You know that moment when your boyfriend tells you he found your food journal and you have to pretend that it’s not your regular journal? Nope, me neither. *whistles innocently* What I’m trying to say is. I enjoy food. A lot. And I enjoy working out. A little. In Dubai, E7MS training is my ‘go to’. It’s a bit different to the technology used in South Africa because there are no wires and you can train 8kms away from the EMS centre wirelessly etc (you can read more about it here if you like). However another technique that’s definitely helped maintain my goals is food swapping - its still food, just healthier. i.e substituting one type of food for another to keep you satisfied on less calories and higher nutritional value for longer. Because lets face it, dieting sucks and being hangry makes me questions my stance against violence. These are my favourite swaps right now.
Fruit and Veg
Eating whole fruit instead of fruit juice will leave you feeling fuller for longer and contains way more fibre, vitamins and minerals. What’s not to love about that? Fruit juices also contain loads of unnecessary sugars. Plain or homemade infused water is far better for hydration plus no sugar crash after. To make your own infused water simply slice up some oranges, lemons and pineapple (or your preference in fruit), add some mint leaves and leave to infuse overnight. You can read some of my recipes here.
Next time you’re getting ready to Netflix and chill, how about sticking to popcorn instead of potatos chips or pretzels. Three whole cups of popcorn is the equivalent of only 100 calories. If you are looking for a midday snack, instead of butter on bread what about having avocado on toast? Avo contains no cholesterol or sodium and it’s great source of vitamin B. With just a sprinkling of black pepper, spread over wholewheat toast, it’s a delicious on the go snack. For a sweet summer snack frozen grapes are a delicious option too.
Toppings and dressings
I’ve never been a big fan of cream which is a bit weird because I’m obsessed with all things cake related but Greek yoghurt instead of cream is one of my favourite substitutes whether it’s in a salad, a sauce or dessert. Having mustard instead of mayo if you’re into chicken related meals is also a great low calorie swap. Going for oil and balsamic instead of salad dressings is healthier with less salt, no preservatives and minus the thousands of calories in bought salad dressings and if you absolutely must have your fix of potato crisps instead of popcorn then what about trying salsa instead of a dip? Bonus points if it’s homemade.
Milk and sugar
Have you tried using cinnamon instead of sugar? This enhances the flavour and it’s great on oats, cereal or even coffee. If you’re finding it hard to stray away from sugar all at once try half and half. For coffee, espresso is life for me - especially for days when I'm running on coffee and hope - but with filter coffee, either having it black or with almond or soy milk is a good dairy-free option that brings down the calories.
I can’t cook to save my life but since chicken is my favourite source of protein I always order it without skin. Most restaurants will spice it up perfectly even without the skin and doing this once a day saves around 400 calories a week which is much better spent on a cheat meal.
Do you have any food swap you’re using at the moment? Leave a comment and let me know. If you’re looking for some great alcohol options that won’t make you gain weight check out this post.