip, a dollop of Greek yogurt can save you from eating a load of saturated fat while increasing your protein intake. 

9. A Swap for White Rice 

Cauliflower, better known as the skinny starch, delivers almost a day’s worth of vitamin C for only 27 calories per cup. (Compare that to white rice, which clocks in at 205 calories per cup.)  Look for cauliflower rice right next to the white rice in the store. 

10. A Swap for Salad Dressing

If you don’t over spray, vegetable-oil sprays will save you plenty of calories.  Just a few spritzes have about 10 calories, which is enough to coat your salad without weighing it down.  One tablespoon of regular salad dressing has more than a hundred calories of pure fat –and who can stop at one tablespoon?

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at patty@pattyrd.com, I am happy to assist you with any nutrition questions or concerns you may have!



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Patty Martin

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Have you found the right weight loss solution for you, yet? You can! Together, we’ll resolve your past weight loss struggles, transform your energy and health and you will look and feel your best. I truly enjoy helping my clients to reach her or his most desired goals. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I can help you become all you want to be and more.


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