1. Swap cake for…a fluffy vanilla protein bar, a few small square of dark chocolate or dried fruit like figs or dates (although these are much better than cake, as they contain fibre which will slow down the release of sugar, do be aware that they do contain natural sugars so consume in moderation).

2. Swap crisps for…homemade tortilla chips (cut into triangles, sprinkle with sea salt, 1 tbsp olive oil and paprika and bake in the oven until crispy or kale crisps.

3. Swap fizzy drinks for…sparkling water (add mint leaves, ice cubes or strawberries to flavour) or kombucha (a popular fermented with healing benefits that is low in sugar and now widely available in supermarkets).

There are about 2-6 grams per 8 ounce glass of unflavored Kombucha (less than 1 tsp sugar) versus about 24g (or about 6 tsp) of sugar in the same sized glass or orange juice (or up to 10 tsp if you go for a can of coke).

4. Swap white carbs for…brown (ditch the white bread completely and enjoy rye bread or wholemeal sourdough instead – the combination of wholemeal and fermented bread helps to maximise nutrition and fibre and many people find sourdough is easier on the digestion and very tasty).

5. Swap biscuits for…a nutty caramel protein bar or crispy caramel clusters, nut butter on rice cakes or homemade protein balls (blend 1 cup of cashew nuts, 8 pitted dates – presoaked in hot water for 1-2 minutes, 2 tbsp raw cacao powder and 1 tsp vanilla extract in a strong blender, roll into small ‘balls’, roll in a heap of dessicated coconut and place in the fridge to harden overnight).

6. Swap fruit yoghurt for…Greek yoghurt with berries (fruit yoghurts often contain well above the 5g of sugar per 100g threshold required to be classed ‘low sugar’, whereas Greek yoghurts hit the right sugar target (5g or under), whilst also offering an excellent source of protein).

7. Swap mayonnaise for…mustard (when it comes to sandwiches, calories sneak in all too quickly.

Next time you stack your lunch, try spreading mustard instead of mayo. Just one tablespoon of mayo can add 90 calories to your sandwich, but mustard is often zero).

8. Swap olive oil on your pan for…1-Cal Spray (using “just a little” bit of regular olive oil in the pan can add 120 calories.

By spritzing, the oil is well spread out, requiring you to use way less and the calories are minimal).

9. Swap pasta for…spiralised veg (instead of making carb-filled pasta for dinner, make ‘veggie noodles’ with a sprialiser.

As well as saving on calories (about 180 calories less per cup), you’re also less likely to have the ‘carb slump’ after dinner, meaning your blood sugars are more likely to be on an even keel, keeping your appetite in check right up until past bedtime).

10. Swap a burger bun for…an iceberg lettuce ‘wrap’ or ‘bun’ (that juicy burger is much better off without the starchy bun.

Eliminating nearly 130 calories, this decision will also mean you don’t load your system with processed carbs that are more likely to be stored as fat than actually used as energy – unless you plan a 10 mile jog that day! Not only that, but you’ll avoid the dip in blood sugar and you’ll have less cravings a few hours after your meal – a winner all round)!

Blog Post by Maebh Coyle