7 Easy Steps to Losing Weight (part II) - simple food swaps to beat afternoon cravings, without giving up wine or chocolate
Losing Weight - beat afternoon cravings, without giving up wine or chocolate
Welcome to the second of this two part blog series all about making easy food swaps that can help you with losing weight! This guide is designed to get you started, quickly and easily. I’ve split the guide into two so that you don’t get overwhelmed. And if you missed part one, you can check it out here.
This week we’re continuing the topic of food swaps for losing weight. And we’re going to tackle the topics of snacks, eating out and drinking, and eating chocolate!
If anything, I think these topics are more important than even your meals when trying to beat cravings.
Because if we’re thinking about losing weight, I think we focus on our meal times and put our efforts here. And so the snacks and ‘sneaky’ tit-bits can go un-noticed and get in the way of us losing weight. And I don’t want you to think you can’t have a night out at the pub or a meal with friends just because you’re losing weight so we need to talk about it.
You can implement one or more of the steps this week or you can download the free 7 day meal plan which puts it all together for you. All the recipes are included along with a prep guide of what to do each day, so there’s no excuse.
Take action and give it a go! It will be worth it…
Remember, you want a way of eating that you can stick to – as I discussed in my Facebook Live on the best diet. And if your aim is losing weight then you still need it to fit in with real life and not cause more stress in your already busy life.
That’s why food swaps are an easy way to make beating cravings and losing weight feel manageable and sustainable and that sounds like a win-win to me.
So, let’s dive straight into…
Step 5: Savvy Snacks
We all need a little pick me up during the day so I’m saying a definite yes to snacks, providing you’re hungry! Just give them a little thought (try taking them with you in small containers) so that they don’t steer you off track from losing weight. Don’t just have a carb based snack; think back to part 1 of this guide where we talked about adding fat and protein to keep blood sugar levels nice and steady to avoid those crashes and cravings.
Five simple snack solutions:
A handful of toasted nuts, or seeds sprinkled with soy sauce
A handful of olives plus a small piece of feta
Crudités - such as cucumber, celery, baby corn with hummus/cottage cheese
(Full fat) natural or Greek yoghurt with berries/chopped fruit
A couple of slices of wafer thin ham
Love your chocolate? I’ve kept chocolate in your 7 day meal plan!
Step 6: Take the Stress Out of Eating Out
I get asked about eating out A LOT. Even the most enthusiastic Midlifer can find making food choices in social situations awkward. The last thing I want is for you to think that means saying no to nights out. Just keep a few thoughts in mind to help.
Five Eating Out Stress Busters
If you’re going out to a restaurant or pub, look at the menu online and decide what you’re going to eat in advance.
Avoid the high GL bread board - eat the olives instead while you’re waiting for your main course.
Have something higher fat/lower carb, like a small handful of nuts, to eat before you go out so you’re not ravenous when you get to the pub/restaurant.
Unless you see something you really love, skip dessert and have a coffee instead. Or share one with someone else.
Don’t feel guilty if you’re eating something indulgent and don’t let it make you feel like you’ve blown it, which can lead to a major binge. We’re aiming for ‘imperfect perfect’ here, not getting it right all the time.
A Word About Those Midlife Standbys - Chocolate, Beer and Wine
Remember as a child being told you couldn’t have something made you want it even more? If I tell you never to have chocolate or wine, they become associated with treats, temptations and cheats, which eventually breaks your resolve to be healthier.
I don’t know about you, but in social situations the glass of wine can easily lead to another one and that makes me more likely to start rummaging in the cupboards to see if there’s anything indulgent to eat.
But after a hard week at work who doesn’t like a glass of wine, a cake or a dessert? And I did say you wouldn’t have to give up chocolate or wine …
The hard fact is that quitting alcohol for a week or so will have a positive impact on weight loss. Alcohol and chocolate will spike those blood sugar levels (remember -spike, crash and cravings!)
But even if you’re just being more conscious about what you drink, that’s a good start.
I’m all for easy swaps. Wine, beer and pure spirits don’t have much fructose (fruit sugar) but beer particularly is high in carbs. In fact, it’s been called ‘liquid toast’! A dry red wine would always be the best option.
If you need that Friday night sweet fix, swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa-solid - you still get your chocolate but there’s more antioxidants and less sugar.
Step 7: Keep Going!
The last thing I want to do is make these food swaps a chore or another impossible midlife mission that’s unachievable.
That’s why I’ve made this 7-step plan really straightforward. Real food swaps that will have maximum impact on your sugar and carb cravings, your energy levels and ultimately help with losing weight.
It’s just 7 days out of your life - so why not give it a go and let me know how you feel at the end of it?
You’ve got the power to make a positive change and I’m here to help, just as it worked for these Midlife Menu clients.
Download the Midlife Meal Planner here (and also get access to some extra help and support, all for FREE)
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Midlife Menu Ltd disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.