12 Food Swaps to Help You Drop that Pesky Winter Weight

Marie Claire
Healthy Living

Celebrity chef and nutritionist Tricia Williams gave us a foolproof food plan that will have you feeling great (and shedding pounds!) just in time for summer. By Alyssa Vingan

Instead of Sugar, Try Coconut Sugar
"Coconut sugar is the nectar of the blossom of the coconut before it grows, and it has a low glycemic index. What I love about it the most is that it behaves a lot like white sugar when you bake with it. It's low in calories, and it gives you that crunch in cookies that you don't always get from those artificial sweeteners."

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Instead of Milk, Try Almond Milk
"We take diary out of the equation because it makes a lot of excess mucous in the body. Almond milk is the best go-to and it's also really easy to find in grocery stores. I think almond milk pairs really well with different things - in cereals, in porridges."

Instead of White Rice, Try Quinoa
"Quinoa is a whole grain - technically it's the seed - but it's very protein-rich. It's almost a complete protein. It's lower on the glycemic scale than white rice so it won't cause that spike and crash that you can get from eating gluten."

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Instead of Cheese, Try Cashew Cheese

"When you make cashew milk, you soak cashews in water and then grind them up and strain it. Then what you can do is make cheese - this is like a cream cheese, and we can flavor this with basil or chives. We can also dry it out and make it have more of a goat cheese texture. All you need to make this is just water and cashews - it's so much easier and so much less expensive to make than to buy."

Instead of Butter, Try Coconut Oil
"Even though coconut oil is a saturated fat, there's plenty of evidence that it contains medium and long-chain fatty acids, which help you burn fat. It's anti-microbial, so it has lots of healing properties, too. I also love to bake with it - it keeps moisture in whatever you bake."

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Instead of Filtered Water, Try Alkaline Water
"The 'alkaline state' references the amount of acid in the body. There are many things that are acid forming in the American diet: white flour, white sugar, grains, and animal proteins. One of the things we do is try and alkalize their foods - if you pair something with a green vegetable, it alkalizes and balances it. Mountain valley spring water is naturally alkaline, Evian is naturally alkaline. It has enough minerals to adjust the pH in the water."

Instead of Oil, Try Canola or Safflower Oil Cooking Spray
"Canola oil and or safflower oils remain stable at high heat. They're better choices than things like olive oil, which becomes really unstable - this makes free radicals form and that causes a lot of oxidative stress in the body. You know the oil becomes unstable when it starts smoking."

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Instead of Coffee, Try Green Tea
"I don't necessarily say coffee is bad, but it's addictive for a lot people, which I think is negative. With green tea, you get the benefit of all the antioxidants, and there's still some caffeine in there if you're a person who absolutely needs it!"

Instead of Wheat Bread, Try Paleo Bread
"This is our new favorite thing! There are lots of recipes online that you can look at. It's a bread that's base is almond flower, taro root, and egg. What's great about it that it's so dense, it makes you feel fuller, longer."

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Instead of White Flour, Try Oat Flour
"White flour is not only highly refined, it has a high glycemic index, which makes your blood sugar spike and then crash. Oat flour has a lower glycemic index and it's whole grain, which helps you to feel fuller, longer."

Instead of Fruit Juice, Try Green Juice
"I like to put kale, celery, and romaine in my green juice, and I would recommend pairing it with fruit. Sometimes apple and pineapple make it more tolerable. A good place to ease yourself into it is Juice Generation - they make a juice called Supa Dupa Greens. Sometimes people are who come to me with circulation issues, I put in jalapeño peppers and ginger, which is an anti-inflammatory."

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Instead of Potato Chips, Try Kale Chips
"Kale is just nature's best super food. It's the healthiest green leaf and it's packed with so many vitamins and minerals. Baking kale chips gives you the crunch you'd get from eating potato chips."

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Coconut Sugar
Coconut Oil
Canola Oil
Paleo Bread
Green Juice