I know you are so tired of trying diets that don’t work. That’s because… well… dieting doesn’t work longterm!
I’ve been there before. I have tried various diets to lose or maintain weight. They work short-term. But, once you’re off of them you just go back to your old ways. You’re left thinking, “well… what was all of that work for?”
That’s the point. If you are dieting, you’re just wasting time. You’re putting a band-aid on a much larger issue: you don’t have a healthy diet, in general!
Remember: having a healthy diet (long-term results) is different from being on a diet (short-term results).
You need to find ways to create realistic habits + strategies around food. Ones that shape your healthy diet so you get lasting results, obsess less about what you’re eating, + eat to live (not live to eat!).
That leads me to what we are going to tackle today: food swapping. This strategy is one of the key ways I learned how to create the healthy diet I have today.
Want to learn how food swapping can help you quit dieting for good + reveal life-long results? Keep reading!
How to Use Food Swapping to Lose Weight + Eat Healthier Every Day
WHAT IS FOOD SWAPPING?
Food swapping is exactly what it sounds like: you consciously swap one type of food for a healthier option.This life-changing strategy for eating is a simple + effective way to help you lose weight + eat healthier each day.
Why’s that? Food swapping can help you cut calories, ditch refined sugars, rid of trans fats, + choose higher quality choices every single day.
For example: instead of eating ice cream after dinner, you opt for greek yogurt + dark chocolate morsels with fruit. Or, instead of adding refined sugar to your coffee, you choose to add stevia, instead.
The point of food swapping is to make small changes over time to your diet in order to create habits over time. The more habits you create using food swapping methods, the healthier your diet will become (without you constantly obsessing about it!).
FOOD SWAPPING ISN’T A FORM OF “DIETING”
Ugh… dieting. It’s amazing how new diets come out every years + are making the creators of them millions + millions of dollars. We need to put an end to this mindset! Dieting is all about “quick fixes” + “immediate results.”
…That’s not what food swapping will do.
Unlike dieting, food swapping is most likely not going to make you drop 10lb this week. It doesn’t make you feel confined to silly colored containers, a scale, calorie counting, or insane hunger pains you are supposed to try to fight because “you’re detoxing.”
Instead, food swapping will slowly change your diet, slowly adjust your mood, slowly help you lose weight, + slowly make you more confident each day.
Unlike dieting, you won’t learn to ban certain foods + only drink/eat certain types of meals.
But, you will…
- Discover new ingredients + foods you never realized you liked.
- Crave higher-quality foods.
- Naturally want to choose healthier options because of how you realize they affect how you feel!
LASTING RESULTS OVER TIME
I started food swapping the past few years when I realized that I was over trying diets + ready to take control of my eating habits. That’s the key word right there: HABITS.
Food swapping is a strategy that helps you ditch unhealthy food habits that are deeply engrained in you through years + years of eating. But, again, it’s done slowly over time. In general, moving slow when it comes to creating any habit is the only way it’s truly going to stick + become part of who you are.
THAT is why food swapping works. Each day, meal, + ingredient you choose to practice food swapping moves you closer + closer to a healthier diet. In turn, you will see the scale move more + more in your favor.
Why’s that? Each time you food swap you find ways to up-level the quality of the food you are eating. That means that over time you will ingest:
- Less empty calories
- Less trans fats
- Less refined sugars
- Less processed ingredients
- Less unnecessary sodium
- Less pesticides
Not only will you notice that your old, cute jeans will fit looser over time. But, you will definitely notice an upgrade when it comes to your energy levels!!
That’s because food is ultimately fuel that is used to power your mind, body, + emotions throughout the day. If you eat healthier each day, your body will reward you!
Who isn’t looking for more energy each day? I know I am!
EFFECTIVE WAYS TO PRACTICE FOOD SWAPPING
There are 3 key things you need to keep in mind when practicing food swapping so you see the best results over time:
1 – Take it one food swap at a time
The reason food swapping works + dieting doesn’t is because slow + steady wins the race. Don’t put the pressure on yourself to swap out EVERY meal/ingredient of your day all at once. You’ll most likely feel like you’re dieting, will get frustrated, + will ultimately give up.
Instead, I recommend starting out making 1-2 food swaps a day + move to others over time. There are two ways you can go about this:
(1) It can be the same food swap (i.e. eggs instead of cereal for breakfast every day).
(2) Or, you can implement a new food swap each day (i.e. eggs for cereal Monday, stevia for sugar Tuesday, etc.)
Want my two cents? Option 1 will yield more results in the long run. Why? Because when you repeat something over + over it becomes a habit + part of your diet. You’ll instinctively make that choice + it will no longer be considered a food swap for you.
You have to know yourself + experiment to see when you should increase or decrease the number of food swaps each day.
2 – Healthier options don’t necessarily = bigger portions
Ahhh… you need to be careful with this one. A typical downfall of eating healthier for many people is thinking you can binge out on the “better” options. But, calories are calories. The more you eat, the more weight you are going to gain.
So, you need to know your foods + have a vague idea of what their nutrients are (calories, fats, sodium, carbs/sugars, + protein). When it comes down to it, stick to the serving size or an amount comparable to the item you swapped it for.
For example: if you over-indulged in vegetables or water, you won’t see negative results. But, eating five avocados a day or 6 slices of ezekiel bread might cause you more harm than good.
3 – Read labels, research when needed, + have an open mind!
It’s important that if you’re putting the effort in to make each of these new food habits that they are done properly. Meaning, you don’t wan to swap something + realize later on that it actually isn’t a healthier option.
For example: swapping non-fat mayo for regular mayo actually isn’t a good idea. FAT doesn’t make you fat. Bad fats can make you fat (trans fats). Also, low-fat options often substitute sugar/carbs for the missing fat flavor. So, you end up just swapping low-grade ingredients or other low-grade ingredients.
If you are not sure, ask an expert, head to the internet + do some research, or (the easiest + more effective way) read the labels! Getting in the habit of reading labels will help you along your journey with food swapping. In general, it will help you make healthy food choices overall.
PRO TIP: Stop reading what the companies want you to see on the front. Many times, what’s written is highly misleading. Learn to head to the side/back + read the nutrition facts + ingredients for a more accurate understanding of what you might be consuming!
READY TO TAKE ACTION?
My challenge for you:
- WEEK 1: Food swap 1-2 ingredients in your snacks/desserts/drinks a day.
- WEEK 2: Food swap 1-2 ingredients in your breakfast a day.
- WEEK 3: Food swap 1-2 ingredients in your lunch a day.
- WEEK 4: Food swap 1-2 ingredients in your dinner a day.
*Remember, try to repeat the ingredients you’re swapping so you create a habit out of that new food. The more healthy food habits you create, the more you will crave healthier options!!