6 Simple Swaps for Effortless Weight Loss

Cutting calories may seem like the simplest way to shed pounds, but sustainable weight control is far more complicated than simple subtractions. According to recent reports, only 19% of those who are trying to lose weight even keep track of calories, and just 9% say it would be the easiest thing for them to do on a regular basis. My clients agree, and that’s OK. The truth is, the quality of what you eat, your overall nutrient intake, and choosing foods that help you shrink, while still feeling energized, nourished, and satisfied, are the keys to long-term success. The six swaps below fit the bill. Each allows you to instantly slash calories, while upping your intake of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and filling fiber. And, in some cases, you can even eat the same quantity of food. Put these trade-outs into action today, for easy breezy, delicious (and counting-free) results.

avocado-crohns-400x400.jpg avocado-crohns-400×400.jpg contains fiber, nearly 20 different vitamins and minerals – including blood pressure controlling potassium – and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs for short), a type of good fat linked to weight loss, belly fat control, heart health, and anti-inflammation.

cobb-salad-lettuce-wraps-x.jpg cobb-salad-lettuce-wraps-x.jpg fries, or a cob of roasted or grilled organic corn.

creamy-spaghetti-squash-400.jpg creamy-spaghetti-squash-400.jpg , makes the perfect replacement for some or all of your pasta.

portobello-mushroom-burger-400x400.jpg portobello-mushroom-burger-400×400.jpg in meals significantly slashed calories and fat without affecting volunteers' fullness or satiety ratings. This switch can also up your intake of vitamin D, an essential nutrient most of us are seriously missing out on, as shrooms are the only plant-based source.

shrmp-zucch-risotto-hl-1072222-x.jpg shrmp-zucch-risotto-hl-1072222-x.jpg , onion, mushrooms, and spinach.

Remove your burrito's tortilla and use a bed of lettuce instead

1 burrito sized flour tortilla = 290 calories

1 cup shredded romaine = 8 calories

Savings: 282 calories

Nutrition bonus: In addition to ditching 44 carb grams and nearly 700 mg of bloat-inducing sodium, ordering your burrito naked kicks up your intake of key nutrients. Romaine is loaded with vitamins A and K, along with generous doses of folate, vitamin C, and minerals like manganese, which helps maintain normal blood sugar levels, supports thyroid function, and keeps bones strong.

What’s your take on this topic? What additional swaps do you make to cut calories and boost nutrition? Please tweet your thoughts to @CynthiaSass and @goodhealth

Cynthia Sass is a registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she’s Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers NHL team and the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Her latest New York Times best seller is S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches. Connect with Cynthia on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest

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