What if someone told you that you could eat many of your favorite foods and still lose weight? Sounds like a hoax, doesn’t it? Well, by making a few small changes in the ingredient list or swapping one food for another, foods that were once high-calorie can be magically transformed into diet-safe options that still taste good.
Weight loss is most successful when you make changes you can live with for the long run, and small changes are a lot easier to maintain over time than a major diet overhaul. Since every calorie counts, consider making the following foods swaps that cut at least 100 calories each time. With these steps, you’ll be surprised how simple it can be to lose weight and still enjoy your food.
First Up: Breakfast
The most important meal of your day is breakfast, so make the most of it. Simple yet delicious ways to save 100 calories or more each morning include the following:
- Swap your bagel, cream cheese, and jam for a whole wheat English muffin, peanut butter, and slices of fresh strawberries.
- Rather than a 12-ounce glass of orange juice, eat a medium orange instead.
- Choose fat-free half-and-half creamer for your coffee instead of regular.
- Use real maple syrup and skip the butter on whole-grain waffles.
- Still enjoy bacon and sausage but switch to maple turkey bacon and turkey sausage.
- Fill up on a bowl of oatmeal instead of granola.
- Pour skim milk rather than whole milk on your breakfast cereal.
Next: Lunch and Dinner
See how easy it was to save 100 calories at breakfast? You ate fewer calories, but the food was still yummy and filling. Now do the same at lunch and dinner! How?
- Choose a baked potato over French fries.
- Use mozzarella cheese on your sandwich rather than Swiss.
- When eating canned fruit, always choose those packaged in water rather than heavy syrup.
- Eat your chicken breast skinless. Save another 100 by baking your chicken instead of frying.
- When you go for a slice of pizza, order the thin crust rather than thick. Want to save more? Top your pizza with veggies instead of pepperoni.
- Swap out 5 ounces of Alfredo sauce for 7 ounces of marinara and save another whopping 100 calories.
- Opt for the fat-free or light varieties of mayonnaise, sour cream, and salad dressings.
- Have a beer or two, but make them light.
Smart snacking means smart choices and small portions. Here are a few tips to save 100 calories when snacking.
- Enjoy your favorite hummus or salsa by dipping celery sticks rather than tortilla chips.
- Snack on a handful of baked potato chips rather than regular. Or even better, choose pretzels.
- Fill up on fresh fruit instead of dried and save 100 calories.
Don’t Forget: Dessert
Thankfully, an indulgence here and there is allowed—especially when you do it the right way. Enjoy a sweet treat in moderation and feel good about it with these small tweaks.
- Savor each bite of ice cream in a dish rather than in a waffle cone.
- Switch out regular ice cream for low-fat frozen yogurt and save another 100 calories.
- Bake an apple crisp instead of an apple pie.
- Top your ice cream with fresh fruit rather than with syrups or whip cream. Better yet, let fruit satisfy your sweet tooth.
An Easy 500
Making just one of these swaps at each snack and meal can save you 500 calories a day! All it takes is commitment to a few small changes and you’ll reach your weight-loss goal in no time.