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10 Simple Food Swaps That Helped Me Lose 10 Pounds

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Last year, I was the heaviest I’ve ever been. That’s not a bad thing, but the weight was coming from an unhealthy thing: My poor eating habits. I decided to make some weight loss food swaps that were healthier alternatives to the junk food I was eating.

By doing these weight loss food swaps and exercising at least 30 minutes 6 days a week, I lost 10 pounds in 3 months.

1. Cauliflower rice instead of white rice

Yes, cauliflower rice CAN be good! Look, rice is basically a vehicle for food and sauces. As long as you add delicious sauce and toppings, the cauliflower rice is SO good.

Here’s my favorite cauliflower rice dish that I make:

  • Cauliflower rice
  • Seaweed snacks (shred it up or roll it up like a little sushi roll)
  • Kimchi
  • Avocado
  • Boiled egg
  • Spicy mayo sauce (Sriracha + mayo)

2. Popcorn instead of potato chips

Craving a crunchy and salty snack? Popcorn is your new potato chip! And the plus side? It has wayyy less calories and is packed with good fiber so you feel full faster. I ate a lot of popcorn during my weight loss journey.

3. Peanut butter POWDER instead of peanut butter

I’m a BIG peanut butter lover, but it is CALORIE DENSE. In moderation, it’s fine. But if you’re looking to lose weight, swap out peanut butter for peanut butter POWDER. I use it in my smoothies mostly. You can also add water to it and make it into something like peanut butter, but it is more watery.

4. SmartSweets gummy bears instead of candy

If you have a sweet tooth, SmartSweets is your new best friend. It packs way less sugar than traditional candy and even has fiber. My favorite is the Peach Rings. Tangy and sweet and chewy!

5. Zevia instead of soda

Kick your soda habit with this zero-calorie, sugar free soda alternative. Sweetened with Stevia, Zevia is a healthier option with no artificial colors either! My favorite flavor is Dr. Zevia. Second best is caffeine-free Cola.

6. Monkfruit instead of sugar

Unike erythritol (which can upset your tummy) and Stevia (which has a weird aftertaste), Monkfruit doesn’t cause gastrointestinal distress AND it tastes THE MOST similar to sugar out of all the sugar substitutes (in my opinion).

I buy the Lakanto Monkfruit and substitute 1:1 for sugar in all my recipes.

7. Smoothies instead of ice cream

Yes, Ben & Jerry’s is good—but have you ever had a thick, creamy smoothie packed with frozen fruits and peanut butter? I am telling you: It is better than ice cream. You just need to know what you like.

My favorite smoothie ingredients are:

  • Frozen bananas
  • Frozen blueberries
  • Coconut cream (from the can)
  • Peanut butter powder
  • Cocoa powder
  • Chocolate chips

8. Steamed veggies instead of a late-night unhealthy snack.

This might sound weird, but my favorite way to stave off late-night cravings when I’m trying to lose weight is to steam some peas, add a little vegan butter and garlic powder, and eat it as a snack! It’s so satisfying to me (because it’s fibrous, it makes you feel full), and it’s tasty!

9. Vegan butter instead of butter

Okay, it’s only a 10-calorie difference per tablespoon. One tablespoon of Miyokos has 90 calories and Land O’ Lakes salted butter has 100.

Plus, vegan butter is healthier. Straight from the health experts at Healthline:

Plant-based butters are often lower in saturated fat and higher in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, compared with regular butter. Depending on the product, vegan butters can be a convenient substitute when cooking and baking.

10. Fresh fruits instead of candy

Fruits are “nature’s candy.” Sure, gummy bears are yummy—but have you ever peeled a mandarin orange, letting the spark of citrus fill your nostrils, and then bitten into its juicy, sweet flesh? Pure delight! I loved buying 3lb bags of mandarin oranges and eating them like candy during my weight loss journey.

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Advice for Millennials shares real-life advice from real-life millennials about all the things they wish they'd known—from finance to health to careers.

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