10 Food Substitutions


Phase One is about making simple substitutions to your diet to improve your nutrition.

Making improvements is not about restriction but about replacing the low quality food and drink you consume, with high quality food and drink.

Here are the ten substitutions:

1: Replace non-vegetable food with a vegetable.
(or increase a vegetable portion). 

2: Replace a non-fruit food with a fruit (or increase a fruit portion). 

3: Replace a high calorie drink with a low calorie drink

4: Replace a fried food with a non-fried food

5: Replace a high fat meat with a lean meat

6: Replace a high calorie sauceor condiment with a low calorie alternative.

7: Replace a refined grain with a whole grain

8: Replace a whole milk dairy food with a low fat dairy food

9. Replace high calorie dessert with a low calorie dessert

10: Replace a non-organic food with an organic food

Replacing poor food choices with better ones is a much better strategy than simply saying ‘no’ to poor food choices.  Here’s a way to make substitutions in your diet to improve it:

  1. Write down what you eat in a day, and when you eat.
  2. Look at your list and see what changes you could make to make improvements.
  3. Write a new list and substitute any poor food choices (unhealthy) on the first list with better, healthier substitutions on the new list.
  4. Buy only foods on that list in your weekly shop and prepare your food and snacks to take with you to work, or prepare meals so they’re easy to grab/make.

You can make the changes all in one go, or do it gradually and change one or two things a week to improve what you eat steadily over time so that after a year you might have made between 50-100 improvements.  If you make changes gradually your body will get used to the changes and you’ll be better able to stick to the changes and keep them as part of your lifestyle.

Examples might include, swapping:

  • Diet Coke for chilled water.
  • Mars bar for some berries.
  • Crisps for fruit or a high protein snack.
  • Alcohol for lower alcohol / lower calorie drinks.
  • Milk for low fat or zero fat greek yoghurt or cottage cheese.
  • Chips or potatoes with an extra portion of veg or a salad.

See here for how to Improve a weekly diet



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