While engaging in a good workout on your treadmill is a great way to burn calories, it can be incredibly easy to eat back all the calories you just burned off if you don’t change your eating habits a little. Changing what you eat can be difficult, so if you want to be successful with your eating habits, try out some easy food substitutions. That way, you can more easily reach your weight loss goals.
Swap Out Regular Pasta For Veggie Noodles
Pasta is a versatile base for many different dishes. It also can be a very high-calorie dish, thanks to the carbohydrates in pasta. Just 2 oz of uncooked pasta can result in 190-250 calories; and 2 oz is not a lot of pasta.
If you want a heaping serving of pasta, but not the calories associated with it, try swapping pasta for veggie noodles. You will need a spiralizer to turn vegetables into noodles, but a good spiralizer can be found for under $30. Or, if you want an even easier alternative, just bake a spaghetti squash. This fibrous squash makes an excellent pasta substitution, and 3.5 oz of spaghetti squash is only 31 calories.
Embrace Applesauce In Your Baking
You don’t have to give up delicious baked goods when trying to lose weight. In fact, it can be better not to completely cut yourself off, as that can lead to binging behaviors. An easy food substitution you can make in your baking, which can make a big calorie impact is swapping butter in any recipe for unsweetened applesauce. The addition of unsweetened applesauce will make your baked goods fluffier, more fiber-rich, as well as lower calorie.
As just 1 tablespoon of regular butter can be 102 calories according to the USDA, that can really add up if a recipe calls for more butter. As many baked goods require up to a ½ cup, that can leave you with an astronomical 813.5 calories of butter in your baked good, not even counting the calories from the other ingredients. When using unsweetened applesauce, 1 tablespoon is only 6 calories, and a ½ cup is only 107 calories.
Wrap Just About Anything In Lettuce
Tacos, burritos, burgers, chicken salad, and more – just about anything typically accompanied by bread can be wrapped in lettuce. You still get all the great tastes, with a little more crunch, and much fewer calories. About the lowest calorie tortillas available are at least 50 calories, which isn’t too bad, calorically speaking. However, most of your flour tortillas will be more around 190-300 calories per tortilla, depending on size and manufacturer. A simple and quick calorie alternative to this would be to use lettuce leaves as your tortilla wraps. In general, a leaf of lettuce will be 5 calories.
Iceberg lettuce has a great crunch, but it offers very little nutritional value. Give leafy greens like romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, nappa cabbage, belgian endive, red leaf lettuce, or boston bibb a try.
Reconsider The Meats You’re Using
Ground beef and red meats in general are typically higher in fat than poultry – which also makes them higher in calories. While you don’t need to remove all red meats from your diet, you may want to consider swapping the meat in a few of your dishes. Meatballs is an easy swap, as nothing about the basic cooking process changes between using ground beef and ground turkey.
Ground beef, which is 70% lean and 30% fat, will be about 332 calories per 100 grams. Compare that to ground turkey, which is only 203 calories per 100 grams. Making this one simple swap can help cut 129 calories! Even better, pair your turkey meatballs with veggie noodles and suddenly, you have a great and filling, low-calorie meal. More common recipes to use ground turkey instead of ground beef include chili, burgers, meatloaf, tacos, stuffed peppers, and lasagna.
Making these easy food substitutions requires very little meal planning on your part to reap the calorie benefits. So, try them out as you continue to work towards your weight loss goals, and see if these swaps can help you reach your goals faster.