Substitute high calorie foods with these diet-friendly options.
Looking to shed a few pounds? Who isn’t? By making a few small changes in the types of food you eat, you can save your waistline from a lot of calories. Many foods have simple substitutes that taste similar, if not better. Take a close look at what you typically eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Then think of what you could swap for lower calorie options. You may be surprised.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
What does the first meal of the day look like for you? Do you even eat breakfast? Well, if losing weight is on your to-do list, you should have breakfast each morning. If you typically grab a sweet roll, muffin, or donut, switch to an English muffin or whole grain bagel with light cream cheese.
Granola may sound healthy, but it can be high in calories. Go for some bran flakes or reduced fat granola in low fat yogurt. For something hot, grits and oatmeal are great options that you can prepare on the quick.
Rather than using one- or two-percent milk on your cereal, save on calories and go for skim. Better yet, try unsweetened almond milk, a tasty option that has 62 fewer calories than one-percent milk.
Eggs and bacon on the menu? Swap the real stuff for Canadian bacon or lean ham. Also, only use egg whites or egg substitutes.
In the event you can’t do without your morning coffee and you enjoy creamer or half and half, you’ll need to make yet another breakfast change. Swap your creamer and half and half for low-fat milk or fat-free dry milk powder.
In today’s fast-paced world, eating out for lunch has become the norm. But you should know that it’s much easier to eat healthily and watch what you eat if you fix your own food. So pack up your lunch and you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.
For sandwiches, choose low-fat cold cuts and reduced fat cheese. Rather than tuna packed in oil, buy the kind that’s packed in water, and then rinse to reduce the sodium content. Regular mayonnaise is hard to pass up, but you should recognize that it’s high in calories. Use light mayonnaise to reduce your calorie intake. Instead of using two slices of bread, use one piece of whole-wheat flatbread and reduce your calories by 120.
Salads are a great lunch option, but calories can add up even on a salad. Drizzle on reduced-calorie or fat-free dressing or make your own with lemon juice, herbs, and wine vinegar. Cheeses, nuts, and croutons are all yummy salad toppings, but like so many things, they’re high in calories. So pile on the veggies instead. Be picky about what you add to your salad.
The last meal of the day is usually the biggest. Be on the lookout for ways to cut back. Here are some easy dinner swaps.
Fat from meat can pile on extra calories fast. Swap out regular ground beef for extra lean ground round or ground turkey, and eat chicken or turkey without the skin. Rather than a 4-ounce rib-eye steak, choose a lean pork chop that’s about the same size and save 182 calories. Save even more calories by changing your cooking technique. Rather than frying your meat, grill, bake, or broil it instead.
When it comes to sauces, always choose red sauce over white. Replace sour cream with low-fat yogurt. You can save an amazing 160 calories by eating one cup of tofu shirataki noodles rather than a cup of cooked pasta.
When everything else seems to be right in place, snacking still has the power to cause your diet to fail. Calories pile on fast with mindless or frequent snacking. Stick to single servings or pre-portioned snacks to keep your snacking safe.
Also, swap out baked goods or candies for fresh fruit. Dried fruits are healthy, but they have up to four times as many calories as fresh fruit. Rather than going with the full-fat snack foods, choose low-fat options, such as cheese sticks yogurt, and crackers.
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