You can often lose weight by making small yet strategic calorie cuts at every meal, rather than eliminating entire meals or cutting portions so severely that you never feel satisfied.
You probably already know that a cup of blueberries with a dollop of creamy yogurt has a fraction of the calories of a slice of blueberry pie. But there are many other ways you can trim the calories in favorite meals without diminishing their satisfying taste. Here are five ideas that each shave off about 200 calories.
If your idea of a big breakfast is a fatty sausage, egg and cheese sandwich, have a veggie-filled omelet instead. Make it with one whole egg and two extra whites for more protein, and “overload” it with tomatoes, peppers and onions.
Ditch the bread and high-calorie sandwich condiments at lunch by wrapping up lean protein, such as slices of roasted chicken, in large leaves of romaine lettuce with a touch of balsamic vinegar or hot sauce.
To get the toothy appeal of steak, make your main course grilled portabello mushrooms and serve them with a side of mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes. With some no-salt seasoning, you won’t taste any difference.
There’s no need to give up your favorite red sauce if you use it to top spaghetti squash rather than spaghetti, plus you can eat twice as much. Want healthier meatballs? Try making them with a blend of ground turkey and a whole grain like kasha or farro.
Love Mexican food? You can still enjoy the taste — and get the fiber and protein goodness of beans — by simply skipping the tortilla or taco shell. And you don’t need sour cream if you have a dab of guacamole. Just go easy on the cheese and rice but double up on low-cal zesty salsa.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more ideas to cut calories with easy and tasty swaps.