From popcorn to cereal to salad dressings, here’s ten pantry swaps to help you lose weight
Are you trying to lose weight? Rather than going hell for leather on *another* diet overhaul, I think it’s far more productive to work on small tweaks that save kilojoules and add up over time.
That way, you don’t feel like you’re always ‘on a diet’ and instead, you’ll be building healthier habits that will stick long term. Doing it this way won’t mean you lose five kilos in a week – but as the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race.
In case you’re wondering, the average adult intake is about 8,700 kilojoules (2,000 calories) per day. If you’re trying to lose weight, this daily quota should drop to about 6,300 kilojoules (1,500 calories).
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For most people, this 2400 kilojoule (500 calorie) per day deficit equates to half to one kilogram of weight loss per week. While that’s not as fast or impressive as a lot of trendy weight loss programs and diet pills, it’s far healthier and means you’re more likely to keep it off in the long haul. Plus, losing weight too quickly means you’ll lose lean muscle mass and subsequently slow down your metabolism – and you obviously don’t want to do that.
To give you a helping hand with simple, do-able diet tweaks, here are ten pantry swaps that really work. They mightn’t seem notable, but over a whole day, these tweaks cut almost 2000 kilojoules (500 calories) – and hey presto, there’s your kilojoule deficit without even trying.
1. Swap sugar for cinnamon
- One teaspoon of sugar = 66 kilojoules
- One teaspoon of cinnamon = 26 kilojoules
- Save = 40 kilojoules
2. Swap buttery popcorn for air-popped popcorn
- One cup of buttery popcorn = 257 kilojoules
- One cup of air-popped popcorn = 115 kilojoules
- Save = 142 kilojoules
3. Swap toasted granola for rolled oats
- Half a cup of toasted granola = 987 kilojoules
- Half a cup of rolled oats = 614 kilojoules
- Save = 364 kilojoules
4. Swap salad dressing for balsamic vinegar
- One tablespoon of French dressing = 195 kilojoules
- One tablespoon of balsamic vinegar = 66 kilojoules
- Save = 129 kilojoules
5. Swap tuna in oil for tuna in spring water
- One 90g can tuna in oil = 645 kilojoules
- One 90g can tuna in spring water = 363 kilojoules
- Save = 282 kilojoules
6. Swap savoury biscuits for wholegrain crispbreads
- Ten savoury biscuits (35g) = 718 kilojoules
- Six wholegrain crispbreads (35g) = 546 kilojoules
- Save = 154 kilojoules
7. Swap sweet biscuits for fresh fruit and peanut butter
- Two Tim Tams = 794 kilojoules
- One apple and a teaspoon of natural peanut butter = 558 kilojoules
- Save = 236 kilojoules
8. Swap jarred creamy sauces for tomato-based ones
- Half a cup of carbonara sauce = 746 kilojoules
- Half a cup of beef bolognese sauce = 475 kilojoules
- Save = 271 kilojoules
9. Swap chips for roasted chickpeas
- One small packet of potato chips = 449 kilojoules
- One small packet of roasted chickpeas = 270 kilojoules
- Save = 179 kilojoules
10. Swap sweet chilli for sriracha
- One tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce = 264 kilojoules
- One tablespoon of sriracha = 42 kilojoules
- Save = 222 kilojoules
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based accredited practising dietitian. You can connect with her on Instagram @honest_nutrition.