By incorporating even one of these smart tweaks from diet and nutrition writers into your day, you could lose up to 20 pounds a year!
Substitute Yogurt for Mayo
"When making tuna salad, use 2-percent Greek yogurt, about 75 calories for half a cup, instead of mayonnaise, about 450 calories for half a cup. Greek yogurt has the same texture and creaminess as mayonnaise but far less fat and calories. I use the tangy Greek yogurt as a lower-cal replacement anywhere I'd regularly use sour cream or mayo."
- Leah Sipher-Mann,
Skip the Cheese
"Build a healthier sandwich: Hold the cheese because two slices can add up to well over 200 calories. Load your sammie with low-calorie veggies or go gourmet with slices of apple and pear."
-Susi May, FitSugar
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Make Over Your Milkshake
"I love milk shakes, but at 420 calories for a small strawberry fast-food shake, they can be a real diet breaker. So when I'm in the mood for one, I blend a cup of 1-percent milk with a cup of unthawed, unsweetened frozen strawberries and a teaspoon of agave nectar for a delicious and satisfying cold treat. It's only about 170 calories, which is a savings of 240 calories."
-Diana Swallow, Scale Junkie
Save Your Salad with Salsa
"When ordering salad out, ask for salsa or pico de gallo instead of dressing. Many restaurant-size servings of dressing have around 300 to 500 calories. Using salsa, even half a cup of it, will likely save you hundreds of calories and dozens of fat grams-half a cup has 35 calories and almost no fat. And salsa rocks on salads."
-Lisa Lillien, HungryGirl
Beat the Office Munchies
"Every afternoon at work, I tend to want a snack. With small chocolates in my coworker's nearby office-five mini chocolate bars are 210 calories!-and a vending machine down the hall that's calling my name, I avoid the temptation by chewing a piece of fruit-flavored sugar-free gum. Sugar-free gum comes in all kinds of fun, tropical flavors these days like sangria and pina colada, so I feel like I'm indulging even though I'm not."
-Jenn, Fit Bottomed Girls
"Many people forget that calories you drink count too, so I try to be aware of what I consume in liquid form and drink as much zero-calorie water as possible. Simply cutting out a 20-ounce bottle of regular soda saves more than 200 calories. Plus, when I'm hydrated, I can more accurately tell whether I'm actually hungry."
-Erin, Fit Bottomed Girls
Pop Your Own Corn
"Next time you go to the movies, bring your own popcorn. Microwave kernels in a brown paper bag and use a little nonstick spray. Season them to suit your mood: savory with garlic powder and sea salt, sweet with cinnamon and a few dark chocolate chips, or 'cheesy' with sea salt, chili powder and nutritional yeast. It's delicious and tastes just like cheese with fewer calories!"
-Gina Harney, Fitnessista
A Breakfast of Champions
"Instead of the average 450-calorie cream-cheese bagel, I have a Thomas' English muffin with two tablespoons of fat-free cream cheese for a similar taste that saves about 300 calories."
-Karolina Starczak, NeverSayDiet
Invest in a Steamer
"Food steamers save calories and your time. Before I got my steamer, which has multiple layers, so you can cook your entire meal at once, I would usually pan-fry salmon in oil or butter or cover it in sugary teriyaki sauce and bake it. Both of those methods add so many unnecessary calories. Now when I get home from work, I throw veggies, brown rice and salmon with a lemon slice and some fresh parsley in the steamer. It absorbs all the flavor, and it tastes so fresh that way. It takes 15 minutes, so I avoid fatty takeout."
-Lara Baldwin, Thinspired
Slim Down Your Strawberry Shortcake
"In the summer, I particularly love strawberry shortcake at a barbecue. I bake my own angel-food cake, slice it thin and throw it on the grill for a few minutes instead of using a biscuit-that cuts about 100 calories right there. Then I use a balsamic reduction-cook the vinegar down slowly until it's about half the volume it was originally-and drizzle it over the strawberries and cake. The flavors are so elegant, and no one misses the whipped cream, which would usually tack another 100 calories onto the dessert."
-Katherine Tweed, That's Fit
Give Mashed Potatoes a Healthy Twist
"For me, mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. To make your potatoes healthier, try using equal amounts of potato and another mashable vegetable, like cauliflower or turnips. Not only is this reducing the calorie content, but you're also adding extra nutrients to your plate. To add even more flavor, replace butter and whole milk with a small amount of tahini and some fat-free yogurt."
-Melanie Thomassian, Dietriffic
Create Your Own Chips
"Instead of snacking on tortilla chips and salsa, I make my own pita chips in the toaster oven. I cut a whole-wheat pita into small triangles, spray them with no-calorie cooking spray, sprinkle with salt and toast for about two minutes. They taste just as good as regular tortilla chips but without the added calories and fat. You can even add garlic salt, cinnamon or paprika to jazz them up."
-Tina Haupert, Carrots 'N' Cake
Coffee, Hold the Milk
"Instead of a latte, order your coffee drink Americano style, which is espresso with water instead of milk. A 12-ouce Americano is 10 calories versus the same-size latte made with whole milk, which comes in at 180 calories. Nix the sugar-two packets are 30 calories-and you've saved yourself 200 calories."
-Stephanie Quilao, Noshtopia
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