These simple changes help you nix calories without a rumbling stomach. Here are the 10 best food swaps that can double weight loss.
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.
1. Swap out mayo for mustard
Eat This: French’s Classic Yellow Mustard, 0 calories
Not That!: Hellman’s Mayonnaise, 90 calories
This Swap Saves: 90 calories
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!
2. Make it open-faced
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.
3. Spice up your eggs
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.
4. Go nuts
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.
5. Choose fresh fruit
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.
6. Sweeten with cinnamon
Eat This: Cinnamon, 6 calories (1 tsp.)
Not That!: Sugar, 16 calories (1 tsp.)
This Swap Saves: 10 calories
Starting your day with sweetness means your body will be craving it all day long. Instead of loading your coffee with sugar (artificial or not), try sprinkling in blood-glucose-regulating cinnamon. Your morning cup of Joe will now have metabolism-boosting benefits, and you won’t be as likely to reach for that bag of M&Ms later on.
7. Do taco night
Eat This: 2 Mission Super Soft White Corn Tortillas, 100 calories
Not That!: 2 Mission Soft Taco Flour Tortillas, 280 calories
This Swap Saves: 180 calories
Beyond the refried beans, an extra helping of cheese, and loads of guac you’re likely stuffing into your taco shell, you’re probably forgetting to consider the tortilla you’re wrapping all those fixings with. Before inviting everyone over for Taco Tuesday, make sure to stock up on corn tortillas. They’re gluten-free, pack in 3 grams of belly-filling fiber, and contain less than 2 grams of fat.
8. Skip the latte
Eat This: Grande Iced Coffee with 2% Milk, Unsweetened, 35 calories
Not That!: Grande Iced Vanilla Latte with 2% Milk, 195 calories
This Swap Saves: 160 calories
We know you’ve heard this before, and we totally get that your morning brew is 100% necessary. But all that cream and sugar? No thank you. The typical combinations are loaded with fat and calories. Try ordering your coffee black and splashing in the milk yourself to further control the calories you sip. Not only will your body thank you, but your wallet will too. You’d be surprised at how much you’ll save by ordering a plain cup of coffee compared to your go-to gourmet version.
9. Veggies over chips
Eat This: 1 packet of Grimmway Farms Baby Carrots Snack Packs, 35 calories
Not That!: 1 oz Tostitos Original Restaurant Style Chips, 140 calories
This Swap Saves: 105 calories
Craving crunchy chips and dip? Skip the fried tortillas and cut up some vegetables instead to load up on fiber and slow down your consumption. Low in calories, and just as crunchy—sliced bell peppers, celery sticks, and sweet baby carrots are sure to do the trick.
10. Pick plain yogurt
Eat This: Chobani Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt, 80 calories
Not That!: Dannon Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt, 140 calories
This Swap Saves: 60 calories
Our favorite breakfast can quickly start to resemble our favorite dessert, ice cream. Make sure you choose a Greek yogurt that’s low in sugar and high in protein. This simple swap saves you 60 calories and gives you room to add toppings (we love fresh fruit and low-sugar granola) without the guilt.