29 Beyond-Easy Ways To Cut 100 Calories A Day

A phyllo dough hors d’oeuvre here, a BLT hangover cure there, and the next thing you know, those skinny jeans are feeling, well, a little snug. A huge diet and exercise program is in order, right? Not if you try a few of these tiny little food tweaks every day. Aim for at least two, but three is even better. You’ll save up to about 300 calories a day — potentially, a whopping 2800 calories a week. And since you need to eat an extra 3500 calories to gain one pound (or cut out that amount to drop it), in less than three weeks, you’ll ward off that pesky couple of pounds from creeping up on you. 

The amazing get-fit panel of experts from Fitist, the one-stop shop for nutrition and kick-ass workouts, shared some of their wait-what?! food swaps that are so easy, and still yummy, that you won’t even notice the difference. But your waistline totally will. 

Why 29? Well, obviously we dig the number. But also, research shows that sticking to something for at least 21 days can turn a spoof into a habit. So, who knows: these little eat-healthy game changers may stick around year-round but extra pounds for no good reason won’t. Cheers to that.

1

Sharon Richter, RD, a registered dietitian in NYC

Instead of broccoli drenched in olive oil (approximately 110 calories per tablespoon), top your greens off with some grated Parmesan cheese to add some zesty flavor (approximately 25 calories/tablespoon).

2

Swap a bagel (around 400 calories) for a whole-grain English muffin (about 120 calories).

3

Change ½ cup granola (typically 260 calories) to ¾ cup of a whole-grain cereal such as Puffins (more like 110 calories).

4

Instead of two regular beers (approximately 300 calories total), kick back with two light brews (about 200 calories total).

5

Delicious — yes, but a single cosmo can pack up to 400 calories. Put a pack of Sweet‘N Low® in your shaker with lime zest, orange essence, vodka, pomegranate juice, and ice for a 100-calorie take on the same taste. Bottoms up!

Click here for more tasty, low-cal recipes from Sweet ‘N Low.

6

Nix candy-like Craisins (1/3 cup is about 130 calories) to add some pep to your oatmeal. Instead, try naturally sweet blueberries (1/2 cup equals around 40 calories).

7

Swap one cup of New England Clam Chowder (about 200 calories) with one cup of Manhattan Clam Chowder (around 100 calories).

8

Oz Garcia, PhD, wellness expert and nutritionist in NYC

Looking to add extra flavor to veggies or a salad? 
Use two tablespoons of hummus (about 70 calories) with lemon and spices, not the go-to two tablespoons of olive oil (about 240 calories).

9

Spreading one tablespoon of mayonnaise on your turkey sandwich adds around 100 calories. Reach for a still-tasty tablespoon of mustard, and you’re looking at 15 calories.

10

Eat six pieces of sashimi (around 200 calories), not six pieces of sushi with rice (with add-ins, that’s approximately 300 calories).

11

Ditch the multi-grain wrap (210 calories) for a “naked” sandwich — over, say, a bed of greens (about 40 calories).

12

Make an omelet with one egg and two whites (about 104 calories). That’s better than using three whole eggs for a total of about 210 calories.

13

Elissa Goodman, a certified holistic nutritionist in Los Angeles

Share your slice of pie or piece of cake with two friends, and you’ll save about 300 calories. (Easy!)

14

Substitute buffalo meat for ground beef. Buffalo averages about 145 calories less per serving.

15

Muster some willpower and don’t indulge in a mid-afternoon muffin, which can be up to 400 calories. Curb your cravings by snacking on an apple with almond butter (about 150 calories)— and stay full longer, too.

16

Sprinkle some cinnamon or nutmeg to sweeten coffee. Sugary syrups can add up to 100 calories per drink.

17

Top your burger with grilled onions or mushrooms (around 20 calories each) instead of cheddar cheese (typically around 120 calories for one piece).

18

Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian in NYC 

Skip dried fruit such as prunes (12 equal about 200 calories) in salads and instead slice up a small apple (about 80 calories) or three fresh plums (90 calories).

19

Break out the measuring glass! A single cup of Kellogg’s Special K is 110 calories, but if you pour to the brim of the bowl, you’ll probably eat up to two cups.

20

Enjoy a slice of pizza topped with veggies (think: spinach, mushrooms and broccoli) instead of nutrition-void pepperoni. Doing so could whittle your calorie intake from 300 to 200, depending on the mix of cheese, bread, and oil.

21

Two pieces of classic American cheese adds around 200 calories to your sandwiches. Instead, add 1/4 of an avocado (approximately 45 calories), one Laughing Cow light cheese wedge (about 35 calories), or one tablespoon of low-fat mayo (about 25 calories).

22

Order your sandwiches on whole wheat bread (about 80 calories) instead of a wrap (up to 300 calories, depending on kind and size).

23

Use two corn tortillas on taco night (about 80 calories) instead of two flour tortillas (about 240 calories).

24

Have two glasses of wine instead of three. At around 120 calories per glass for a five-ounce pour, that’s no buzzkill.

25

McLean McGown, certified clinical nutritionist in Los Angeles

Having chili, baked potatoes, or a casserole? Substitute one cup of full fat sour cream (492 calories/ 48 grams of fat) with one cup of nonfat Greek yogurt (130 calories and 0 fat). Greek yogurt is delicious, thick, creamy, and full of good protein—and no one will notice any difference in the taste.

26

Swap sugary drinks (for example, Vitamin Water has 125 calories and 33g of sugar) or sports drinks for water with Emergen-C (25 calories per pack). Bonus: cutting out excess sugar is a great way to de-bloat.

27

Bake with a light touch: Delicious desserts can be made low-fat by substituting one cup of vegetable oil (about 1920 calories and 218g fat) for either one cup of applesauce (about 105 calories/ 0 g fat) or one cup of pureed pumpkin (approximately 100 calories and 0g fat).

28

Switch from a sweet cocktail (think Cosmos or frozen margaritas, which can easily rack up 400 or more calories) to something straight up and sleek. A martini with a lemon twist has about 150 calories, and a glass of Prosecco has only 85 calories per flute.

29

Bump down from a medium latte (about 235 calories) in the morning to a small cappuccino (120 calories) — and that’s with real-deal whole milk.

30

This one might seem counterintuitive, but you’ll want to scale up to go down. Rather than low fat or fat-free, use a full-fat oil-based salad dressing, like balsamic vinaigrette. 

Here’s why: You’ll likely feel satisfied more quickly, which means you’ll leave a little of the salad behind — and a smaller portion translates seamlessly to at least 100 calories saved without evenin realizing it.

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