To clean up your diet in a lasting way, begin to implement these seven tried-and-true tricks. The small changes will really add up, and you’ll barely notice the slimming swaps!
Cut a beverage. Many people have a sweet spot for sugary drinks, and while soda and fruit juices don’t seem like much when you're drinking them, they can add hundreds of calories to your diet — and inches to your waistline! Swap one sugary beverage a day for a glass of water, and save yourself over a hundred calories.
Ditch the bun. If sandwiches and burgers are staples in your diet, you don’t have to give them up. Simply swap out the caloric bun for lettuce leaves. The bun offers little flavor to the meal anyway, so you’ll barely notice the swap while saving yourself hundreds of calories.
Slim down your coffee. If you’re a sucker for fancy coffee shop concoctions, it’s time to make a swap! While coffee itself is a low-calorie beverage choice, those flavored coffee drinks are another story. When ordering milk-based drinks like lattes, opt for low-fat or fat-free milk. And start to wean yourself off the sugar — use only one tablespoon in plain coffee, and nix the sugary flavored beverages altogether.
Do a condiment swap. Adding condiments to your sandwiches can enhance flavor, but choose wisely! Instead of mayo and sugary ketchup, which are both high in calories, opt for mustard as your spread of choice — it packs a flavor punch for a fraction of the calories.
Avoid fried foods. Craving greasy fast food? Vow to make your favorite comfort foods at home instead, and save yourself a ton of calories and fat. For instance, I like baking homemade “French fries” and chicken fingers in the oven for a guilt-free indulgence.
Sneak in veggies. I love a good pasta dish or meatloaf – but to make them healthier, I always add veggies! Vitamin-rich vegetables like spinach, broccoli and carrots are low in calories but high in volume, so you can beef up your dishes while driving down the calories per serving.
Pick smartly from the soup menu. Soup can either be a dieter’s dream or a major de-railer — it all depends on what type you order! Skip cream-based soups, which are loaded with fat and calories, and instead go for light-yet-filling broth-based minestrone or vegetable varieties.
Pick just one swap to make this week, and as it becomes a habit, add in another. These easy changes will slowly add up a healthier lifestyle with noticeable results — I promise!
This article is a partial excerpt from Denise's latest book, Side Effect: Skinny — Denise Austin's Fat Blast Diet (Bird Street Books Inc., 2012.)