Smart Substitutes can Change Everything

March 28, 2011 @ 2:22 pm posted by

          You’ve probably read the phrase “smart substitutes” in some of my previous posts.  If you’re trying to lead a healthier lifestyle or lose some weight (or both), then these two simple words can change everything for you.   Take them to heart and know that by choosing a few “smart substitutes” on a consistent basis, you make some pretty big changes without feeling much sacrifice. 
            Making smarter choices by going with substitutes for foods higher in fat or calories requires a little detective work, but you can handle it.   You’ve got to read labels.   Yes, I know you’re often in a hurry at the grocery, but simply grabbing what’s handy, on sale, or new is not a component of a healthy lifestyle. 
            Think of the grocery as a peaceful time to focus on your goals.  Give yourself some extra time to read labels, make carefully considered choices, and to picture yourself healthier and happier.   Exercising control over your food purchases means a far riskier situation at home, health-wise.   With smart shopping choices being made in the store, healthier nutrition becomes much easier at home, whether you’re grabbing a snack or cooking a meal from scratch.  Simple modifications to your menu – using smart choices – can literally save hundreds of calories and tons of fat.
            The biggest label no-no is sugar.  If sugar (or a form of sugar) is one of the first three ingredients listed on a package, that likely means that particular food or drink is very high in sugar.  Choose a substitute.   
            Give yourself a double boost by eating wisely at breakfast to kick-start your day.  Replace pork bacon or sausage with turkey or soy.  The difference in calories is shocking, and the taste is still there.
            Replace a donut or Danish with an English muffin spread with natural peanut butter and fruit spread.   I promise you, you’ll be satisfied.   Opt for whole wheat toast or bagels, and trans-free canola margarine instead of butter.  Omega-3-enriched eggs, egg whites or egg substitutes are also smart substitutes.   Replace cornflakes and milk with bran flakes and skim millk.  
            Light mayo is crucial to weight maintenance;  keep it in the fridge.   Turn your breaded chicken or fish patties into the grilled variety, and try some of today’s amazing veggie burgers.  Don’t tell the family up front they’re about to experience a change;  there’s every chance the new flavors will appeal.    
             Side dishes can add loads of unnecessary fat and calories.  Substitute brown rice, steamed veggies, tossed salad with vinaigrette, fruit salad or carrot sticks for fries, potato salad, or white rice.  Have you noticed how many white foods I’m recommending a substitute for? 
               Your new favorite words are broiled, boiled, steamed, sautéed, grilled, and raw.  Think of them as six wonderful, tasty, life-enhancing alternatives to one artery-clogging, fat-producing word:  “fried.” 
            After all, isn’t that the point?   You want to enhance your life, to feel good and have longevity to enjoy all the great things that might come your way.  Start at 20, 40, or 60 … but just start.  You only get one go-around!  
Side Dishes
Coleslaw                                   Tossed salad w/ vinaigrette dressing

 French fries                            Fruit salad or carrot sticks

 French fries                            Oven fries or baked potato

 Potato salad with mayo         Potato salad with light mayo

 Fried vegetables                    Steamed vegetables

 White rice                               Brown rice or wild rice

 Couscous                               Whole wheat couscous or quinoa

Dinner Entrees                       

Breaded fried chicken breast             Skinless roasted chicken breast

 Breaded fried fish                  Broiled fish filet

 Breaded fried shrimp             Boiled or sautéed shrimp

 Beef ribs or prime rib             Beef sirloin or round steak

 Pork chops                             Turkey breast

 Meat pizza with extra cheese            Veggie pizza with less cheese

 Pasta with cream sauce        Pasta with marinara sauce

 Regular ground beef              Extra lean ground beef

 Regular ground beef              Ground turkey breast

 Regular ground beef              Veggie burger crumbles


Creamy salad dressing           Vinaigrette salad dressing

 Creamy salad dressing          Olive oil and vinegar

 Cream sauce                                     Lowfat cream of mushroom soup

SpreadsRegular mayonnaise             Light or nonfat mayonnaise

 Regular cream cheese          Light or nonfat cream cheese

 Regular peanut butter            Natural peanut butter

 Jelly or jam                            Fruit spread or apple butter

Dairy Products                       

Whole ricotta cheese             Nonfat ricotta cheese

 Heavy cream                         Evaporated skim milk

 Whole milk                             Low fat or nonfat milk

 Whole yogurt                          Low fat or nonfat yogurt

 Whole cottage cheese           Low fat or nonfat cottage cheese

 Regular cheese                      Reduced fat or soy cheese

 Regular sour cream               Light or nonfat sour cream or plain yogurt (for extra calcium)

SnacksRoasted peanuts         Homemade mix: walnuts, almonds, raisins, cranberries, peanuts

 Regular butter popcorn or “kettle corn”         Light microwave popcorn

 Regular potato chips              Light or baked potato chips

 Regular corn chips                 Light or baked tortilla chips

 Butter flavor crackers                        Whole wheat crackers

 Nacho cheese dip                  Black bean dip or salsa

DessertsRegular ice cream                Low fat or nonfat frozen yogurt

 Ice cream bar                        Frozen fruit bar

 Milk chocolate candy bar                  Dark chocolate candy bar

 Cheesecake               Graham crackers topped with light cream cheese and strawberry spread

 Fruit pie in pastry shell           Fresh fruit crisp

 Strawberries with custard      Strawberries with nonfat pudding

 Candy bar                              Granola bar


One Response to “Smart Substitutes can Change Everything”

  1. Tucson Weight Loss Center…

    [...]Smart Substitutes can Change Everything | Sports Nutrition Authority ™[...]…

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