As the festive season approaches the obligatory features about getting party ready crop up in magazines and newspapers everywhere. With promises to drop a dress size in as little as two weeks, these plans are no doubt enticing for that last-minute-little-black-dress panic, but realistically they’re just a fad and likely to leave you pigging out on the canapés when you do make it to the party.
Here at Munch we know that there is no quick fix weight loss solution, so I’m going to give you a head start on the season with a few simple food swaps for sustainable weight loss. They won’t make you lose half a stone in a fortnight, but hopefully they’ll leave you feeling slimmer, healthier and more confident by the time the parties begin.
Breakfast cereals…for…Porridge with chopped apple and cinnamon
Breakfast cereals are generally high in sugar and low in nutrients that won’t sustain you for much longer than a couple of hours. Trade them in for a bowl of porridge. Satiating with slow releasing carbohydrates, they’ll prevent the blood sugar rollercoaster and warm you up on cooler mornings. Add some chopped apple and a sprinkle of cinnamon for extra fibre and a sweet kick that will actually help to regulate your blood sugar levels.
Fried breakfast…for…Grilled tomato, scrambled egg and 1 slice wholemeal bread
You don’t have to give up a cooked breakfast even though you’re trying to lose weight. Just avoid fatty cuts of meat and grill instead of fry for a healthier indulgence. Scrambled egg, grilled tomato and one slice of wholemeal bread provides a balanced blend of protein, low GL carbs and essential fatty acids for a delicious and filling start to the day.
Cheese + tomato sandwich on white bread…for…Wholemeal wrap with feta, spinach and tomato
When you’re grabbing lunch on the go, a sandwich is often a quick fix. Avoid white bread and trade for a wholemeal wrap, the feta and veg are a tasty alternative to regular cheddar, plus it’s also lower in fat. Dairy free? Butternut squash, falafel and roasted veg are all great alternative fillings that are suitable for vegans or allergy sufferers.
Pasta bake…for… Quinoa tabouleh
A warming pasta bake is a tasty treat on the cold winter evenings, but that carb-heavy dinner is likely to leave a heavy feeling in your stomach too. For a lighter meal try Quinoa. This wholegrain is also rich in protein and is versatile enough to be cooked in bakes, tabouleh and many other dishes.
Jacket potato with cheese…for… Sweet potato with tuna and salad
It may be a staple cheap and easy meal, but a baked potato is very starchy and high in carbohydrates that can elevate your insulin levels and trigger weight gain. Swap white potatoes for their lower GL counterpart – the sweet potato. Rich in beta carotene and Vitamin A, they can be enjoyed in sweet or savoury dishes. Top with tuna and salad for the perfect blend of carbohydrates, protein and skin loving minerals.
There are sometimes when only crisps will do, but you don’t have to give them up entirely – just make better choices. Avoid fried crisps and opt for baked or, in the case of PopChips, ‘popped’ crisps that are ideal savoury snacks and contain less than 100 calories per bag.
Tortilla chips and dip…for… vegetables and houmous
If you love to indulge with tortilla chips and dip in front of the TV it can be easy to mindlessly chomp your way through a calorie-busting portion without even realising. Trade them in for a mix of vegetable crudités and low fat houmous for a low calorie and nutritious snack.
Salted nuts…for…raw almonds
Sure, nuts can be good for you but not when they’re dry roasted in salt, oil and flavourings. Trade in grab bags of peanuts for raw almonds – they’re a low calorie nut that’s rich in vitamin E, protein and antioxidants to keep you feeling good from the inside out.
Chocolate…for…Fruit + nuts/ oatcakes with peanut butter
Sometimes chocolate cravings can be hard to resist, but swap it for some fruit and nuts or oatcakes with peanut butter if you’re trying to lose weight. Not only will these both satisfy your sweet tooth, but they’re also low GL and contain protein to balance your blood sugar and tide you over until dinner time.
Got a bit of a sweet tooth? Trade in your sweets for a natural sweet fix with Nakd raisins. Available in a range of flavours including cherry, lime, lemon and cola, these raisins contain no artificial flavours or preservatives and also count as one of your five a day. Result.
Chips…for… Sweet potato wedges
Greasy takeaways are a big no when you’re trying to slim down. Trade in those chippy chips for a lighter substitute of homemade sweet potato wedges. Simply chop your potatoes into wedges, drizzle with oil and a touch of salt, plus any other seasoning you may like – I love Cajun spices – and bake in the oven until cooked through. Serve with Tuna steak for a much healthier take on fish and chips. Your purse (and your waistline ) will thank you for it.
Alcohol…for…clear spirits like vodka with soda water and lime (in moderation!)
If you love a tipple and don’t fancy completely cutting out alcohol in the run up to party season, you can at least cut down. Avoid calorific beers or ciders and stick to clear spirits like vodka with soda water and lime – the slimmers tipple. Can’t resist the cocktails? Check out my post to find out the best and worst cocktail choices for weight loss.