Last Updated on September 4, 2019 by Viky Unterberg
Your diet calls the shot when it comes to gaining or losing weight.
That being said, you don’t have to remove an entire food group to reduce body fat.
In fact, there is a much simpler way and it’s called food swaps.
Tons of research have proven how numerous foods can let you gain or lose weight.
Some increases the amount of body fat stored while others do the opposite.
Below you’re going to learn some food swaps that can let you feel full while shedding those pounds.
Let’s get started! 🏁
1. Swap sugary cereal for oats
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so it’s best to start it right.
For cereal lovers, you can swap the sugary ones for oats.
It keeps you feeling full, plus they are low in calories.
You save on a lot of calories for the most important meal of the day and it also crushes those heavy cravings.
So you are less likely to snack on something during the rest of the day.
In fact, oats can help you lose belly fat, and this is based on research.
In 2010, The Journal of the American Dietetic Association published a study(1) that showed that the participants that were overweight, lost more inches of their waist than those consuming low fiber cereals.
In other words those who had eaten the oats, tend to lose more belly fat than those who ate low-fiber cereals even though they have eaten the exact same number of calories.
Oatmeal is way more healthier than those pretty cereal boxes in the supermarket.
You can easily spice your oatmeal with fruits and nuts for added crunchiness! 🙂
2. Swap mayo for smashed avocado
Using mashed avocado on a sandwich can save you from consuming a lot of calories.
By just using half of an avocado, you can drop your calorie intake to 114 which is less than a two-tablespoon serving of mayonnaise which has 206 calories.
Not to mention that mayonnaise has 24 grams of fat packed into two-table spoon serving.
So, if you’re a mayo lover then you need to start toning it down.
Instead, go for healthy fats like avocado.
3. Swap butter for avocado
When European sailors were coming to the New World, they had to swap out butter for avocado when they were baking.
You won’t even taste much difference, other than the dough having a slightly green colour.
When it’s baked, the food will soften and will crumble less than when using ordinary butter.
Also, it will reduce the calorie content to almost 80%!
Yes, that’s a big drop.
This food swap reduces both fat, lowers calorie and reduces the number of unhealthy fats (saturated).
In addition, it raises the level of vitamins, minerals and unsaturated fats which are much healthier.
Good fats are better for your health, as they are packed with potassium, vitamin B, E and K and also fiber.
On top of that, it’s rich in monounsaturated fat (MUFAs), which is proven(2) to be effective in fighting and preventing belly fat.
4. SWAP CORN-FED BEEF FOR GRASS-FED
Grass-fed beef is much lower in calories, has little to no hormones and antibiotics in comparison compared to regular beef.
Regular beef is filled with Omega-6 fats which are bad for you.
They cause inflammation and increase the risk of cancer and heart disease(3).
On the other hand, grass-fed beef has omega-3 fats which are extremely good for your body.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
In terms of losing belly fat, grass-fed beef trumps corn-fed beef because it is richer in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which decreases abdominal fat and increases muscle (4).
5. Swap French fries for sweet potato wedges
Want to boost the levels of vitamin A, B6, C, E and fiber in your body?
This food swap will do that.
You can fry them in Olive or Coconut oil. Eating sweet potatoes keeps your stomach full and cuts down your calorie intake.
6. Swap store bought treats for homemade ones
For starters, homemade treats are lower in calories, sugar and fat, hence, lowering the risk of gaining pounds.
Making treats at home gives you more control over the ingredients.
One of the most common ingredients in store baked goods is trans-fat. A lot of studies(6) have shown how trans-fat is a big player when it comes on to excess belly fat.
So if you’re struggling with belly fat in, eliminate trans-fat from your diet.
Next time you’re grocery shopping, always read the label on the lookout for that culprit. 🙂
7. Swap CREAMY COFFEE FOR GREEN TEA
You must have read somewhere about green tea for weight loss.
It does work, when you combine it with a healthy diet and regular workouts.
