by 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).
“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.
1. Spread 1 tablespoon of all-fruit jam on your toast rather than 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter.
2. Replace 1 cup of whole milk with 1/2 cup of nonfat milk.
3. Eat 2 poached eggs instead of 2 fried eggs.
4. Replace 1/2 cup of granola with 2 cups of Cheerios.
5. Instead of using whole milk and eggs to prepare 2 slices of French toast, use nonfat milk and egg whites.
6. Snack on an orange and a banana instead of a Snickers candy bar.
7. Munch on 35 pretzel sticks instead of 1 ounce of dry-roasted peanuts.
8. Replace 1 cup of sweetened applesauce with 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce.
9. On your lamb-and-vegetable kabob, replace 2 of the 4 chunks of meat with fresh whole mushrooms.
10. Dip an artichoke in 1 tablespoon of low-fat mayonnaise instead of 1 1/2 tablespoons of regular mayonnaise.
11. Steam your asparagus rather than sautï¿½t in 1 tablespoon of butter or oil.
12. Instead of a 5-ounce glass of wine, opt for cherry-flavored sparkling water.
13. For a chewy snack, have 1/2 cup of dried fruit rather than 9 caramels.
14. Replace 3 slices of bacon with 3 slices of Light & Lean Canadian bacon.
15. Eat a Lender’s egg bagel instead of a Sara Lee egg bagel.
16. Select 1 cup of home-style baked beans instead of an equal serving of baked beans with franks.
17. Replace 2 biscuits with 2 dinner rolls.
18. When making a sandwich, use 2 slices of Roman Light 7-grain bread instead of Pepperidge Farm wheat bread.
19. Eat 1/2 cup of steamed fresh broccoli instead of 1/2 cup of frozen broccoli in cheese sauce.
20. 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 and cheese.
21. Replace an apple muffin with a high-fiber English muffin.
22. Reduce a typical serving of chocolate cake (1/8 of a two-layer cake) by one-third.
23. Switch from 1 cup of whole-milk hot chocolate to 1 cup of steamed 1% milk flavored with a dash of almond extract.
24. Replace 1 cup of caramel-coated popcorn with 2 1/2 cups of air-popped popcorn.
25. Switch from 1/2 cup of yogurt-covered raisins to 1/2 cup of plain raisins.
26. Snack on 1 cup of nonfat plain yogurt instead of 1 cup of custard-style yogurt.
27. Top your celery sticks with 2 tablespoons of fat-free cream cheese instead of 3 tablespoons of regular cream cheese.
28. Replace 2 fried-chicken drumsticks with 2 roasted drumsticks and a cup of peas and carrots.
29. Instead of eating 5 chocolate-chip cookies, savor the taste of 2.
30. Lighten your 2 cups of coffee with 2 tablespoons of evaporated nonfat milk instead of 2 tablespoons of half-and-half.
31. Replace a 12-ounce can of cola with a 12-ounce can of diet cola.
32. Thicken your cream sauce with 1 percent milk and corn starch instead of a roux of butter and flour.
33. At the appetizer tray, choose 4 fresh raw mushrooms instead of 4 batter-fried mushrooms.
34. 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.
35. Reduce the size of your steak from 4 1/2 ounces to 3 ounces.
36. Grill a cheese sandwich with nonstick cooking spray instead of margarine.
37. Replace 1 cup of chocolate ice cream with 2/3 cup of nonfat chocolate frozen yogurt.
38. Snack on 2 ounces of oven-baked potato chips instead of regular potato chips.
39. Instead of topping your salad with an ounce of croutons, get your crunch from 1/4 cup of chopped celery.
40. Instead of 1 cup of macaroni salad, eat 3 1/2 cups of spinach salad with 2 tablespoons of low-calorie dressing.
41. Cut the peanut butter on your sandwich from 2 tablespoons to 1 tablespoon.
42. Serve your turkey with 1/4 cup of cranberry sauce instead of 1/2 cup.
43. Order a sandwich on cracked wheat bread instead of a croissant.
44. Complement your hamburger with 1 1/4 ounces of oven-baked tortilla chips instead of a side of fries.
45. Split an apple Danish with a friend rather than eat the entire thing.
46. Order 2 slices of cheese pizza instead of 2 slices of pepperoni pizza.
47. Grab a Dole Fresh Lites Cherry frozen fruit bar instead of a Sunkist Coconut frozen fruit bar.
48. Snack on 1/2 cup of fruit cocktail canned in water instead of 1 cup of fruit cocktail canned in heavy syrup.
49. Switch from 1 cup of fruit punch to 1 cup of sparkling water flavored with 2 teaspoons of concentrated orange juice.
50. Instead of eating garlic bread made with butter, spread baked garlic cloves on French bread.
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