Small Food Swaps for Weight Loss

Small Swaps for Weight Loss
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If you’re looking to lose weight, making small adjustments to your eating habits can be just as effective as major life changes. Try these five small swaps that can lead to big weight loss. The great thing about these switches is that they are a quick way to make healthier, diet-friendly changes that are easy to incorporate into your daily habits.

Instead of...

  • French fries

  • Bread or buns

  • Spaghetti or pasta

  • Potato chips or crackers

  • Desserts baked with butter and flour

Try this...

  • Baked carrots

  • Lettuce wraps

  • Zucchini noodles

  • Fat-free popcorn

  • Canned beans, apple sauce, or Greek yogurt

Try These Bread Alternatives

This swap makes a BIG difference. You can save hundreds of carb-heavy calories in one meal by trading starchy bread products for leafy produce. The best part of a sandwich is what's inside, anyway! Either wrap up your sandwich or burger goodies in fresh lettuce leaves (iceberg or butter works best) or go for steamed leaves of cabbage. Just remember to keep the rest of your sandwich ingredients on the healthy side.

Change Up Your Fries

If you're a sucker for French-fried potatoes (as many people are), it can be tough to give up this tasty treat when you are trying to lose weight. The problem is that they’re usually loaded with calories due to the high-carb potatoes and the oil they're fried in.

The great news is that you can enjoy the taste and texture of fries without overdoing it in the calorie and fat departments. Just replace the potatoes with carrots, and bake them instead of frying.

Cut peeled carrots into French-fry-shaped spears, lay them on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt. Then bake for 15 minutes on each side at 425 degrees.

Baked carrots are like French fries for a fraction of the calories. You’re going to want to tell your friends about this.

Swap Pasta for DIY Zucchini Noodles

Did you know that one cup of regular cooked pasta has about 200 calories and 40 grams of carbs? Just one little cup! That’s completely unnecessary, especially when you consider that pasta doesn’t usually have much flavor; it’s the toppings that really make the meal.

Use zucchini noodles instead, and you can double your portion size for a mere 70 calories and 14 grams of carbs, plus 4 grams of fiber. No contest. And don’t be intimidated by the preparation: As long as you have the right tools, making zucchini noodles into low-carb pasta is so easy.

Trade Potato Chips for 94% Fat-Free Popcorn

Swapping out chips, crackers, and other crunchy snacks for 94 percent fat-free popcorn is one of the best small changes you can make when you’re looking to lose weight. That's because you can have five cups of the popcorn for about 100 calories. That’s one high-volume snack! Mix it with freeze-dried fruit or mini semi-sweet chocolate chips for some added flavor. Taco seasoning is another tasty add-in if you’re looking for something on the savory side.

Swap Carb-Heavy Baking Ingredients for Canned Beans

Yes, seriously! Everything from canned pure pumpkin to applesauce to nonfat Greek yogurt can work in dessert recipes, but canned beans might are a favorite baking swap! Black beans provide the perfect texture for decadent dishes like brownies and chocolate cake, and chickpeas are great in blondies and peanut-butter desserts. The beans provide protein and fiber, which is something that can’t be said for typical baking ingredients like flour and butter! Beans are better. Enough said.

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