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5 Food substitutions for a lean physique

Shape magazine’s West Coast Contributing Editor, Corporate Wellness Director, entrepreneur, model, Shape brand ambassador & competitive beach volleyball athlete.

It's easy to go into hibernation mode during winter and eat just about anything we want. The long sweaters do an excellent job covering up the chili and corn bread. Unfortunately, the bikinis that are making their way to the forefront of our closets are not as forgiving.

Luckily, you are not going to have to deprive yourself to get your beach body back. There are simple substitutions to help you burn fat, build lean muscle and reduce overall calorie/sugar intake.

Substitute these delicious nutrition options for the not-so-healthy foods and you should soon see noticeable changes in your physique. Long days at the beach, here we come.

1. Eliminate: white/wheat bread

Raises blood sugar and helps body store fat.

Try: Ezekiel Bread: made from sprouted grains, and contains all 18 amino acids. Serves as a complete protein and is gluten free.

2. Eliminate: dried fruit

High in sugar and low in fiber.

Try: Real Fruit: You will get the sweet taste with all the nutrients, water and fiber.

3. Eliminate: sugary drinks

Liquid calories that will go straight to your waistline.

Try: Green Tea: High in antioxidants, and boosts energy without the crash.

4. Eliminate: pre-packaged salad dressings

Typically high in artificial ingredients and loaded with sugar (unless you seek out the natural dressings)

Try: Olive oil, vinegar, pesto (not too much), lemon, all nutrient dense and satisfying.

5. Eliminate: packaged food (pretzels, cookies, etc.)

Easy to overeat. High in salt, fat and artificial ingredients.

Try: Apples and almond butter. Loaded with fiber to keep you satisfied and essential beauty boosting components like vitamin E. Keeps blood sugar stable and helps body burn fat.

Photo credit: Peter Dressel/Blend Images/Getty Images
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