Is healthy eating failing to shift your festive blubber? Here are little changes will quickly add up to a big change for your waistline
Forget going on those juice diets or going vegan to lose weight.
Simply eating a healthy diet was a new year’s resolution for more than a third of us, according to a recent survey. And, naturally , many expect this to automatically lead to weight loss , which it can especially if your diet was pretty bad to start with. But what if you’ve chucked out the crisps and takeaways, cut your portions and are now filling up on nutrient-packed fruit and veg, lean meat and fish -yet still struggle to shift those pounds? Well, there’s good news because there are some simple tweaks you can make to get them moving! By taking a closer look at the types of healthy foods you’re put ting in your -shopping trolley -and swapping them for a very similar food -it’s possible for you to save loads of calories so you lose weight after all. And better still, you won’t find yourself missing out on essential nutrients -in fact, most of our tweaks to your diet mean you end up with more vitamins and minerals. So how much weight will you lose? You only have to save 200-250 calories a day to lose a couple of pounds a month or around two stone in a year. Here are some of the easiest changes you will ever make to get slimmer…
SWAP: BASMATI FOR REGULAR RICE SAVE: 38 CALORIES PER 150G COOKED BROWN RICE
All varieties of easy-cook rice -whether brown, long grain or basmati -contain more calories than regular varieties. This is thanks to an extra step of processing that involves steaming the rice before it’s hulled. This hardens the grain and makes it firmer so it’s less likely to go soggy and soft when you cook it. And easy cook doesn’t mean rice cooks in less time -the `easy’ bit refers to the fact the grains are harder to overcook! But this process also releases some of the starch in the rice, increasing the calories a little. As for other nutrients, regular brown rice contains less potassium, phosphorus, copper and zinc, but more calcium,iron and several B vitamins.
SWAP: SWEETCORN FOR BABY CORN SAVE: 43 CALORIES PER 80G SERVING
Baby corn is simply corn that’s harvested early while the stalks are still small and immature. This early harvesting means baby corn is much lower in carbs, especially natural sugars, explaining its lower calorie content. But it still contains similar amounts of fibre to fill you up, and in general, has slightly more of most vitamins and minerals, including three times more vitamin A, and almost twice as much vitamin C, both of which are needed for healthy skin.
SWAP: YELLOW PEPPERS FOR GREEN PEPPERS SAVE: 13 CALORIES PER PEPPER
While potassium levels are slightly lower in green peppers (a nutrient that’s needed to help control blood pressure),going green means you get twice as much vitamin A and vitamin B6,both of which help boost our immu nity. There’s also a small 13-calorie reduction in the calorie count when you opt to eat green pep pers instead of its yellow cousins.
SWAP: SEMI-SKIMMED MILK FOR 1% MILK SAVE: 15 CALORIES PER 300ML
Many people say they don’t like skimmed milk but according to a US study last year,most shoppers couldn’t identify the difference between full-fat,semi-skimmed and fully skimmed in a taste test or even recognise the type they normally bought. Chances are you won’t notice a switch to 1% fat milk (the one with the orange top) but will still get all the same nutrients including bone-friendly calcium and phosphorus,immune-boosting zinc and energy-producing B vitamins,while consuming less fat and fewer calories.
SWAP: ORANGE JUICE FOR TOMATO JUICE SAVE: 33 CALORIES PER 150ML GLASS
Tomato juice doesn’t just save on calories,it has the advantage of containing ly copene,an antioxidant that has been linked to protecting us from certain cancers and heart disease. It’s lower in vitamin C and folate,but it con tains more potassium and betacarotene which the body uses to make vitamin A.
SWAP: BLACK GRAPES FOR BLACKBERRIES SAVE: 32 CALORIES PER 80G
Both contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which give them their dark colour, but blackberries are better for our waistlines as they’re lower in natural sugars and contain three times more fibre. They also contain considerably more of most vitamins and minerals, including five times more fatigue-fighting folate, seven times more skin-friendly vitamin C and a huge 33 times more of the antioxidant vitamin E.
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