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Healthy Food Swaps

What if eating healthy didn’t mean GIVING UP what you love but finding HEALTHY FOOD SWAPS that let you hang onto your favorite foods while STILL chasing your goals?  How crazy would that be???

One of the very first excuses we hear is, “I’d love to eat healthy, but I just love _____ too much.”  That blank is always filled with some sugary, carby deliciousness that the speaker is sure is their kryptonite.  It’s spoken with such conviction that it’s almost like they believe that they’re the only ones who love ______.  Like the nearly 7,000 people in MacroEd are totally immune to the draw of pizza, pasta, bread, rice, and desserts.

The truth is, we’d ALL rather have those things.  The magic lies in having the things you love without sacrificing the work you’re doing.  Healthy Food Swaps are the answer…most of the time.

When it comes to eating well vs. eating what you crave, here are your options:

  • feed your cravings with the real stuff if you can make it fit your macros
  • save your favorite foods for your refeeds and enjoy them guilt-free knowing they’re helping you reach your goals
  • find healthy alternatives for your favorites

Fit Favorite Foods into Your Macros

In reasonable quantities, you can often enjoy your “guilty pleasure” foods as a part of your normal routine.  I remember when I first started counting macros, I NEEDED (literally) extra carbs and fats at the end of the night.  It just so happened that 1/2 C (1 serving) of Bryers Neapolitan ice cream fit the bill.  Every day for that first week, I had ice cream for dessert after dinner.  It was CRAZY.

You know what was even CRAZIER?!  I lost four lbs that first week.  😉

So, if you love donuts and donuts fit into your macros, by all means, have a donut!

Save Favorite Foods for Your Refeeds

Around these parts, we have once/week (or once/every other week) refeeds.  They’re an important part of keep yourself and your metabolism healthy.

Refeeds allow you to:

  • mentally take a break from being restricted to “healthy” foods
  • socially enjoy a night out with friends without having to skip out on meals or events
  • physically avoid weight loss plateaus

It’s much easier to say no to your favorite food when you know you’ll be able to enjoy it during a refeed later in the week.  We encourage our crew to “refeed like you mean it.”  Go big.  Plan something awesome.  Look forward to it.  And enjoy everything about the meal, company, and event surrounding it.  We think it’s a key element to the long-term success of our members.

Find Healthy Food Swaps for Your Favorite Foods

This is where MacroEd’s food wizardry really shines.  When you want something that tastes and feels like your favorite foods but has WAY more favorable macros, we’ve got you covered!

We talked a lot about this recently in our Facebook group.  Listen in!

Sandwiches

We all love sandwiches because they’re quick, easy, and convenient ways to eat, especially on the go.  You don’t have to give this up when you start watching your diet.  Instead, sub out bread for a low carb wrap (read your labels, babe…most wraps are as carby as regular bread) or go for a lettuce wrap.
Our favorite wraps:
Ole Xtreme High Fiber/Low Carb Wraps
Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran, Whole Wheat Pitas
Joseph’s Lavash Bread

Our favorite lettuce wrap execution is from Jimmy John’s.  They call it the “Unwich” and it’s all the stuff you love without the bread.  Try theirs or make your own.

Pizza

Between the recipes on our blog and those in our meal plans, we’ve hacked pizza nearly a dozen times!  It’s one of our favorites.

If you’d like to buy a pizza that’s macro-friendly and ready for you, go with Real Good Pizza.  They’re built on a chicken crust and the macros are AMAZING!!!  (like 25g protein/4g carbs kind of amazing)  My 3 and 5 year olds are obsessed with these too!

If you wanna make your own, these are a few of our favorite ways to pizza. (it’s totally a verb now, because #pizza)

OMG Pizza
Pizza Chicken
Pizza Waffle
Chicken Pizza Crust
Cauliflower Pizza Crust

   

Rice

For me, rice is a vehicle for meat and veggies.  I need it so I can take down hibachi style meals or have some bulk to my sushi.  Cauliflower rice has been a GREAT solution to the rice dilemma because I’m often not willing to spend my carbs on rice.
You can make your own or find it fresh or frozen already prepped for you.
And if you only do ONE thing with cauli rice, let it be our Cauli Fried Rice.  OMG.  It’s one of the most muggle-friendly dishes we have!  😉

Cauliflower Fried Rice
Make Your Own
Store-bought Fresh
Store-bought Frozen

Pasta

Much like rice, for me pasta is a vehicle to meats, veggies, and amazing sauces.  As much as I’ll tell you I love fettuccine alfredo, what I REALLY love is alfredo sauce with chicken, ya know?

Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles)
There are several veggie options for noodles that will still serve as that vehicle without the carb cost.  Zoodles are definitely my favorites.  You’ll need a handy-dandy tool to make them. (I’ve bought 3 different ones and this is my fave…let me save you some money and trials…lol)

Butternut Squash Noodles
You can also use the Inspiralizer in the same way to make Butternut Squash Noodles.  They have a little more body than zucchini noodles so you may love them best in baked dishes.

Spaghetti Squash
You can make veggie noodles without any gadgets with the Spaghetti Squash.  It naturally shreds into noodles when cooked.  I like to make it in my InstantPot, but you can also bake it or microwave it if that’s more your speed.

Miracle Noodles
There are store-bought noodles that are super low carb and still really delicious like the Miracle Noodles.  I LOVE the convenience of having them ready to roll when I am.

Other Breads

Sometimes you just want to snack on some other bready treats.  Here are a couple to tide you over:
Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Keto Bread

Printable

Need a cheat sheet to keep close by as you’re making these swaps?  We’ve got you covered.  Download yours here:

Food Swaps Printable

Subscribe to our newsletter and we'll send you this easy reference guide you can use as you make small changes towards a lower carb diet.

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I hope this has helped you find an easy swap or two you can make RIGHT NOW that will get you a little closer to your macro goals.  Let me follow along with your journey by sharing your progress using our hashtag #getmacroed!  I LOVE getting to celebrate your wins and cheer you on.

All the best,

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