I’m not on a diet right now but I do have bad food habits that need some attention. I like sugar too much, I like bread for snacks and I have a silly fear of feeling hungry. I am weak! At times I gain weight really quickly. So I’ve been looking for low calorie food swaps and healthy habits to change the way I eat, without giving up all the things I like. Here are some of my favourites at the moment.
Swap margerine for Light Philadelphia
A nice thick spread of 20 grams of Light Philadelphia is just 31 calories, whereas my Bertolli margerine is 54 calories for just half that quantity, 10g. Certainly the flavour is different and I’ve ended up re-thinking some of my sandwiches as a result and adding stronger flavours, but it also makes me feel full for longer, my guess is that this has something to do with the protein content.
Swap salad dressing for Raspberry Vinegar
This is a nice swap with salads becoming more popular as the weather warms up. I like a balsamic salad dressing like Pizza Express which is 49 calories for just 12ml (2 teaspoons). My local farmshop and deli sells Raspberry Vinegar which is quite sweet and doesn’t need mixing with oil. A comparable product is available at Waitrose. Put it neat on your salad at just 10 calories for a whole tablespoon (15ml). It’s amazing with cherry tomatoes.
Swap a slice of cake for Aldi Dark Chocolate Momento Biscuit
OK this sounds faintly daft at first I know, cake to biscuits? But wait a minute, a slice of cake can be around 200 calories or even double that for a muffin, whereas a Dark Chocolate Momento is just 69 calories. The dark chocolate gives a real hit, satisfies my chocolate craving and I find it quite calming for my appetite. The good feeling that you get from dark chocolate can be amplified by eating a clementine or orange in the same sitting.
Swap biscuits for red grapes
Moving up a step from the last one; this may seem kind of obvious to many but I’ve noticed that the supermarket grapes have become a great deal sweeter over the last three years and I’m guessing something has happened way down the supply chain to cause this. They are so moreish, and a 30g handful is just 20 calories, whereas an Aldi dark chocolate Momento is 69 calories. They still rot your teeth like any other sugary snack, though!
Swap McDonalds Chicken Legend for Feasters Chicken Sub
Sometimes someone in my family gets quite a bad craving for a McDonalds, but calorie intake there can go sky-high quite quickly. McDonalds publish all their nutritional information but they can’t control your appetite and weaknesses! So rather than even set foot in McDonalds and devour a Chicken Legend with mayo at 526 calories (and probably buy fries too), why not swap? Asda and Co-op both sell the Feasters microwaveable Southern Fried chicken sub with mayo. Top with a lettuce and enjoy at just 339 calories. Feasters also have a range of other hot burgers and subs to rival a fast food joint.
Swap any pudding for diet cola
I’m pretty weak when it comes to sugar and it just doesn’t feel right or taste right to end my evening meal with some kind of savoury or garlic flavour on my tongue. I just can’t get away from it. So now instead of eating a pot of sweet yoghurt or having a slice of cake or even drinking fruit juice, I try to only have caffiene-free diet coke. It’s sweet and bubbly and filling and kills my sugar cravings. Of course some of the ingredients disagree with some people, but I get on with it really well and it’s close to zero calories.
I’m no nutritional expert but these work for me. Let me know if I’ve inspired you!
(NB All calorie data from either manufacturers website or My Fitness Pal.)