Health: Making simple swaps can slash daily calories

It's easy to reduce calorie intake.
It's easy to reduce calorie intake.
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Losing weight doesn’t have to mean a complete diet overhaul, Katie Baldwin finds.

A new survey shows the average Brit files away 3,440 calories every day.

We can take some comfort. Against certain other countries, the US obviously, we’re not doing too badly – the average Yank puts away a nausea-inducing 3,770 calories.

But we shouldn’t take too much comfort. Even our ‘mere’ 3,440 calories a day is nearly 10,000 more calories a week than we need. And it takes just 3,500 to put on just one pound. In only one month, that’s almost a stone.

It’s a little alarming, but it doesn’t have to be. A

ll you need to do is make a few simple swaps to your daily menu, and you’re back down to a nice, safe, expert-recommended 2,000 calories.

Out: Latte In: White coffee

You need your caffeine in the morning, and that’s fine. But you don’t need your latte – what you need is a simple white coffee.

Calories saved: 180

Out: Banana In: Apple

Fruit is good for you, and that’s why you’re topping your cereal with a banana. But chop up an apple instead, and you’ve instantly halved the calories.

Calories saved: 50

Out: Ginger Nuts In: Nuts

Ah, the ill-fated elevensies, the moment we all eye the packet of biscuits and think ‘just a couple won’t hurt’. But they will – ‘just’ two biscuits will hurt in the shape of 200 calories. Try a handful of nuts instead - often seen as the dieting enemy because they’re high in fat, but it’s good health-boosting fat.

Calories saved: 70

Out: Soup Roll In: Oatcakes

Soup might be a healthy choice (if it’s home-made, otherwise it’s packed with salt), but make it even healthier by ditching the accompanying roll and going for a couple of less bloating oatcakes.

Calories saved: 200

Out: Sandwich In: Salad

Salads don’t have to be one lonely bit of Iceberg, they can be a fancy new vehicle for your normal sandwich filling. Instead of putting your tuna/ham/egg on some bread, bung it on some lettuce.

Calories saved: 250

Out: Bar of milk chocolate In: Square of dark

One mouthful of dark chocolate, however good the quality, is never going to be as fun as lots of mouthfuls of milk chocolate. Actually, yes, because the higher cocoa content means you’re still getting the same fix.

Calories saved: 180

Out: Wine In: Gin

Wine will never be good for you - even a small glass contains about 120 calories, and a large is nudging 200. We’re not saying don’t drink, just drink gin and slimline tonic instead.

Calories saved: 70

Out: Pasta In: Rice

It takes the same time to cook, it’s cheap, and it goes with anything. But rice is also packed with vitamins, is a multigrain, and is an instant calorie save. We have a carb winner.

Calories saved: 150

Out: Yoghurt In: Yoghurt

The key here is the type of yoghurt. Obviously, the new breed of chocolate flavoured ones are the bad type, but so are many fruit ones, masquerading as healthy but actually filling you up with sugar. Opt for a small pot of natural yoghurt with actual fruit.

Calories saved: 100

Middleton Park, Leeds.

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