There is a lot of research on green tea and how it helps to reduce belly fat.
The Journal of Nutrition did a study(7) which had obese persons drinking green tea while doing a moderate exercise routine and another set who didn’t drink any.
Those who drank green tea loss 7.7% off their belly fat, in comparison to those who didn’t.
Persons who didn’t , barely lost a thing, 0.3% of belly fat.
The point is, instead of drinking a calorie packed creamy coffee, go for green tea.
It will pay off!
8. Swap white for brown
If you’re serious about knocking off those pounds, it’s time to switch.
In 2008, The America Journal of Clinical Nutrition(8), had obese women given both white grain and brown grain rice to eat.
After 12 weeks, those who ate the brown lost more belly fat, despite all of them eating the same amount of calories.
Brown grain, does not interfere with your blood sugar, so it won’t spike.
This means your insulin levels decrease.
Having lower insulin levels reduce the fat cells in the abdominal area.
That means less fat building up.
Try to use mainly whole grain for pasta, rice, bread and tortillas.
9. Swap shortening for beans
Using beans instead of shortening is just better and still as tasty as when using shortening.
You will lower fat and calories while increasing the fiber intake.
When your diet is rich in fiber, belly fat can be reduced significantly.
That is proven over and over.
10. Swap pretzels/croutons for nuts & seeds
Swap out bite-sized snacks such as pretzels with nuts or seeds.
This gives you the edge in the fight against excess body fat.
Also, substituting croutons in your salad for nuts such as pecan, walnuts and almonds.
These swaps will reduce fat intake, increase your fiber and it gives you more protein.
11. SWAP DESSERT FOR GREEK YOGURT
Who doesn’t like dessert, it’s delicious! 🙂
Not going to lie.
But if you’re struggling to lose body fat, it time to switch it up.
By switching to Greek yogurt, you’ll consume way less fat and calories.
Yogurt is rich in vitamin B, high in protein, and helps to reduce belly fat, partly due to it’s calcium content.
At the University of Tennessee, they did a research(9) and found out that dieters who consumed 3 servings of yogurt lost 22% more weight.
Plus a whopping 81% more belly fat than those who ate yogurt one time for the day.
For the ice-cream, sour cream and baked goods lovers, yogurt is the perfect replacement.
Ice cream: When craving something sweet swap ice-cream for frozen yogurt. You can add slices of banana or strawberries.
Sour cream: Swapping out sour cream for Greek yogurt is not only a better choice but also a healthy alternative.
The fact that you don’t taste the difference is a added bonus. It’s super easy to use yogurt to make dips, or to serve it on Mexican foods and baked potatoes.
Baking: Swapping eggs or oil for non-fat yogurt not only reduces your fat intake but also it maintains a rich texture.
When reducing the amount of oil or shortening add 3/4 of yogurt for substitute.
You can also use Greek yogurt frosting for all your cupcakes, they will still be delicious!
Heavy cream or milk: With dishes such as mashed potatoes, soups and sauces or even pasta that needs diary, you can use yogurt.
Mayonnaise: Since yogurt has a tangy taste that makes things flavorsome, adding it to dishes such as potato, tuna, or chicken salad instead of using mayonnaise won’t let it loose the taste.
12. SWAP MILK CHOCOLATE/ CANDY FOR DARK CHOCOLATE
Substitute all the milky ones for that delicious dark chocolate.
It helps to fight belly fat and contains free-radical-fighting flavonoids(10).
It’s really savoring.
You eat dark chocolate between meals when you are craving.
Because it’s very rich, you’ll eat a lot less, slashing your calorie intake.
It’s time for healthy food swaps
Anyone who says eating healthy is boring, hasn’t made a real effort.
You can still enjoy delicious meals and treats without feeling guilty.
Start swapping out these foods little by little. Eventually, you will end up with a clean diet that is still appetizing.
The end goal?
Building the best body you naturally can. Always remember, your body is a reflection of what you eat.