There are so many fun health swaps that take little effort, and have a HUGE reward for your health. When we say health swaps we mean: trading this for that – in order to live a healthier lifestyle. Whether it’s exercise swaps or food swaps; these little tips will be a huge bang for your buck in terms of health.
Elevator for Stairs
This is an easy one. Unless you suffer from chronic knee pain (which OSR can help you with) you should always be taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Stairs are a great way to get your heart rate up for just a minute while also burning some calories. It’s very rare that you are going to be climbing up more than three flights of stairs, so why not just make it your normal routine? Tell yourself “I’m not using the elevator at work anymore” – and then don’t. Usually waiting for the elevator takes longer than a quick walk up the stairs, so you’ll be saving time too!
If you’re at a desk job, it’s important to get your heart rate up a few times a day in order to make sure you’re burning calories and getting good blood flow. Choose a bathroom or break area that is downstairs, or far away from your desk in order to get some extra movement in at work. Any time in your day where you can get extra movement in, it’s a good idea for your health.
Soda for Water
This is a given. If you haven’t figured it out by now, soda is a completely nutritionless drink that is full of sugar. Generally the only people that crave soda are the ones who have been drinking it for years. Did you know that one can of Coca Cola has 9.75 teaspoons of sugar in it? That’s for one 12 fl oz can, not including the refills that you will get while you’re at a restaurant. Not to mention, water is fabulous for you. Take our word for it, or read why here.
Do yourself a favor for your health and the next time you’re about to order a coke, stick with water. Add a little lemon essential oil or some other NATURAL flavor and once you go a few weeks without it, soda won’t even sound good to you anymore. Read more about Added Sugar: What the Food Industry is Hiding from You.
Ranch for Vinaigrette
Whenever possible, shoot for a non-dairy salad dressing. Generally ranch and caesar dressings are full of fat and sodium, and even sugar. If you are going to eat ranch, stay away from low-fat options (as they pack in more sugar) and make sure that you are practicing portion control and genuinely only eating a tablespoon or two max. Serving size is crucial, because salad eaters are known for over-doing it on their dressing, instead of just adding some more flavorful ingredients to their salads. An oil-based vinaigrette is the best salad dressing that you can find at the store. If you have time, make your own salad dressing with avocado, lemon, and olive oil at home for a quick and healthy alternative to store bought!
White Carbs for Brown Carbs
We mean business with this one! Here in Hawaii we love our white rice, but that isn’t what is best for us. There is almost nothing worse for you than processed refined white carbs. White rice, white bread, and white pasta are among some of the emptiest calories you could ever eat. With little to no nutritional value, these carbs just pack up in your system, slow your metabolism, and create fat. Trade your carbs over to wheat with bread and pasta, and order brown rice when possible. If you’re really wanting to make a health difference, chose a complex superfood like quinoa or couscous instead of white rice.
Dinner for Breakfast
Okay, we don’t mean to literally eat breakfast instead of dinner. But this is an important one. Like most Americans, you probably grab a quick snack on the way out the door in the morning, and then have three servings at dinner each night. This is the opposite of what you should be doing. The bigger breakfast that you have, the less likely you are to snack throughout the day and starve until dinner. Not to mention that having a carb-loaded breakfast is actually a GOOD idea. If you’re eating complex carbs first thing in the morning, you have the rest of your day to use those carbs as energy and burn them off!
Have you ever heard of the saying, “eat breakfast like a king and eat dinner like a peasant?” Well that was totally right; as long as you’re eating like a healthy peasant.
Starve for Snack
One of the worst things you can do in terms of your “diet” is to starve yourself throughout the day. The most important thing to for your metabolism is to EAT when you’re hungry. If you are feeling hungry, you need to eat. Carry snacks with you that are healthy, portioned and easy to eat. Don’t bring an entire bag of chips to work, keep the thing open on your desk, and snack all day. We are talking about bringing a container of vegetables with hummus to eat at your break. Other great options are almond butter with rice cakes or a high fiber fruit!
Think: high protein, no sugar, low carb, non-processed, high fiber snacks. If you have two or three GOOD quality snacks throughout the day, you are less likely to over-eat during meals.
These aren’t the only health swaps that are out there. Take time to research what you’re eating and what kind of healthy alternative there may be out there for you! In the meantime, try out these six as a trial run and let us know how you feel after! Happy swapping!