11 Simple Swaps for Dramatic Weight Loss
Simple swaps can add up big time in the long term.
Swap your soup
Instead of dishing up a cup of cream of broccoli soup, which has 180 calories and 7 grams of fat, choose a bowl of chicken vegetable soup instead. You get just 75 calories and under 3 grams of fat for the same-size serving. Save 105 calories and 4 g of fat. Make this change once a week and cut out 5,460 calories a year, or roughly 1 1/2 pounds. Find out the 50 healthiest foods you can buy at the supermarket.
Substitute your sub
A 6-inch meatball sub is 580 calories and 24 grams of fat; a turkey breast sub is only 280 calories and 3 grams of fat. Or take it a step further and opt for a veggie sub at just 230 calories and 3 grams of fat. Save up to 350 calories and 21 grams of fat. Make this change once a week and you'll cut up to 18,200 calories a year, which equals more than 5 pounds.
Spritz your salad
Two tablespoons of ranch dressing racks up 140 calories and 16 grams of fat. Using a store-bought balsamic vinaigrette spritzer, on the other hand, packs a lot of flavor but only 1 calorie a squirt (10 calories for an individual-size salad), and only 1 gram of fat. Save 130 calories and 15 g of fat. Make this change three times a week and you'll cut out more than 20,000 calories a year, which is almost 6 pounds. These are the 14 healthy ingredient substitutions you never thought to try.
If you normally have beef a couple of times a week, change one meal to fish instead. A three-ounce serving of broiled steak has 230 calories and 14 grams of fat. Compare that to the same-size serving of broiled cod at just 80 calories and 1 gram of fat. Save 150 calories and 13 grams of fat. Make this change once a week and slash 7,800 calories a year, which adds up to just over 2 pounds.
Tame your munchies with popcorn instead of potato chips. A one-ounce snack-size bag of chips has 150 calories and 10 grams of fat. Swap that for a cup of air-popped popcorn at 31 calories and 0 grams of fat. For a flavor boost, spritz popcorn with butter-flavored spray (0 calories) and toss in a tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese (27 calories). Save up to 119 calories and 10 grams of fat. Make this change once a week and you'll cut out 6,188 calories a year — that's almost 2 pounds. These are the 21 healthier versions of your favorite junk foods.
Lose the soda
One 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola has 140 calories, all of it from refined sugars that are pure trouble for people with diabetes. Replace it with a glass of ice water (0 calories) — add a squeeze of lemon, cucumber slices, or mint leaves for a nice refreshing flavor. Save 140 calories. Make this change once a day and you'll slash 51,100 calories a year, which adds up to more than 14 pounds.
Lighten your liquor
Instead of regular beer, which has 150 calories per bottle, opt for its lighter version at less than 100 calories. And instead of a 5-ounce glass of Pinot Grigio at 120 calories, cut the calories in half by making a wine spritzer instead. To make: Combine equal parts wine and seltzer. Save 50 to 60 calories per drink. Make this change once a week and you will cut out 2,600 to 3,120 calories a year, which could equal almost a pound.
Try natural sweets
Craving dessert? Rather than reaching for 1 cup of premium strawberry ice cream at 500 calories and 16 grams of fat, opt for 1 cup of strawberries at 56 calories. Still want something creamy? Even 1/4 cup of light whipped cream (the kind in a can) adds only an extra 30 calories and 2 grams of fat. Save up to 444 calories and 16 grams of fat. Make this change twice a week and you will cut out more than 46,000 calories a year, which adds up to more than 13 pounds. Don't miss these 49 snack ideas to curb every craving.
Skip a yolk
Nix just 1 yolk from meals that require 2 eggs (think omelets). A whole egg has 75 calories, but there are only 16 calories in the white, and no fat. Never removed a yolk from the white? Buy an egg separator—they cost next to nothing; find them at any store that carries cooking supplies. Crack the raw egg and pour it into the separator; it holds the yolk while the white drips through. Save 59 calories and 5 grams of fat. Make this change twice a week and cut out 6,136 calories a year, which is approaching 2 pounds.
Replace a bagel (354 calories) or bran muffin (410 calories) with 2 slices of whole-wheat toast (164 calories). Skip the butter (100 calories per tablespoon), and spread on 1/2 cup of fat-free cottage cheese (90 calories)—your calorie count is still lowered, and yet you still get lots of creamy flavor without all that fat. Save up to 246 calories. Make this change once a week and you'll cut almost 12,800 calories a year—that's more than 3 pounds. Follow these 9 simple steps for a low-carb diet.
Be a regular Joe
A "tall" cup (meaning the smallest size) of Grande Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino with whole milk and whipped cream at Starbucks is 370 calories and 15 grams of fat. Instead, choose a regular coffee. Alone, it has no calories at all; add in two ounces of skim milk, and it's now a whopping 22 calories, and still no fat. Need sweetening? You know to skip the sugar and go with a no-calorie sweetener. Save 348 calories and 15 grams of fat. Make this change once a week and you'll cut 18,096 calories a year, which adds up to more than 5 pounds. (Think of all the money you'll save, too!)
Try a cauliflower snack
No football game is complete without a plate of Buffalo wings. But unfortunately, just six of those wings translates to 616 calories and 46 grams of fat. Swap that for a plate of Buffalo cauliflower. A one-cup serving is just 117 calories and 6 grams of fat. Make this change once a week and you'll cut 25,948 calories a year. That's about seven pounds. Get the recipe here.
Switch to avocado spread
Mayo is a refreshing addition to any sandwich. But two tablespoons of the stuff also packs 115 calories and 200 grams of sodium. Instead, use 1/4 of an avocado. There's just 80 calories and lots of healthy fats and nutrients. Make this change once a week and you'll cut 6,240 calories a year, or roughly two pounds. Now learn the 30 healthy snack foods no one has to feel bad about eating.