Looking to shed some pounds and get in shape? Or are you struggling to stay on track with your current weight loss goals? Finding it hard to stay lean?
We can all agree that losing weight can be a daunting journey, some more than others. You may be busting your butt at the gym doing loads of cardio, or lifting heavier and heavier, spending even more time with your workouts. If so, more power to you! Keep going!
Even with all that, you’re still not seeing the scales drop as expected? There’s probably a simple reason to it. You’re probably skipping the importance of your NUTRITION!
No! Not DIET! NUTRITION! Forget fancy crash diet programs. They’re simply not sustainable in the long run. Instead, focus on your overall nutrition. What and how much of it you put into your body, plays a significant role towards your goals.
The concept for weight loss is simple, you need to be in a Calorie Deficit. Plain and simple. But, we, as humans, are notoriously bad at 2 things, 1. Over-estimating the calories we burn, and 2. Under-estimating the calories we take in. Don’t worry, it’s not exactly your fault, we’re just wired as such. And, consumer-food companies are just as guilty by inflating the benefits of they’re so called “Healthier”, overly processed products.
There are many landmines out there, hidden even in the most unassuming products, hindering your desired goal. Whether you’re aware of them or not.
Thankfully, we do have a quick fix to all this! Sorry, no magic pills here, instead, here are some super easy substitutions you can make right away towards improving your overall nutrition and aiding your weight loss goals!
Sugary Breakfast Cereal For A Warm Bowl Of Oats
Sure, having a bowl of cereal in the morning sounds like a pretty good idea. It’s convenient and tastes absolutely great! Question is, how long after would you find yourself reaching for something else? These sugar loaded breakfast options are often highly processed with little or no nutritional benefits. Even if the box states “Enriched” with vitamins or “Made with Whole grains”, a single serving consists of minuscule amounts of said nutrients.
Instead, opt of a bowl of warm oats! Contrary to popular beliefs, it’s not for old people. Making your own bowl of oats gives you the flexibility to flavour it up with pretty much anything your hearts’ desire. As a source of slow digesting complex carbs, a single serving is guaranteed to keep you full for hours! Significantly decreasing the chances of you snacking an hour later or upon reaching the office! Plus, it comes chockfull of natural fiber and nutrients your body needs.
No time to cook yourself up a bowl every morning? No problems, consider make-ahead Overnight Oats!
Regular Salad Dressing For Balsamic Vinaigrette
Salads. A staple for anyone watching their waistline. Here’s the catch! WATCH THE DRESSING. Salads in and of itself are a perfectly healthy option, the culprit lies in that creamy dressing you’re dousing them in. That all so delicious dressing is what’s hurting your goals. They are pure fat, sugar and flavourings. In most cases, the amount dished out by restaurants contain more calories than the salad itself! Shocking huh? Go ahead, grab a bottle from your local grocery store, have a look at the per serving nutrition value. Do you really follow just a tablespoon of dressing at a time?
Swap that creamy dressing for Balsamic Vinaigrette, instead. Sure, not everyone can handle the taste of balsamic vinegar, so, here’s a tip; grab a good bottle of Balsamic Vinegar, and jazz that up with some maple syrup, lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Try it! You’d be amazed!
How you choose to spice it up is completely up to you. Making a switch like that, can save you loads of calories!
Ice Cream For Frozen Greek Yogurt
Nothing like a scoop (or two) to cap off a good meal! It’s easy to reach for a tub of ice cream, yet, how often do we stick to just 1 scoop? Besides, though cold and satisfying on a hot day, it’s often made from less than ideal ingredients, packed with refined sugars, artificial flavourings and hydrogenated fats, making them extremely calorific per serving.
If you’re craving something cold and refreshing, Frozen Greek Yogurt is the perfect alternative. Using an unfavored, low-fat option gives you the ability to customize to your hearts content. Consider using some frozen berries, natural granola or shaved dark chocolate! Aside from being low in calories, it’s a great natural source of protein and calcium.
Potato Chips For Air Popped Pop Corn
We all crave something crispy every once in a while and reaching for a bag of chips always seems to be on top of everyone’s list. But, it’s a convenient way to ruin your weight loss goals. “I’ll have just a handful of chips and I’m done” said no one ever!
You’d be surprise to learn that Air Popped Pop Corn is actually a healthy alternative! Loaded with fiber, it’s extremely low in calories per serving which, will surely keep you feeling perfectly satisfied. Be warned - what you’re getting from your trip to the cinemas are absolutely not! Making your own air popped popcorn is an easy way to curb that crunchy craving you’re having, the healthy way! Plus, you’ll have the option to flavour it as you please. A little sea salt and natural stevia is our personal favourite.
Sugary Biscuits For Veggie/Fruit Sticks With Nut Butter
It’s everywhere. They’re relatively cheap and accessible. Found in most office pantries, these biscuits are a nothing more than empty calories. Providing you with little or no nutrients. Though satisfying for that few minutes, you’ll quickly find yourself reaching for more in no time. Packed with refined sugars and hydrogenated fats, these biscuits are a common cause of drastic insulin spikes, leading to sudden crashes.
When you feel the urge to binge on something sweet, consider veggie sticks or fruit sticks with a nut butter dip! Easy to prepare ahead, they’re packed with essential nutrients and vitamins, fiber and heart healthy fats! A sure way to energise yourself mid-way through the work day, and saving yourself a good deal of calories.
In a Nutshell
Understand that Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint. There’s no need to completely cut out any particular food group nor follow any crash diets, or make drastic changes to your workout routines. Doing so only adds more unnecessary obstacles, thus, increasing your likelihood of quitting. Instead, making a conscious effort to switch to more whole foods, low calorie dense options which will ultimately improve your overall health and lead to a more sustainable, gradual weight loss.
It’s important to add that; of course, you do not have to completely avoid having these treats - every now and again, so long as you’re aware and accountable for them, and have them as such; A TREAT! A simple way to create a healthy nutritional plan would be to follow an 80/20 rule. 80% consisting of high quality, nutrient dense whole foods, while leaving the other 20% as a buffer to feed your temptations. Know that it’s perfectly normal to fall off the wagon every now and again. It’s not the end of the world! Pick yourself up, embrace it, and keep going!
Believe us when we say; we’ve been there before. Weight loss isn’t easy, but, it does not have to be complex. Small changes and calculated choices goes a long way towards seeing the results you desire.
Love to see more simple guides like this? Or need a little help with your nutrition? Let us know! We’re always ready and willing to hear from you and help in any way we can!