100 Painless Ways to Cut 100 or More Calories
by Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D.
"Losing weight can be as simple as cutting out a meatball here
and an egg roll there." ~~Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D.
REACHING YOUR FAT-LOSS GOALS may be easier than you think. To lose a pound
of fat a month, all you need to do is cut 100 calories a day from your
diet, assuming the intake and expenditure of all other calories remains
the same. That's because a pound of body fat is equivalent to about 3,500
calories. So if you cut 100 calories a day for 31 days, you're cutting
3,100 calories--or about a pound.
Wait...a pound a month? Isn't that a little slow? Well, mounds of research
indicate that you're more likely to keep weight off if you lose it slowly.
Besides, losing a pound a month doesn't require drastic changes in your
eating habits. It can be as simple as eating two egg rolls with your Chinese
stir-fry instead of three. Here are 100 painless ways to cut 100 or more
calories a day. As a bonus, they all reduce fat or sugar, which means,
calorie for calorie, you're getting more vitamins and minerals.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of all-fruit jam on your toast rather than 1 1/2
tablespoons of butter.
- Replace 1 cup of whole milk with 1/2 cup of nonfat milk.
- Eat 2 poached eggs instead of 2 fried eggs.
- Replace 1/2 cup of granola with 2 cups of Cheerios.
- Instead of using whole milk and eggs to prepare 2 slices of French
toast, use nonfat milk and egg whites.
- Snack on an orange and a banana instead of a Snickers candy bar.
- Munch on 35 pretzel sticks instead of 1 ounce of dry-roasted peanuts.
- Replace 1 cup of sweetened applesauce with 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce.
- On your lamb-and-vegetable kabob, replace 2 of the 4 chunks of meat
with fresh whole mushrooms.
- Dip an artichoke in 1 tablespoon of low-fat mayonnaise instead of 1
1/2 tablespoons of regular mayonnaise.
- Steam your asparagus rather than saut it in 1 tablespoon of butter
- Instead of a 5-ounce glass of wine, opt for cherry-flavored sparkling
- For a chewy snack, have 1/2 cup of dried fruit rather than 9 caramels.
- Replace 3 slices of bacon with 3 slices of Light & Lean Canadian
- Eat a Lender's egg bagel instead of a Sara Lee egg bagel.
- Select 1 cup of home-style baked beans instead of an equal serving
of baked beans with franks.
- Replace 2 biscuits with 2 dinner rolls.
- When making a sandwich, use 2 slices of Roman Light 7-grain bread instead
of Pepperidge Farm wheat bread.
- Eat 1/2 cup of steamed fresh broccoli instead of 1/2 cup of frozen
broccoli in cheese sauce.
- Make a burrito with 1/2 cup of fat-free refried beans and 1 ounce of
nonfat cheese instead of the same amount of traditional refried beans
- Replace an apple muffin with a high-fiber English muffin.
- Reduce a typical serving of chocolate cake (1/8 of a two-layer cake)
- Switch from 1 cup of whole-milk hot chocolate to 1 cup of steamed 1%
milk flavored with a dash of almond extract.
- Replace 1 cup of caramel-coated popcorn with 2 1/2 cups of air-popped
- Switch from 1/2 cup of yogurt-covered raisins to 1/2 cup of plain raisins.
- Snack on 1 cup of nonfat plain yogurt instead of 1 cup of custard-style
- Top your celery sticks with 2 tablespoons of fat-free cream cheese
instead of 3 tablespoons of regular cream cheese.
- Replace 2 fried-chicken drumsticks with 2 roasted drumsticks and a
cup of peas and carrots.
- Instead of eating 5 chocolate-chip cookies, savor the taste of 2.
- Lighten your 2 cups of coffee with 2 tablespoons of evaporated nonfat
milk instead of 2 tablespoons of half-and-half.
- Replace a 12-ounce can of cola with a 12-ounce can of diet cola.
- Thicken your cream sauce with 1 percent milk and corn starch instead
of a roux of butter and flour.
- At the appetizer tray, choose 4 fresh raw mushrooms instead of 4 batter-fried
- Use 2 tablespoons of fat-free sour cream instead of regular sour cream
(on baked potatoes or in stroganoff). If done twice in the day, 100 calories
will be cut.
- Reduce the size of your steak from 4 1/2 ounces to 3 ounces.
- Grill a cheese sandwich with nonstick cooking spray instead of margarine.
- Replace 1 cup of chocolate ice cream with 2/3 cup of nonfat chocolate
- Snack on 2 ounces of oven-baked potato chips instead of regular potato
- Instead of topping your salad with an ounce of croutons, get your crunch
from 1/4 cup of chopped celery.
- Instead of 1 cup of macaroni salad, eat 3 1/2 cups of spinach salad
with 2 tablespoons of low-calorie dressing.
- Cut the peanut butter on your sandwich from 2 tablespoons to 1 tablespoon.
- Serve your turkey with 1/4 cup of cranberry sauce instead of 1/2 cup.
- Order a sandwich on cracked wheat bread instead of a croissant.
- Complement your hamburger with 1 1/4 ounces of oven-baked tortilla
chips instead of a side of fries.
- Split an apple Danish with a friend rather than eat the entire thing.
- Order 2 slices of cheese pizza instead of 2 slices of pepperoni pizza.
- Grab a Dole Fresh Lites Cherry frozen fruit bar instead of a Sunkist
Coconut frozen fruit bar.
