5 Food Substitutions to Help You Lose Weight

Eat This, Not 5 Food Substitutions To Help You Lose Weight

This post is by OYS writer Alexis from Trading Cardio for Cosmos. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram sharing her awesome weight loss tips and motivation!! She’s lost over 100lbs so she has lots to share!

“Can’t you just tell me what to eat?” I have a lot of readers who ask me for my food journal, photos of my meals and would like to replicate what I eat exactly in hopes of replicating my success. And I understand it! We all have busy lives, busy schedules and it would be really easy to have someone standing next to us to say “Eat this, not that!” But unfortunately, what works for me will not necessarily work for someone else. And some of the foods that I eat are not going to be things that make other people excited. For example, kale for breakfast.

But I thought a lot about the concept of moderation, and the idea of making better choices than we made before we set out to lose weight and get healthy. Weight loss is all about progress towards a goal, not perfect, rigid adherence to a restrictive food plan. So I’ve come up with 5 examples of “Eat this, not that!” you might find helpful along your journey. I’m also including some fun recipes so you can try making the “this” at home! Check it out:


Eat this: Breakfast
Not that: No Breakfast

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. We make better decisions when we’re not hungry. We are better able to focus when we’re not hungry. And breakfast is a vital part of weight loss because it jumpstarts your metabolism for the day.

If your metabolism is what promotes your digestion and caloric burning, then we want to start it up as early in the day as possible, right? Of course we do!

So then breakfast, no matter how small, is important. Overnight oats, egg white omelettes, cereal, even a piece of fruit can get your metabolism ready for the day!

22 Great Breakfast and Brunch Recipes

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Eat this: Ezekiel, sprouted grain or whole wheat bread.

Not that: White bread, diet bread or other processed bread products.

I admit, I am a bread snob. If I am going to use my calories or SmartPoints on a food item, it better taste good. And the longer I’ve been losing weight the more I want my bread to not just taste good, but be good for me. So there are only 45 calories in a piece of “light” bread. But for just a little more, say 25 calories, I can have a slice of bread that’s full of protein and complex grains that take longer for your body to break down, therefore keeping you satisfied longer.

Check out this whole wheat bread recipe

Eat this: Avocado and nut butters

Not that: Margarine or fake butter

When starting a weight loss program, oftentimes people try to eliminate oils and healthy fats from their diet because they are high in calories or SmartPoints.

Unfortunately, your body needs oil and healthy fats for a variety of bodily functions. Constipation, joint pain and dry, irritated skin can occur when you skip healthy oils and fats, and I notice a difference in my hair and nails, as well!

So rather than skip the oils or replace them with margarine or fake butter, why not try natural sources of oils and healthy fats like avocados, nut butters and coconut oil? They taste great and ensure you get the fat and oil you need AND you get ot avoid the chemicals and preservatives in margarine and fake butter!

Check out this avocado toast with lemon & kale recipe.

Eat this: Seafood Linguine in a White Wine Sauce

Not That: Pasta Carbonara or Linguini Bolognese

There is a time and a place for pasta, and if it’s something you enjoy you should absolutely not deny yourself. But consider striking a balance, and ordering your favorite pasta with low-calorie seafood and a light sauce, rather than cream sauces or heavy meat sauces. That way you can have your pasta AND eat it, too.

Check out this pasta with white clam sauce recipe:

On the other hand…

Eat This: Seafood Fra Diavolo Over Fresh Spinach or Zoodles

Not That: Seafood Over Pasta

If it’s not the pasta you crave, why not ask the kitchen if they can make your pasta dish over fresh or sautéed spinach, or even zoodles, instead? It’s a great low-carb option when dining out and I’ve yet to ever have a restaurant tell me no!

Check out this skinny garlic parmesan with zoodles recipe

Eat This: Tzatziki Dip

Not That: French Onion Dip

Tzatziki Dip is one of my favorite dips, from way back when I was a waitress at the world-famous Roscoe Diner. And it’s a great healthy option because it’s made with Greek yogurt and is just 35 calories or 1 SmartPoint per serving, compared to 60 calories or 2 SmartPoints per serving of French Onion Dip.

Try this great make-at-home Tzatziki recipe.

What do you think? What food substitutions do you make to make your weight loss journey work for you?

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  1. What a wonderful post Tammy. Thanks for sharing my skinny garlic parmesan with zoodles recipe. You are the sweetest.
    All the best,

  2. Very helpful! I love it! 🙂

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