The number one reason that holds people back from improving their diet and health and keeps them in the same position is their habits. Life is hard and we don’t ever wants to feel deprived or constrained especially when it comes to comforting foods that we eat.
Eating healthy is a way of life and not a fad that you go on for a week or a month or two get bored of and quit. If you want to drop weight for good it’s best to make small food changes over time which will make a huge difference in the way you view food and the way your body processes it. This way you won’t sacrifice taste or satiety. It’s also the surest way to improve your health, lose that excess weight, feel mentally sharper and feel full of energy.
Implement these 12 simple tricks and you’ll notice a difference in the way you feel along with the numbers on the scale going down.
1. Stevia Instead of White Sugar
Stevia is a natural low calorie sweetener that contains an abundance of nutrients, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and iron.
Since it contains no sugar, it helps you avoid blood sugar crashes that lead to tiredness and cravings for unhealthy foods.
It has also been noticed that for those who use stevia leaf in oral care as well as in foods and beverages, they come down with colds and the flu less frequently. This may be due to the many antioxidants and other nutrients in it, including vitamins C and A, zinc, magnesium, and iron.
Since antioxidants fight off free radicals which can cause cancer, stevia may even help prevent *cancer. One particular enzyme found in stevia leaf, which acts as an anti-oxidant, is SOD, which stands for Superoxide Dismutase.
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Cancerous cells have been shown to have very little or no SOD. Since sugar and common artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose don’t have any antioxidants, this makes stevia sweet leaf an excellent choice as a sweetener.
*As always check with your Doctor before incorporating any new health plan.
2. Almond, Coconut or Rice Milk Instead of Dairy Milk
Cow’s milk contains hormones that disrupt your endocrine system; it also impairs the digestive system, builds mucus, and causes inflammation in the body. Therefore, it’s best to avoid it and replace it with plant-based milk like almond, cashew, coconut, rice, oat, hazelnut, etc.
Almond milk has a nutty flavor and tastes delicious. It also comes in different flavors like chocolate and vanilla. It is powered with essential nutrients and multivitamins. It is considered better than dairy or soy milk because of its low calorie content. It is also excellent for those suffering from lactose intolerance. It is free from all kinds of saturated fats, fiber and cholesterol.
One can consume almond milk on a daily basis since. It is an excellent source of protein and consuming it on a daily basis will ensure that you get your daily requirement of protein without any problems.
One of the good things about almond milk is that it contains very little sugar and hence, it helps in regulating the blood sugar level. It is also full of calcium and Vitamin D. These are a must for maintaining optimum bone health.
One cannot miss its utility in maintaining skin texture. The Vitamin C present in the milk helps to lock in the natural moisture of the skin and thereby, keeping the skin soft and supple. The milk also has a fair amount of Vitamin A, which improves the functioning of eyes. Lastly, the milk also assists in building up the body muscles.
Of course if one has an allergy to nuts please do not consume almond milk!
3. Avocado on Bread Instead of Butter
Although there has been a lot of controversy about butter and saturated fat lately, the evidence suggests that they might not be safe for your health. Avocado is a delicious alternative and contains healthy fats that are good for your heart, gut health, and skin.
A mid-sized avocado contains approximately 300 nutrient packed calories. The fruit contains generous amounts of vitamins K, D, C, E and B, as well a vast array of both primary and trace minerals. Vitamin B is essential to a healthy nervous system and to proper metabolic function.
Vitamin D is necessary for adequate bone growth and healthy teeth. Vitamins C and E are powerful anti-oxidants and are vital to a strong immune system. Vitamin K is essential to proper blood clotting and bone health. Vitamins D and K also work together to promote healthy joint cartilage and enhance the human body’s production of osteoclasts, the cells that form new bones as a child grows.
4. Sparkling Water with Fresh Herbs and Fruit Instead of Sugar Soda
Nowadays no one is held prisoner to drinking just plain water! There are plenty of options on the market for a plethora of flavors abounding from watermelon to mango to coconut even cucumber. But if that isn’t enough you can always add your own freshly infused fruit extracts with a nice squeeze of lime, lemon or fresh herbs like mint, basil or sage leaves for a refreshing drink any time of day.
5. Coconut Milk Instead of Dairy Cream
Milk made from coconuts is loaded with vitamins and minerals, chloride, calcium and potassium. Even though this product is loaded with saturated fats, those fats only consist of short chain fatty acids. This means that the fatty acids are promptly absorbed and effectively converted into energy for the body to use.
Therefore, instead of gaining weight, it will actually help you in losing it efficiently. A saturated fat known as lauric acid which is present in mother’s milk can also be found in this product. The said fat enables good development for the brain and bones. Coconut has shown to have anti-viral features and the medical community is hoping to discover possible treatment with this for AIDS.
