By Betty Murray
Sometimes success on your weight loss journey is more about the small changes in your habits than a total overhaul. Make small changes you can live with forever, rather than big changes that will be difficult to maintain.
Did you know there are simple substitutions you can make in your diet that can help jump-start your weight loss? Rather than ditching your favorite recipes, try making these simple swaps to make your favorite recipes a little bit healthier.
5 easy substitutions to jump-start a healthy diet
- Swap unsweetened applesauce for half of the butter, shortening or oil called for in a recipe. One-fourth cup of unsweetened applesauce is 0g fat compared to 56g of fat in 1/4 cup of vegetable oil.
- Use leafy greens such as arugula, collard greens, kale, mustard greens or spinach for iceberg lettuce. Iceberg lettuce isn’t entirely void of nutrients, but the darker green the vegetable, the more nutrient dense it will be. For example, spinach contains more vitamin C, iron, magnesium, vitamin K, and calcium than iceberg lettuce.
- Use local honey instead of sugar. Honey is a natural sweetener, and although it is actually higher in calories than white sugar, honey contains more nutrients, including antioxidants, and breaks down in the body slower than refined sugar. Honey will still raise blood sugar, so this swap is not beneficial for diabetics. If you want to cut sugar content all together, in most baked goods, you can reduce the amount of sugar by about half and add vanilla, nutmeg, or cinnamon to increase sweetness.
- Replace seasoning salts like garlic salt, onion salt, and celery salt with herbs seasonings like fresh garlic, parsley, and basil. These will add flavor without the sodium found in seasoning salts. If you don’t have access to fresh herbs, dried herbs are great too — just remember you don’t need as much dried herbs as you would fresh.
- Use avocado instead of cheese and mayonnaise on a sandwich. Avocados are full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that help lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and raise “good” (HDL) cholesterol.
Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.