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Swap this not that so you can Drop!


Have you tried to lose weight by drastically slashing calories just to find out that it is not as easily managed as you would ever imagine?

The reality is that making huge changes in your eating habits and expecting quick results to lose weight are indeed very difficult to manage and you will likely end up in frustration. That’s why many people give up making further dietary changes even before seeing their weight drops.

Well, losing weight doesn’t need to be painful.

Here are 10 simple tricks on how to make healthy food swap to slash calories and shed weight naturally.

All these little swaps can easily add up to some big calorie savings! Just by eating 500 calories less than your resting metabolic rate per day, in theory you will be able to lose half a kilo to a kilo per week according to the recommended weekly healthy weight loss rate.

These healthy food swaps are aiming to reduce fat, sugar and calorie intake by swapping processed foods over to nutrient-dense whole foods to help you look great, feel great and slim down!

Remember to give yourself some time to get used to food swaps. It takes time for you to adjust your taste buds and reduce cravings particularly for sugar and fat!

Tip 1:

Instead of:

Full cream milk (1 cup = 160 calories, 8g fat, 15g sugar, 0 fibre)

Skim milk (1 cup = 90 calories, 0.3g fat, 15g sugar, 0 fibre)


Unsweetened almond milk (1 cup = 40 calories, 4g fat, 0.3g sugar, 1g fibre).

Almond milk has 4 times lower calories than full cream milk. Almond milk is also vegan friendly and suitable for people with lactose intolerance (Read my blog on “almond milk vs cow’s milk”).

Tip 2:

Instead of:

A full plate of Bolognese spaghetti with minced meat and cheese (550 calories).


Half the portion and fill up half the plate with colourful veggies (300 calories).

You save 250 calories and 9g fat – and add 5g fibre while still enjoying a full plate of food.

Tip 3:

Instead of:

Cheese and crackers (220 calories)


Vegetable sticks with hummus (60 calories)

Tame your munchies with vegetable sticks with hummus instead of cheese and crackers.

You save 160 calories and 10g fat and add extra fibre (6g). Hummus is made of chickpeas that is naturally high in fibre, protein, and low in calorie and fat. This is a perfect snack for health and weight loss!

Tip 4:

Instead of:

Soft drinks (1 can 375ml = 160 calories, 40g sugar)

Tonic water (1 can 375ml = 125 calories, 28g sugar)

Try: Soda water, sparkling water, or mineral water (0 calorie, 0g sugar

Swap soft drinks including diet sodas to sparkling water, soda water or mineral water with fresh lemon juice.

You will still get the fizzy taste but without artificial sweeteners, colouring and other chemicals that may lead to weight gain.

These alternatives are hydrating and can be considered as part of your water intake.

It is a common misconception that tonic water and soda water are the similar type of beverages. Don’t be fooled by tonic water. It is just a soft drink that loaded with sugar. One small can of tonic water contains a shocking amount of sugar and calories (125 calories, 28g sugar) while soda water contains zero.

Tip 5:

Instead of: sugary cereals and dried-fruit based muesli.

Watch out the sugar content of your breakfast cereals!

Try: Rolled oat porridge or Bircher’s muesli with fresh fruit.

One small serve (50g) of cocoa puffs from Coles or Woolworths contain over 5 teaspoons of sugar. When you see dried fruit such as sultanas, honey, rice syrup in the ingredient lists of a cereal, the sugar content will be likely ranges from 15% to 45% per serve. By swapping over to traditional rolled oat-based breakfast such as oat porridge and Bircher’s muesli, you are saving loads of sugar plus the extra boost of fibre and natural sweetness from fresh fruit.

Tip 6:

Instead of: mayonnaise (90 Calories)

Try: balsamic or lemon-based dressings (15 Calories)

One tablespoon of mayonnaise has 10g of fat and 90 calories, which has equivalent

number of calories in 3 big cups of vegetables.

Creamy dressings are often loaded with saturated fat, sugar and salt. Swap high fat mayonnaise for balsamic vinegar dressings or lemon juice dressings.

Lightly dress a fresh salad with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar or lemon juice – no additives included!

Tip 7:

Instead of: 1 cup of orange juice (140 calories)

Try: Eat the whole orange (70 calories)

Skip the glass of orange juice (250ml). Eat a fresh orange instead—one cup of orange juice has 27 grams of sugar and 140 calories, double the amount in an orange. In addition, you’ll get an extra 3 grams of fibre by eating the whole fruit.

Tip 8:

Instead of: Potato chips (1 small pack (28g) = 160 calories)

Try: Air-popped popcorn (1 cup = 30 calories)

One small packet of potato chips (28g) provides 160 calories and 9g of fat. They are high in salt and fat especially saturated fat and poor in nutrients. Air-popcorn has 5 times lower in calories and it’s fat-free. You can lightly season air-popcorn with salt and pepper to taste.

Tip 9:

Instead of: Wine or Full strength beer

Try: Vodka with soda water and lime juice

If you are working towards on cutting back alcohol for weight loss, then consider swapping wine or beer for vodka with soda water to save half the calories on alcohol intake. Squeeze in some fresh lemon or lime juice to enhance the flavour.

1 glass (150ml) wine = 120 calories

1 can/stubbie (375ml) full strength beer = 135 calories

1 nip (30ml) of vodka & soda = 64 calories

Try to pace yourself by drinking a glass of water between drinks, and start drinking later during the day – you’re less likely to drink more!

Tip 10:

Instead of: Peanuts (1/4 cup = 200 calories)

Try: Edamame (1/4 cup = 80 calories)

They're heart-healthy, yes, but the peanuts contain 200 calories per ¼ cup. Trade legume for legume with ½ cup edamame (with skin peeled), sprinkled with some sea salt and not only do you lose 120 calories, you gain 2 more grams of protein, too.




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