It can help in battling colds and flu. It boosts a person’s immune system due to its anti-carcinogenic, anti-microbial and anti-viral properties.
Therefore make sure to add coconut milk to all your soups, curry’s and any dish that requires dairy cream for a healthier substitute!
6. Oven Sweet Potato Chips or Fries Instead of Regular Fries
Sweet potatos not only contain less fat, but sweet potatoes are way more nutritious than regular potatoes. Here are just a few of the vitamins found in the glorious sweet potato:
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) – Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin B6, which is good for the nervous system and also helps the body to effectively absorb protein and carbohydrates. Pyridoxine also helps in the formation of antibodies, for better immunity. It also aids in balancing sodium and phosphorus amounts in the body.
Vitamin C – if you thought citrus fruits are the only good source of vitamin C, well, sweet potatoes will prove you wrong. They have a considerable amount of vitamin C. It can heighten defenses against diseases like colds, influenza and other respiratory ailments. Vitamin C also aids in clotting for faster healing of wounds. It also produces collagen which contributes to skin’s elasticity, meaning your skin will not sag at a fast rate while you are aging.
They are absolutely delicious and can be baked in the oven or fried in coconut oil for extra nutrition!
7. Dark Chocolate Instead of Candy
Chocolate made with whole milk and lots of sugar is unhealthy and can even be addictive. However, good quality chocolate, which is at least 70% cacao (and loaded with antioxidants, minerals like calcium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, iron, zinc, and potassium, healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins E, B2, B1, B5, B3, and B9), is great for you!
Dark chocolate, created from natural cocoa beans, has been recommended for consumption even up to three times a day. This is because the cocoa bean is the food with the highest levels of antioxidants ever, which protect the body from oxidative stress involved with aging. Other foods, such as red wine, tea, and select few fruits and vegetables also offer similar health benefits, but cocoa still tops them all when it comes to the sheer number of antioxidants. These antioxidant compounds are called flavanols, which presumably supply dark chocolate its health benefits.
8. Raw Unsalted Nuts Instead of Salted and Roasted
Roasted nuts can become rancid, which means they damage your cells, create inflammation, and make you age faster. Therefore, it’s always best to choose raw nuts. Also make sure that they’re unsalted, since low quality refined salt makes you dehydrated and disrupts the mineral balance in your body.
Nuts are very beneficial for your health and they taste great too! Nuts are high in calories but they are still very beneficial to your body because they are loaded with mono saturated fats, which help to lower heart disease. Many nuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 essential fatty acids are good for your heart and for your arteries. Omega 3 essential fatty acids are helpful for making your heart rhymes more stable so you can try to avoid a heart attack. Nuts also have L-arginine which is helpful to your heart and arteries because it makes your arteries more flexible and leads to less blood clots. Nuts also have been known to have plant sterols in them which helps lower cholesterol.
9. Whole Fruit Instead of Fruit Juice
Fruit juice contains a ton of sugar, which goes straight into the bloodstream, disrupting the blood sugar regulation system, and creates an avalanche of various health problems. Fruit, on the other hand, contains water soluble and insoluble fiber, which slows down the sugar absorption into the bloodstream.
10. Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Instead of Processed Dressings
Store-bought salad dressings usually contain hundreds of calories per tablespoon, sugar, unhealthy fats, and preservatives. To avoid the health dangers of processed condiments, simply use olive oil with balsamic vinegar and some good quality salt, like Himalayan pink salt. You can also add fresh or dried herbs for extra flavor.
11. Salsa Instead of Cream Based Dips
Creamy dips are extremely high in calories, containing 30 calories per one tablespoon. Salsa is a way healthier and a more slimming option. Even better if you make your own with fresh ingredients.
Salsa is so flavorful you can pair it with so many food items such as:
- Egg dishes
- Low carb chips and more!
12. Steel Cut Oatmeal Instead of Sugary Cereals
Steel cut oats are an excellent source of manganese, biotin, copper, magnesium and fiber. They are delicious and very versatile. The difference between steel cut oats and regular oat meal is simply the way it is processed.
Steel-cut oats are whole oat kernels cut into small chunks rather than being smashed flat as in oatmeal. This gives the oats more of a chewy texture and also slows both cooking time and digestion time.
That means that they have a lower glycemic index and are thus preferable for increasing satiety, lowering the insulin response to the meal, and keeping blood sugar levels from peaking.
This also results in delaying hunger so a person is less likely to snack or get overly hungry before the next meal.
If you love oatmeal then I highly suggest trying steel cut oatmeal. I like the brand McCann’s Irish Steel Cut Oatmeal. It’s not that much more expensive than the processed kind and it last longer because it fills you up even more.
When you implement these simple swaps, you won’t feel deprived at all or have to sacrifice anything. The calories you save will add up, and you’ll have so much extra energy and be dropping the weight like nobody’s business!
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