When it comes to dieting, rules can get really frustrating. Everything you crave is everything you can’t eat. But that’s not the way it should be. We’ve found a way you can eat what you want, when you want it. Cheeseburgers, ice cream, and even paninis? Yes, even those. To do that, all you have to do is implement smart food swaps.
To help you lose weight, we compiled 40 simple swaps that slash your calorie intake significantly. If you made all of these in one week (of course, a lofty goal), you would save over 4,960 calories! But even eating just 50 calories less than you normally do every day can help you drop five pounds over the course of a year. So why not start with just one?
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to overhaul your diet to lose weight—just make these smart food swaps. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, you won’t want to miss these 30 Cooking Tricks They Only Teach You In Culinary School.
When it comes to sandwiches, calories sneak in all too quickly. Next time you stack your lunch, try spreading mustard instead of mayo. Just one tablespoon of mayo can add 90 calories to your ‘wich, but spicy mustard is often zero. No wonder that using the right condiments is one of our best weight loss tips!
Eat This: 1 slice Dave’s Killer Bread, 21 Whole Grains & Seeds, 120 calories
Not That!: 2 slices Dave’s Killer Bread, 21 Whole Grains & Seeds, 240 calories
This Swap Saves: 120 calories
Sometimes that second piece of bread is just plain unnecessary. By eating your lunch open-faced, you cut 120 calories. And if you take it with a fork and knife, you’ll eat more slowly, allowing your body to tell you when you feel full before you’ve scarfed down the whole thing.
Eat This: 2 Scrambled Eggs with Chives, 170 calories
Not That!: 2 Scrambled Eggs with ¼ cup Sargento Shredded 4 State Cheddar, 266 calories
This Swap Saves: 105 calories
Eggs and cheese do go hand in hand, but they also boost calories like no other. Next time you need more flavor in your scramble, try a lower cal fix like tossing in chopped chives. Hot sauce, red pepper flakes, or even everything bagel seasoning can also do the trick.
Eat This: 12-oz Seltzer with Lemon Slices, 0 calories
Not That!: 12-oz Coke, 140 calories
This Swap Saves: 140 calories
You’ve sat down for dinner and you’re thinking about washing it down with a soda. Do yourself a favor and take a pass. You’ll save more than 100 calories and over 20 grams of sugar by choosing a sugar-free, unflavored fizz such as plain seltzer. If you’d rather not take it plan, opt for tossing in slices of lemon, lime, or even orange.
Eat This: 1 oz Raw Pistachios, 159 calories
Not That!: 1 oz Raw Walnuts, 185 calories
This Swap Saves: 26 calories
While they are the perfect snack to hold your hunger, eating nuts by the handful often means munching on far too many. Instead of continuously dipping into the bag, just switch nuts! For the exact same one-ounce serving size, you’ll save nearly 30 calories by noshing on pistachios instead of walnuts. Plus, shelling the pistachios yourself will help you snack slower and therefore get full faster, saving you precious calories. And did we mention that for the same serving size, you’ll be able to scarf down 49 pistachios but only 14 walnuts? Not sure about you, but we’d rather eat triple the amount and not have to worry about adding extra calories.
Eat This: Grapes, 69 calories (100 grams)
Not That!: Craisins, 325 calories (100 grams)
This Swap Saves: 256 calories
With the simple addition of dried fruit, seemingly healthy trail mixes and salads can become your worst nightmare. Instead of sugar-filled dried cranberries, strive for fresh ingredients that provide natural sweetness and texture. Fibrous vegetables are low-cal and high in nutrient value as opposed to the sort of calorie-filled toppings you buy in bags.