The festivities of Christmas are over, you’ve welcomed the New Year in with a buffet of delicious delicacies, and now you’re facing the January blues… made worse with your new resolution: to start a diet and stick to it.

Sticking to a diet doesn’t need to be a laborious task. It can be a lot easier when you know exactly what you’re cutting out and what you’re replacing it with. To give you a helping hand, we’ve come up with five simple food swaps that can keep you on track with your January diet, and keep you from breaking the bank!

Saying goodbye to your beloved sweet treats can be difficult, but don’t forget all your favourite snacks will be there for you to enjoy on Cheat Day. Discover our food swaps for healthier eating below:

1. Swap white pasta and rice for wholegrain

When it’s cold during the winter, we can be tempted to fill up on carbohydrates. Which isn’t a bad thing at all; it’s about choosing the right ones to add to your recipes. If you’re planning on eating new rice dishes as part of your January diet, make sure you choose wholegrain rice or quinoa.

The same goes for pasta. White pasta is tasty and filling, but there are healthier alternatives available! One delicious recipe you could try is Pepper Pasta, where you chop up a garlic clove and four roasted red peppers. Add them to wholegrain fusilli with some tomato pesto and serve with grated low-fat cheese.

2. Swap crisps for nuts and popcorn

Snack time in the office? Packing your kids’ lunch with a bag of crisps? Try bags of nuts instead! They’re full of good fats and stop you from consuming too much sodium – a rife ingredient in crisps that have been baked or fried. You could buy a bulk bag of nuts and make up smaller bags to take to work or for the kids to take to school.

If you fancy something slightly different, try popcorn. Popcorn is not only wholegrain but is also lower in fat than most crisps, and comes in many different low-calorie flavours. Mix it up with sweet, salty, or even a combination of both!

3. Swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes

Sticking to your January diet will be a lot easier if you’ve got some tasty, filling meals to indulge in. And you can’t go wrong with a baked potato!

Whether you add grated cheese, baked beans, prawns or any other toppings to yours, you can ditch the starchy white potato and introduce sweet instead. And don’t forget to eat the skin, to get that ultra fibre boost!

Did you know? Sweet potatoes count towards your 5-a-day

4. Swap red meat for alternatives

If you’re used to dining on dishes of chilli con carne, spag bol or even shepherd’s pie, don’t fear. You can still cook these meals, but with a substitute for the beef mince.

Try swapping your regular mince for Quorn. Quorn is one of the best healthy food swaps you can make, and here’s why:

  • It’s full of fibre! Quorn is said to contain more fibre than 100g of brown rice or baked beans
  • 100g of regular beef mince contains approximately 16.2g total fat, whereas 100g of Quorn mince contains just 2g
  • Quorn is cholesterol-free, helping you keep your blood cholesterol levels balanced
  • Quorn’s glycaemic index can help stabilise blood glucose levels, which is especially important for people living with diabetes

If you don’t fancy swapping to meat-free options, you could trade red meat for white meat. Chicken and turkey are much leaner meats and can be incorporated into plenty of delicious recipes.

5. Swap breakfast cereal for porridge

Breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, giving your body a kickstart with the fuel it needs. One way to enhance this kickstart is to swap sugary cereals for porridge oats.

Packaged cereals may look appealing and taste good, but chances are they’re coated in sugar and will give you a sugar high – meaning at some point, you’ll experience a drop as your sugar levels plummet. Rather than consuming extra calories, swap cereals for a good old-fashioned bowl of porridge.

Porridge has a low glycaemic index and releases its energy slowly for a longer period of time… meaning you won’t be as hungry come mid-morning! If you want to add an element of sweetness, try mixing blueberries into your oats, or a sprinkling of sweetener such as Canderel or Stevia.