Summer comes around quickly, with many Britons tying to achieve a summer body for their upcoming holidays.
With dieting and exercising often hard work, and time consuming, many Britons can slip up on their weight-loss journey, finding it hard achieve their desired weight loss in time for summer.
But weight loss can still be achieved in a short space of time, with this fail-safe list of slimming food swaps.
Dietician Laura Coster, spokesperson for XLS-Nutrition meal replacement shakes revealed the simple food swaps that can fast-track weight loss, including things as simple as how food is cooked.
Ditch the refined carbs
According to Laura, a quick way to cut calories without compromising on flavour is to swap the carbohydrate element of a meal for a healthier, lower carb vegetable substitute.
For example, broccoli or cauliflower rice work really well with curries, courgette noodles are a great base for pasta sauces, and squash, sweet potato and celeriac are healthier alternatives to potatoes – whether chipped, mashed or baked.
Give Meat free Monday a try
Vegetarian meals can be lower in calories, saturated fat and denser in healthy nutrients than meat-laden dishes.
In fact, much research points to the multiple health benefits of a vegetarian diet, including reducing incidence of chronic illness.
Whilst Laura isn’t encouraging everyone to rush to become a vegetarian, she revealed that everyone could benefit from a couple of meat free days a week.
The increasingly popular Meat Free Monday trend is a great place to start when it comes to giving up meat. Many restaurants and celebrity chefs are embracing this healthy lifestyle shift and recipe inspiration is plentiful.
Opt for low fat dairy
Not all dairy is bad news for a diet. Swapping yoghurt and milk products for lower fat options is an easy way to reduce fat and calorie intake, with the added benefit of positively impacting cholesterol.
One group to be especially mindful of is cheese, where simple swaps can have a big impact. Avoid high fat cheeses like mascarpone, cheddar and stilton (44g and 35g per 100g, respectively) for lower fat alternatives like feta, ricotta, cottage cheese and quark (20g, 8g , 4g, 0.2g per 100g, respectively).
Avoid sugar laden drinks
Fizzy drinks are full of empty calories and an easy thing to axe for those looking to lose weight. Just one 330ml can of cola has 140 calories and 35g (seven teaspoons) of sugar.
Alcohol is also laden with sugar and is known to stimulate the appetite, so avoid alcohol when looking to lose weight fast.
Swapping regular fizzy drinks, juices and boozy beverages for sparkling water flavoured with fresh fruit, citrus or mint will help shrink the waistline.
Eating whole fruit is also a much healthier option than drinking fresh fruit juice or fruit smoothies, as they’re often high in sugar and low in fibre.
Swap fatty, red meat for leaner chicken and fish
Swapping one portion of red meat (beef, 230 kcal/14g fat) for the same sized portion of lean fish (cod 80 kcal/1g fat) could save up to 150 calories and 13g of fat.
Making this change just once a week for a year adds up to 7,800 saved calories, which converts to around two pounds in body weight.
Bake, grill and steam, don’t fry
Fried food is always unhealthy, and not conducive to weight loss. For those who love to fry, try shallow frying as it is a healthier method than deep frying, but if possible avoid it altogether.
Baking, grilling or steaming food will retain flavour without adding a lot of unnecessary fat. When cooking vegetables, steaming rather than boiling can preserve more of the nutrients in foods.