Store-bought Juice with Fresh Squeezed: One of the great investments that we made as a family is a juicer. Instead of filling our cups with refined, processed sugar...I mean juice, we're able to sneak in all sorts of vegetables like carrots & tomatoes juiced with our oranges, lemons & pears. No one is the wiser & we've got a delicious glass of juice, full of protein, fiber & macronutrients!
Unhealthy Dressings for Vinaigrettes: I love my ranch! Loose a finger or even a hand if you try to take my ranch away...but it's so laden with fat & calories I cannot afford to eat it. So I've found some vinaigrettes at our local grocery store that are low in calories, high in quality and allow me to have some of the fat that I crave with my veggies. There are so many different kinds, so don't be fooled...italian or raspberry vinaigrette are not your only choices! I bought several bottles in the smallest size possible so that I could try them and not waste my money if they didn't taste good. I have also created a great Red Wine Vinaigrette while testing out some flavors. Try my Red Wine Vinaigrette recipe here!
Pizza Crust for Pita Bread: At our local grocery store we buy these thin whole wheat pita pockets in large rounds. Instead of making or buying a large bleached flour pizza crust, we use our whole wheat pita pockets as a crust and everyone makes their own personal pizza. At 425 degrees for only 6-8 minutes each of us can have our own personal pan pizza with a thin & crispy crust...for a lot less calories and high quality nutrition.
Lasagna Noodles for Veggies: My husband makes the best lasagna around! It's full of stringy cheese, cream cheese, velveeta, gooey lasagna noodles, a to die for sauce....it's just the best!!! But at over 560 calories per serving, we RARELY ever get to eat it. Try trading out your lasagna noodles with strips of grilled eggplant or zucchini, then cut back on the cheese overload & you have a delicious lasagna! Try the Biggest Loser Veggie Lasagna Recipe here!
Bread for Lettuce: Instead of using a hamburger bun or tortilla, wrap your favorite fixins' in a large lettuce leaf like Romaine or Butter Lettuce.
Iceberg for Spinach: Spinach contains a much higher concentration of nutrients, adds more flavor and has a better texture. Since Iceberg lettuce is mostly water, you will feel full longer eating spinach.
Waffles with Syrup for Eggs & Turkey Bacon/Sausage: Waffles with Syrup are one of my favorite breakfast items, but with all the refined flour and sugar, my blood sugar can't take it. Cooking up a couple eggs and some of Jennie-O's turkey bacon or sausage feels just as decadent, even like I'm cheating on my diet!!
Pork Chops for Pork Tenderloin: Who doesn't love pork!?! Well, you certainly don't have to give it up. Three ounces of lean pork tenderloin has only 112 calories, 18grams of protein and only 4 grams of fat! It's a great addition to stir-fry and it's easy to marinate and then bake or toss on the grill.
Candy Bar for an Atkins Carmel Chocolate Peanut Bar: I am not a big candy bar person, but I know several of my friends who would likely give up a steak dinner for a Snickers. Atkins sells an amazing Carmel Chocolate Peanut Bar that tastes so close to a Snickers, it fooled me! These bars must be used as a special treat because although they are only 180 calories, 1 gram of sugar and 10 grams of protein, they are loaded with 11 grams of fat... So be mindful how often you eat them. Overeating on healthy food can be just as damaging for your waistline as pounding a couple candy bars.
Blueberry Muffin for an English Muffin: This is an easy swap for me because I love english muffins. I buy Orowheat's Double Fiber English Muffins. They are fantastic toasted with organic jam or peanut butter. At only 120 calories and over 23 grams of whole grains & 8 grams of fiber, these things are yummy!!
Swap Your Condiments: Salad dressing, creamy dips, ketchup and mayonnaise can quickly add up to hundreds of extra calories you may not even be accounting for. Experiment with different mustards, salsa, low-sugar ketchups & barbecue sauces. You'll be amazed at the flavor and the calories and fat you are saving.
Takeout for Cooking In: Whenever I go out to eat, I struggle. I'm always looking at sections of the menu I shouldn't have, ordering food I shouldn't eat and rolling myself out to the car because I couldn't put down the fork when I was full. When we cut back on dining out and ordering in, I notice not only do I save money but I save calories as well, since I know exactly what is going into the pan and how much to put on my plate. It's obviously less work to order a pizza, but a pizza is going to result in more weight on your booty and more workout time in the gym!
Large Dinner Plate for a Small Dinner Plate: Yes, even the size of your plate matters! When lower the quantity of food you are regularly used to eating, a large dinner plate looks empty and is therefore a constant reminder that you are eating less... Chances are a small plate will hold all the food your calorie budget allows while helping you adapt to the portion sizes your body needs - not the sizes your eyes want.
Hope you find these simple swaps helpful! Take a minute to check out our recipes for some other great menu ideas!!