- Snack on 1/2 cup of fruit cocktail canned in water instead of 1 cup
of fruit cocktail canned in heavy syrup.
- Switch from 1 cup of fruit punch to 1 cup of sparkling water flavored
with 2 teaspoons of concentrated orange juice.
- Instead of eating garlic bread made with butter, spread baked garlic
cloves on French bread.
- Rather than snack on 1 cup of grapefruit canned in syrup, peel and
section 1 small grapefruit.
- Dip your chips in 1/2 cup of salsa instead of 1/2 cup of guacamole.
- Switch from 1/2 cup of Frusen Gladje butter pecan ice cream to Breyers
butter pecan ice cream.
- Use 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise in your tuna salad instead of 2 tablespoons.
- Hold the tartar sauce on your fish sandwich, and squeeze lemon on it
- Replace 3 fish sticks with 3 ounces of grilled halibut.
- In sandwich spreads or salads, use 3 teaspoons of dijonnaise instead
of 4 teaspoons of mayonnaise.
- Use 2 tablespoons of light pancake syrup instead of 2 tablespoons of
- Top your pasta with 1 cup of marinara sauce instead of 1/2 cup of alfredo
- For each serving of pasta salad you make, reduce the oil or mayonnaise
by 1 tablespoon.
- Replace 1/2 cup of peaches canned in extra-heavy syrup with 1/2 cup
of peaches canned in water.
- Prepare 1/2 cup of steamed peas and cauliflower instead of frozen peas
and cauliflower in cream sauce.
- Cut back on sampling during cooking. The following "tastes" have
100 calories: 4 tablespoons of beef stroganoff, 3 tablespoons of homemade
chocolate pudding, 2 tablespoons of chocolate-chip cookie dough.
- At an Italian restaurant, snack on a large breadstick instead of a
slice of garlic bread.
- Eat a 3/4-cup serving of pudding made with skim milk rather than a
1-cup serving of pudding made with whole milk.
- Choose 1/2 cup of brown rice instead of 1 serving of frozen rice pilaf
with green beans or 1 serving of frozen Oriental rice and vegetables.
- Compliment your sandwich with 3/4 cup of split-pea soup instead of
1 cup of chunky bean and ham soup.
- Replace 3 tablespoons of strawberry topping on your ice cream with
3/4 pint of fresh strawberries.
- Pass on the second helping of mashed potatoes.
- Eat 3 grilled prawns with cocktail sauce instead of 3 breaded and fried
- Make a pie crust with 1 cup of Grape-Nuts cereal, 1/4 cup of concentrated
apple juice and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, instead of using a traditional
graham-cracker crust. You'll save 100 calories per slice.
- Replace 8 sticks of regular chewing gum with sugar-free chewing gum.
- Snack on a papaya instead of a bag of M&Ms.
- Substitute 3 ounces of scallops for 3 ounce of lean beef in your stir-fry.
- Rather than spread 4 tablespoons of cream cheese on two slices of raisin
bread, dip the bread in 1/2 cup nonfat apple-cinnamon yogurt.
- Munch on 1 cup of frozen grapes instead of an ice cream sandwich.
- Rather than drink a strawberry milkshake, make a smoothie of 2/3 cup
of low-fat milk, 1/2 cup of strawberries and 1/2 a banana.
- Replace 2 brownies with 2 fig bars.
- Eat 2 meatballs instead of 4 with your spaghetti.
- On a hot day, quench your thirst with a glass of ice water with lemon
or mint instead of a can of light beer.
- Eat 1/2 cup of black beans instead of 3 ounces of roast beef.
- Replace 1 1/2 tablespoons of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spread
with 1 1/2 tablespoons of Nucoa Smart Beat margarine.
- Choose 1 serving of vegetarian lasagna instead of lasagna with meat.
- Eat 2 Kellogg's Nutri-Grain bars instead of 2 Kellogg's Pop-Tarts.
- Drizzle 3 tablespoons of low-calorie French dressing on your salad
instead of 2 tablespoons of blue cheese dressing.
- Replace 1 large flour tortilla with 1 six-inch corn tortilla.
- Eat a turkey sandwich instead of a chicken salad sandwich.
- Choose 4 1/2 ounces of tuna packed in water instead of 4 1/2 ounces
of tuna packed in oil.
- At Burger King, have a Whopper Jr. Sandwich with regular fries instead
of a Whopper With Cheese Sandwich.
- Order your Quarter Pounder without cheese.
- At Jack in the Box, eat a regular taco instead of a super taco.
- Fix 1 cup of turkey chili with beans rather than regular chili with
- Use 1 cup of fat-free cottage cheese instead of regular cottage cheese.
- Order a sandwich with barbecued chicken instead of barbecued pork.
- Replace 1 cup of corn with 1 cup of carrots.
- Reduce your helping of turkey stuffing from 1 cup to 2/3 cup.
- Have a single scoop of ice cream instead of a double scoop.
- Replace 2 ounces of corn chips with 2 ounces of SnackWell's wheat crackers.
- Eat 1 hot dog at the baseball game instead of 2.
- Shred 2 ounces of fat-free cheddar cheese on nachos instead of regular
Author Profile: Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D., is a nutritionist in private
practice and editor of the Nutrition Report. Her latest book is Nutrition
for Women: The Complete Guide (New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1993)
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