Trying to eat more healthily can seem daunting. In fact, by changing just a few eating habits you make a big difference to your diet.
It's all about avoiding high calorie, low nutrient, unhealthy foods and swapping them for something healthier. You could try:
- Swapping your fatty, sugary snacks for fruit and vegetables.
- Reducing portion sizes.
- Drinking plenty of water.
This is the 'stop and swap' method for reducing your daily calorie intake and eating more healthily. It means stopping your usual snack or meal and replacing it with something just as tasty, but healthier and lower in calories. Below, we run through a typical stop and swap day.
Note: all calorie values given are approximate, and taken from the website of a leading supermarket.
It’s the start of the day, and you need something to fill you with energy.
STOP: croissant with jam and butter, orange juice and a cup of tea with milk and two sugars (416 calories).
SWAP: Begin the day with a slice of lemon in hot water and enjoy some homemade porridge with semi-skimmed milk and a little honey. The porridge will provide a much slower release of energy that will keep you going until lunch (378 calories).
9am: pre-work kickstart
You’re heading to the office when you decide to stop off for a quick coffee.
STOP: a whole milk latte (200 calories).
SWAP: swap this for a skimmed milk latte and you’ll still get your caffeine boost, but with nearly half the calories (122 calories).
11am: morning snack
You’re feeling peckish and want something to snack on.
STOP: a bag of crisps (289 calories).
SWAP: a handful of fruit or nuts, or plain popcorn instead (188 calories).
You’re heading out for lunch and you’re after something filling.
STOP: a mozzarella, tomato and pesto panini (487 calories).
SWAP: a jacket potato with cottage cheese and a salad. This will fill you up without giving you that mid-afternoon energy slump (403 calories).
3pm: mid-afternoon snack
A mid-afternoon tea break, and it’s time for something sweet.
STOP: a chocolate-chip cookie (168 calories).
SWAP: a piece of fruit. Bananas are good if you’re craving something sweet (116 calories).
6.30pm: a drink after work
It’s the end of the day and your workmates are all off to the pub.
STOP: a bottle of beer (160 calories).
SWAP: a glass of white wine has far fewer calories (97 calories), or stick to water for zero calories and a much healthier night out.
Tonight you planned to make something special.
STOP: roast beef, roast potatoes and yorkshire pudding (558 calories).
SWAP: Try a warming beef casserole with mash and vegetables. You’ll save calories and it’ll be just as satisfying (475 calories).
10pm: close to bedtime
It’s nearly bedtime and you fancy a late-night nibble.
STOP: chocolate digestive (83 calories).
SWAP: have two dried figs. They’re sweet enough to satisfy your sugar craving without the high saturated fat content (57 calories calories).
Total STOP calories: 2,361
Total SWAP calories: 1,836
TOTAL CALORIE SAVING PER DAY: 525