Summer is just around the corner and with rising temperatures come opportunities to show off that body you’ve been working toward all winter. Well, the body you've been meaning to work toward all winter.
Not quite ready to bare it all? Even if you’ve fallen behind on your 30-Day Squat challenge (who hasn't?), there’s still plenty of time to reach your swimsuit season goals.
The season of sun, beach and sand is almost here, but have no bikini-fear. From breakfast to dinner, these simple food swaps will help you get on the right track, all day long!
SWAP OUT: Orange Juice
SWAP IN: The Whole Orange
Skip the OJ in the morning and reach for a fresh orange instead. One 8-oz glass of juice actually contains more than double the calories and only one-third of the fiber of a standard piece of fruit.
While both granola and oatmeal are chock full of hearty oats, the added sugars, nuts and dried fruit in granola add up to a higher calorie count. As a lower-cal alternative, opt for oatmeal instead. And if you’re pressed for time in the morning, try whipping up some Overnight Oatmeal the night before. Get the recipe here.
Bagel With Cream CheeseSWAP IN:
English Muffin Breakfast Pizza
While we all love a good bagel in the morning, just one of these bad boys can amount to nearly 2-3 servings of bread. So, instead of your morning bagel, cut calories and reach for a whole wheat or multi-grain English muffin instead. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try adding a cheesy egg topping to your muffin and make your own Breakfast Pizza! Get the recipe here.
Blueberry Muffin From The Coffee ShopSWAP IN:
Yoplait Greek Blended Blueberry
They call it a “muffin top” for a reason. A standard medium-size (4-oz.) blueberry muffin could contain more than 425 calories, 60 carbs and 35 grams of sugar. To avoid this caloric carb overload, opt for a creamy Greek yogurt like Yoplait Greek Blended Blueberry
. This sweet morning treat will net you 140 —or less than one-third — the calories, but also provides 11 satisfying grams of protein.
SWAP OUT: Iceberg Lettuce
SWAP IN: Spinach
To get the most of leafy greens, opt for spinach over iceberg lettuce. As a general rule of thumb, the darker the vegetable, the greater the amount of vitamins and nutrients it contains. Unlike its lighter-green friend, spinach is full of iron and vitamins A & C to help regulate your metabolism.
Hamburger BunSWAP IN:
If your anything like us, you enjoy a burger (or 2) on occasion. Slash calories off of your meal by nixing the bun and using pita bread as a flavorful alternative. Prefer veggie? No problem. Stuff your veggie patties in pita bread halves with a quick-to-fi corn salsa to make Tex-Mex Veggie Burgers. Get the recipe here.
French FriesSWAP IN:
Baked Zucchini Fries
There’s no surprise here that french fries aren’t ideal for a bikini-ready diet. Step away from the fries, slowly, and whip up these tasty baked zucchini alternatives. Get the recipe here.
Cafeteria/Diner SoupSWAP IN:
Progresso Heart Healthy Minestrone
Some soups can be full of cream and cheese, upping the fat content to unwanted levels. Likewise, sodium can soar to unprecedented levels in restaurant preparations. A heart-healthy option like Progresso Heart Healthy Minestrone
comes in at only 110 calories per serving and is chock-full of veggies and beans for a hearty, better-for-you option.
Cut empty carbs from your dinner by swapping out your rice sides with quinoa. With a protein base, this tasty alternative offers a host of nutrients to help you whip your body into tiptop shape. For a quick dinner treat, try quinoa with black beans. Get the recipe here.
White Pasta SpaghettiSWAP IN:
Skip the meatballs and make your pasta a veggie treat by swapping out traditional pasta noodles for low-cal spaghetti squash. Having trouble deciding between the two? Why not
have some spaghetti with your spaghetti! You can still nix (nearly) half the carbs by combining the squash with traditional pasta. Get the recipe here.
Let’s be clear, you don’t have to give up steak all together, but swapping out that steak dinner for a healthy helping of salmon is a great way to reduce your intake of saturated fats and ultimately help you shed a few pounds of your waistline. For a colorful infusion to your dinner routine, try this vibrant salmon and vegetable creation.
Get the recipe here.
Boxed Mac & CheeseSWAP IN:
Green Giant Broccoli & Cheese On A Baked Potato
There’s a time and a place for indulgent comfort food, but pre-swimsuit season may not be it. For an easy, cheesy alternative to a big bowl of mac and cheese, swap in a baked potato (or sweet potato) with cheesy broccoli for dinner. A standard 6-oz. medium potato has about 160 calories, and is a good source of vitamin C and potassium. Top your tot with 2/3 c. Green Giant Broccoli and Cheese
at only 60 calories, and you’ve got a filling dinner. One 2-c. serving of cheesy mac from a box? Over 750 calories.
SWAP OUT: Chocolate Ice Cream
SWAP IN: Fat-Free Chocolate Pudding
This one’s a no brainer. As the weather warms up, it can be a uphill battle to resist the temptation to indulge in the cold creamy deliciousness of your favorite ice cream treat. In the name of bikini season, fight the urge to splurge and opt for fat-free chocolate pudding instead, chilled to your heart's desire.
SWAP OUT: Peanuts
SWAP IN: Edamame
While it’s true that the peanut is a heart-healthy superfood, it’s also true that peanuts pack A LOT of calories. At more than half the calorie count per serving, edamame is a more waistline-friendly alternative.
Potato ChipsSWAP IN:
Snacking should be easy and portable, but many on-the-go snacks provide only empty calories. Instead of chips, reach for a snack or energy bar that provides more nutritional substance. A 1-oz. bag of potato chips may only be 155 calories, but it doesn’t provide much in the way of protein or other nutrients. Swap for portable Fiber One® Brownie snacks
, which are only 90 calories and a good source of fiber. (Besides, who can only eat one ounce of chips, anyway?)