Easy, Healthy Takeout Food Swaps

Nicole Yorio Jurick, SELF magazine

You guys, ban the notion that to-go food is no good. It is possible to eat takeout that's filling, nutritious and reminiscent of that Philly cheesesteak or slice(s) of pizza that you adore. No judgment-just suggestions!

The indulgence: Sesame Chicken with Broccoli (1,117 calories, 37 g fat) Good to know: One order of Chinese food is typically enough to feed three people. The swap: 1 1/4 cups moo goo gai pan, 2/3 cup brown rice and a side of steamed broccoli (517 calories, 25 g fat). The logic: Sesame chicken has three strikes against it: It's deep-fried, swimming in a sugary sauce and made from high-calorie thigh meat. Moo goo gai pan uses leaner white meat and a light, broth-based sauce. Adding broccoli and brown rice makes it the ideal combo of healthy carbs, veggies and protein.

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The indulgence: Philly Cheesesteak with extra Cheez Whiz (754 calories, 52 g fat) Good to know: The Philly favorite has as much fat as 19 slices of bacon. The swap: Turkey and Swiss melt on rye with lettuce and tomato (410 calories, 14 g fat) The logic: Indulging during the weekend is practically a national pastime: Americans take in an additional 200 calories a day on average between Friday and Sunday--which can translate to a 9-pound gain a year. Why undo a week of smart eating? Our trade has the same melty deliciousness as a cheesesteak and less than one third the fat.

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The indulgence: Short Rib Burrito with rice, beans, sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo (1,060 calories, 44 g fat) Good to know: This order is as fatty as about five McDonald's hamburgers. The swap: Burrito bowl with steak, brown rice, black beans, lettuce and tomatillo salsa (490 calories, 12 g fat) The logic: With any Mexican dish, limit yourself to one fat source. If you're all about the beef, skip the cheese, guacamole and sour cream. Prefer guac? Stick to a rice and beans bowl, minus the beef. Our version keeps the tasty meat and rice (mmm...carbs) but loses 12 g of saturated fat.
The indulgence: A falafel sandwich and a plate of baba ghanoush with pita (1,059 calories, 49 g fat) Good to know: You'd have to jog 79 minutes to burn off the side dish alone. The swap: Falafel sandwich on pita topped with baba ghanoush (424 calories, 15 g fat) The logic: At Middle Eastern joints, pita comes with almost everything, and it can bring on a dipping frenzy. We'd never suggest you give up the pita--who could--but there's no need to double up. Requesting baba ghanoush as a condiment makes the portion reasonable and nixes one pita, trimming a whole dinner's worth of calories.

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The indulgence: Pineapple and extra cheese pizza (1,032 calories, 36 g fat) Good to know: The crust in one piece of the pineapple and extra cheese pizza) has as many calories as three slices of bread. The swap: 3/4 of an 8-inch thin-crust pizza with cheese, pineapple and green peppers, plus a side salad with 2 tbsp light Italian dressing (534 calories, 24 g fat) The logic: Props for the pineapple, which supplies fiber, but the extra cheese tacks on a needless 30 calories per slice. Skip it and the excess dough--thin crust is a no-brainer to trim 200 calories. To keep portions in check, save a quarter of the pie for a snack later on.

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