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Healthy Swaps

Low 1,500 calorie diets are completely unnecessary for weight loss. Yes they work in the short term, but the evidence shows that their long term efficacy is low. Where people tend to get better weight loss results is with small, sustainable habit changes.

What does that mean? It means, start small. Many of my clients don't actually need a complete dietary overhaul. But if we say that we are the sum of our parts, then so are our diets. My food philosophy is really about keeping it simple. You don’t need to buy fancy “superfoods” to feel great, and you shouldn’t need to cook separate meals for yourself and the rest of your family. Also, I am not at all an advocate of deprivation. There will be plenty of opportunities during your health journey to continue to enjoy your favourite foods, including sweets. However, if you are trying to improve your health or drop a few kgs, one of the easiest things you can do is to start with some healthy swaps. Things like using avocado or hummus instead of butter on your toast, or swapping musli bars for a few raw or dry roasted nuts sound simple enough but right there you've just swapped out some saturated fats for some unsaturated fats, and you've decreased your processed sugar intake.

Some of my other simple favourites include:

- swapping rice crackers and corn thins for a wholegrain cracker

- swap ordinary chocolate for dark chocolate (something around 75% cocoa)

- watch your snacking and know the difference between a snack and a treat

- swap cheese and crackers for cheese and fruit or cheese and nuts

- swap sugar or honey on your breakfast for fresh or dried fruit

- swap iceberg lettuce for spinach or another dark green vegetable for a nutrient boost

- swap sour cream for Greek yoghurt

I could literally go on forever. My main take away is that whatever your goal, you can achieve it while still enjoying foods you love, regularly. You don't need complicated food rules. Simply enjoy what you love in moderation, and look for opportunities to "upgrade" your meal or snack with a more nutritious options wherever you can.

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