Losing weight is not always easy. Just the word ‘diet’ puts many of us off the whole idea. But there is a way of losing weight by not dieting the way we expect. It is the ‘swap it’ diet. The swap it diet is not really a diet at all. You just have to swap unhealthy food for a healthier version of the same thing, do it right and you will also include the five portions a day of fruit and vegetables we are told to eat. The British National Health Service likes the swap it diet and publishes a list of suggested swaps. Here it is:
‘Food and drink swaps.
Try these small changes when you have your next meal or drink, or when you open the cupboard or fridge for a snack. Once you get started try thinking of your own healthier swaps too. Food labels can help you choose healthier options.
Swap from whole milk to semi-skimmed, 1% fat or even skimmed milk.
Swap a sugar coated breakfast cereal for a wholegrain breakfast cereal such as porridge, or shredded wholegrain wheat cereal, with no added sugar.
Swap a sprinkle of sugar on your breakfast cereal for a topping of fresh or dried fruit, which counts towards one of your five a day.
Swap full-fat Greek yoghurt for fat-free Greek-style yoghurt or natural low-fat yoghurt.
Swap white breads, bagels and muffins for wholegrain varieties.
Swap butter and cheese on your baked potato for reduced fat spread and reduced salt and sugar baked beans.
Swap a tuna melt Panini for a tuna salad sandwich on wholemeal bread, without mayo.
Swap a cheddar cheese filling in your sandwich for reduced-fat hard cheese.
Swap creamy or cheesy sauces for tomato or vegetable-based sauces on your pasta, meat or fish dishes.
Swap mashed potato made with butter and whole milk for mash with low-fat spread and low-fat milk such as semi-skimmed, 1% fat or skimmed.
Choose leaner cuts of meat, for example streaky bacon for back bacon.
Swap the frying pan for the grill when cooking meat.
Swap your usual coffee made with whole milk for a ‘skinny’ coffee made with skimmed milk.
Swap your cordial for a cordial with no added sugars.
Swap a few of your sugary drinks for a glass of water.
Swap hot chocolate made with whole milk and served with whipped cream for a hot chocolate made with skimmed milk and no cream.
Swap a blueberry muffin for a currant bun on its own or with some reduced fat spread.
Swap yoghurt-coated raisins for plain raisins.
Swap salted nuts for unsalted nuts.
Swap cheese straws for rice cakes with lower-fat cream cheese.’
That is the National Health swap it diet. Keep to it and you will lose weight, exercise each day and you will lose even more weight.
You will have achieved this not by dramatically changing what you eat, just by making some adjustments. Of course if you have found a diet you like and which works for you that’s fine. If not do try the swap it diet, it’s not really a diet at all.
See you soon,
29 April 2012
Photo. Sjpadron (Flickr)