We get it: there is a ton of competing information about what the good, the bad, and the make-you-ugly kinds of food are when you want to lose weight. Luckily, Vv Magazine’s Nicki Laborie is a former fitness trainer, self-described “health nut,” and expert in all things food. Here’s what she has to say…
We know one of your New Year’s resolutions was to lose weight. But will you? Not that we’re doubting you, but did you know that by Jan 5 most people who have committed to losing weight have already quit? Yup, this is actually a statistic. We’re here to help you stick to your goals.
If you’re determined to losing weight you have likely bought all the Best Health mags you can find. Research tells us about all these “superfoods” that are great for us but really, many are high in (good) fat. While they will help you be a healthier person, they may also be keeping those extra pounds on. If you want to trim down, you need to cut the fat – even the “good for you” stuff.
It’s a lot easier than you think and you really just need to know how to satisfy a craving by exchanging certain ingredients for low-fat, low-carb, low-sugar, and low-calorie options. Stick to these simple swaps (and a bonus FAB recipe at the bottom) for one month and then try to incorporate into your daily routine five days out of the seven. Guaranteed, that weight WILL come off — probably way faster than you think.
Swap olive oil out for coconut oil because it breaks down differently and metabolizes much quicker, therefore not sticking to you.
Mayonnaise (even the low-fat one)
Swap out mayo for Dijon mustard mixed with lemon juice, vinegar, and 1tsp of olive oil. Not exactly the same but pretty good, nonetheless.
Swap out red meat for turkey sausage or buttery salmon. Soon enough you won’t miss it.
Swap your carbs out for sweet potato. This root vegetable is not only amazing for you, it’s very low in fat and calories. It’s also really easy to make “fake chips” by slicing them super thinly and baking them with a little bit of coconut oil and spices.
Swap out sugar for organic honey or maple syrup. Or if you want to cut sugar completely try using Xyla, a natural sugar alternative made from North American hardwood that has a ton of health benefits.
Every day, drink eight glasses of water, limit your wine to less than two glasses (5 oz.), and exercise regularly. We promise you will lose weight faster than you think.
For Those Cravings
We can help with that too! Below are some great meal swaps that will keep your tastebuds happy.
Craving: Potato Hash browns
One hash brown can come in a over 300 calories and over 25 grams of fat. Is it really worth it? Maybe once you’ve reached your goal you can treat yourself but until then…
Swap For: Sweet Potato & Zucchini Rosti
This is an amazing combo that gives you flavour and texture so as to satisfy your craving. Easy to do: just grate the one sweet potato and one small zucchini and combine with a little bit of red onion. Strain the liquid out and then add egg white, salt, pepper, and whatever other spices you want. Form little cakes and pan-fry them in coconut oil. Delish and one patty is less than 60 calories.
Sushi is more often than not perceived as “healthy” and if you’re noshing on sashimi it mostly can be. However, the sushi rolls that we all love are just not that healthy for many reasons; rice is good but in a roll, there’s a lot of it. Add tempura bits, sweet sauce, and whatever else goes in there and you’re doomed after a couple of bites. One sushi roll can be as high as 800 calories!!
Swap For: Summer Roll
This can easily be made at home and filled with so much yummy stuff. Just pick up some shrimp, fish, or even meat (would be awesome with duck breast), some veggies, rice wrappers, and you’re all set. To make, just soak the wrapper in hot water and when it’s nice and soft add your fillings. We suggest shrimp, mango, lettuce, hot pepper, green onion, cilantro, and even a little bit of avocado. Go easy on this one if you’re on a serious weight-loss mission – avocado is very high in fat. Then roll it up, dip in some low-sodium soya sauce and you’re in heaven! Depending on what goes in your roll, you could have two or three of these and still come under 200 calories. Check online for nutritional calculators so you can see what your creation comes in at.
Craving: Spaghetti & Meatballs
The comfort food of all time can really pack on the calories and fat especially when nonna makes it. If you didn’t know, a big yummy plate can be as much as 1000 calories!
Swap: Zucchini Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs
This one is the most well-known. But really, that’s because it’s an awesome substitute for a pasta craving. Get yourself a spiralizer and start using it. Make a simple tomato sauce without any oil but lots of garlic and spices. Get yourself some ground turkey, mix in some spices, and bake in oven. Then spiralize a zucchini and add tomato sauce and turkey meatballs. If you get creative with your spices, this is a fantastic dinner that’s totally satisfying and depending on portion can come in under 200 calories per portion.
Craving: Juicy Pulled Pork or Chicken Sandwich
Who doesn’t love a delicious pulled pork or chicken sandwich? Yummy ‘melt in your mouth’ BBQed meat with creamy coleslaw on a soft bun can be such a delight – but then it ends up on your butt or your waist. One sandwich can be as much as 700 calories and over 25 grams of fat.
Swap For: Pulled Chicken Roll
It’s no secret that chicken breast is one of the leanest proteins out there so why not get creative with it? Stick it in a slow cooker with low-sodium vegetable broth and some spices and five hours later you’ve got yourself makings for a delicious pulled chicken sandwich without any fat. But yes, bread is the enemy — pick up some cabbage or some collard greens to use instead. Add some green onions, red peppers, and whatever else suits your fancy, roll and eat. There you have it – a fantabulous pulled chicken “sandwich” that comes in at under 200 calories and less than 5 grams of fat.
2 Chicken Breasts
1 1/2 cups Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
12 Cherry Tomatoes
1 Red Onion
4 Bay Leaves
6 sprigs fresh Thyme
1 head garlic crushed
Water as needed
Put everything in a slow cooker or Dutch oven and ensure the liquid covers the meat and tomatoes. In the oven, let it cook at 250 degrees Celsius for five hours or in slow cooker (set temperature at low for five hours). Take it out and pull the meat apart in a separate bowl. Remove the bay leaves and thyme from the liquid. Add liquid, tomatoes, onions, and garlic to the chicken and mix. If you need to add water, add slowly so as to not drench the chicken.
The next part is up to you. We suggest using cabbage leaves, adding chicken, green onion, radish, mango, cilantro, mint, and then roll. For added flavour, you can also add some ponzu sauce and/or fish sauce. Not too much so you keep the sodium down.
Happy healthy eating!
What are some of your tips or recipes on how to lose weight in 2016? Share them with us and your thoughts on “Lose Weight in 2016: Eat This… Not That” in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.