No matter how often we say we want to lose weight, going on a diet is much easier said than done. While maintaining a healthy diet can be challenging, there’s no need to stress out, and you certainly shouldn’t try to avoid mealtime. Instead, try swapping out some of the foods with healthier alternatives. This will provide you with more nutrition for the calories you do eat and will often make you feel full faster.

Swap Out Butter for Coconut Oil

For many of us, butter is a comforting flavor, reminding us of movie nights and holidays. However, even if you love the taste of butter, it’s a good idea to swap it out for coconut oil in your cooking. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides, which break down quickly for fast energy. You won’t have to treat it any differently from butter either, and it works just as well as butter when preparing sautéed vegetables. However, as with any kind of oil, make sure to keep an eye on your caloric intake. A little oil can go further than you might expect. If you prefer, you can also swap out any kind of oil for gluten-free bone broth collagen protein powder. When mixed with a little bit of water, you can use it to sauté fresh veggie with little to no fat and get a boost of protein while you’re at it.

Swap out White Rice for Quinoa

Although white rice isn’t exactly unhealthy, it has a lot of empty carbs and calories when compared to quinoa. You can prepare quinoa the same way you would prepare rice, and the quinoa will you a boost in fiber, zinc, protein and iron that the rice wouldn’t. Quinoa is actually a seed from a plant called goosefoot. This plant is in the same family as beets and spinach. In just one cup, quinoa has five grams of fiber and eight grams of protein. Quinoa in an extremely versatile ingredient. You can use it as a simple substitute for rice and combine it with spices to make an aromatic side, or you can get a little more creative with it. Quinoa can be used as a base for your morning oatmeal, as an extra element for your lunchtime salad, or as a meat substitute at dinner time.

Swap out Chips for Popcorn

Did you know that a serving of regular chips contains about 10 grams of fat, 150 calories and 15 grams of carbs? And that’s not even a whole bag. It’s approximately 15 chips, depending on the brand you’re eating. On the other hand, one serving of popcorn with let you eat five popped cups, all for fewer calories than those 15 chips. Popcorn also contains both protein and fiber with hardly any fat or sodium which means you’ll get more nutrition from your bowl full of popcorn than you would from a handful of chips. As long as you remember not to douse your popcorn with heavy butter and salt, you’ll have a healthy movie-time snack.

Swap out Sour Cream for Greek Yogurt

Using Greek yogurt as a garnish rather than sour cream is an easy swap that you might not even notice. Sour cream and Greek yogurt have very similar flavors and consistencies, but one is far healthier than the other. While sour cream is made with a base mixture of both cream and milk, yogurt has a base of only milk. They are otherwise made basically the same way, by adding acid-producing bacteria, but the small difference in their base mixtures makes for a big difference in the nutrition of the product when it reaches you. Sour cream has a fat content of about twenty percent while Greek yogurt has a fat content no higher than about 12 percent. Greek yogurt contains a lot of protein as well as probiotics.
Chances are you won’t realize that you’re eating Greek yogurt on your taco rather than sour cream. Just remember to use plain yogurt and not flavored. You can add some flavor like spices, lemon juice or hot sauce to the yogurt for an extra kick.

Swap out Croutons for Almonds

Everyone loves a little crunch in their salad. That little bit of extra texture makes your meal more interesting and more flavorful. Croutons taste great, but they’re also high in fat and calories. Almonds, on the other hand, provide you with 13 different vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, vitamin E, calcium, fiber, potassium and protein. Almonds also taste great with a whole variety of different fresh fruits and vegetables, so there’s no need to eat the same salad every day. Who said you had stop eating the food you love to lose weight?

You can simply swap out certain items with healthier alternatives. And when paired with regular exercise, you’ll be beach ready in no time.

Author's Bio: 

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber;