20 Effortless Food Swaps to Lose Weight

Swap Out Mayo for Mustard

Mustard

Eat This: French’s Classic Yellow Mustard, 0 calories
Not That!: Hellman’s Mayonnaise, 90 calories
This Swap Saves: 90 calories

When it comes to sandwiches, calories sneak in all too quickly. Next time you stack your lunch, try spreading mustard instead of mayo. Just one tablespoon of mayo can add 90 calories to your ‘wich, but spicy mustard is often zero. No wonder why using the right condiments is one of our best weight loss tips!

Make it Open Faced

Open faced sandwich

Eat This: 1 slice Dave’s Killer Bread, 21 Whole Grains & Seeds, 120 calories
Not That!: 2 slices Dave’s Killer Bread, 21 Whole Grains & Seeds, 240 calories
This Swap Saves: 120 calories

Sometimes that second piece of bread is really unnecessary. By eating your lunch open faced, you cut 120 calories. And if you take it with a fork and knife, you’ll eat more slowly, allowing your body to tell you when you feel full before you’ve scarfed down the whole thing.

Spice Up Your Eggs

Scrambled eggs in pan

Eat This: 2 scrambled eggs with chives, 170 calories
Not That!: 2 scrambled eggs with ¼ cup Sargento Shredded 4 State Cheddar, 275 calories
This Swap Saves: 105 calories

Eggs and cheese do go hand in hand, but they also boost calories like no other. Next time you need more flavor in your scramble, try a lower cal fix such as tossing in chopped chives. Hot sauce, red pepper flakes, or even everything bagel seasoning can also do the trick.

Sip Seltzer, Not Soda

Seltzer

Eat This: 12-oz Seltzer with Lemon Slices, 0 calories
Not That!: 12-oz Coke, 140 calories
This Swap Saves: 140 calories

You’ve sat down for dinner and you’re thinking about that sodato quench your thirst. Do yourself a favor and take a pass. You’ll save more than 100 calories and over 20 grams of sugar by choosing a sugar-free, unflavored fizz such as plain seltzer. If you’d rather not take it plan, opt for tossing in slices of lemon, lime, or even orange.

Go Nuts

Pistachios

Eat This: 1 oz Raw Pistachios, 159 calories
Not That!: 1 oz Raw Walnuts, 185 calories
This Swap Saves: 26 calories

While they are the perfect snack to hold your hunger, eating nuts by the handful often means munching on far too many. Instead of continuously dipping into the bag, just switch nuts! For the exact same one-ounce serving size, you’ll save nearly 30 calories by noshing on pistachios instead of walnuts. Plus, shelling the pistachios yourself will help you snack slower and therefore get full faster, saving you precious calories. And did we mention that for the same serving size, you’ll be able to scarf down 48 pistachios but only 14 walnuts? Not sure about you, but we’d rather be able to eat triple the amount and not have to worry about adding extra calories.

Choose Fresh Fruit

Apples and peanut butter

Eat This: Grapes, 69 calories (100 grams)
Not That!: Craisins, 325 calories (100 grams)
This Swap Saves: 256 calories

With the simple addition of dried fruit, seemingly healthy trail mixes and salads can become your worst nightmare. Instead of sugar-filled dried cranberries, strive for fresh ingredients that provide natural sweetness and texture. Fibrous vegetables are low-cal and high in nutrient value as opposed to the sort of calorie-filled toppings you buy in bags.

Go Greek

Greek Yogurt

Eat This: 2 Tablespoons Fage 2% Greek, 27.5 calories
Not That!: 2 Tablespoons Daisy Sour Cream, 60 calories
This Swap Saves: 32.5 calories

We get that the tangy, creamy, smooth addition of sour cream is irresistible. But for nearly the same palatable experience, you can save over 30 calories and add waist-cinching probiotics to your meal. Yes, just a “dollop” of our favorite yogurt can help steer you on the right track for your weight loss journey.

Sweeten With Cinnamon

Ground Cinnamon

Eat This: Cinnamon, 6 calories (1 tsp.)
Not That!: Sugar, 16 calories (1 tsp.)
This Swap Saves: 10 calories

Starting your day with sweetness means your body will be craving it all day long. Instead of loading your coffee with sugar (artificial, or not), try sprinkling in blood-glucose-regulating cinnamon. Your morning cup of Joe will now have metabolism-boosting benefits, and you won’t be as likely to reach for that bag of M&Ms later on.

Air Pop

Popcorn

Eat This: Homemade, air-popped popcorn, 139 calories (4.5 cups)
Not That!: Jolly Time Mini Bags Blast O Butter, Ultimate Theatre Style, 210 calories (4.5 cups)
This Swap Saves: 71 calories

Ah, popcorn. The high-fiber snack can be kept low-cal, but only if you prepare it correctly. Ditch the butter, ditch the bags, and invest in an air popper. By air popping your whole-grain kernels, you’ll consume fewer calories than most healthy snacks for weight loss. Boost your movie night snack’s flavor by sprinkling in red pepper flakes, cinnamon, cocoa powder, or a dash of classic salt and pepper!

Enjoy a Better Ice Cream

Halo Top Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Eat This: ½ Cup Halo Top Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, 90 calories
Not That!: ½ Cup Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, 280 calories
This Swap Saves: 190 calories

Treating yourself every once in awhile is totally understandable. But who are you kidding when you say you’re going to stick to just a half-cup serving? Next time you hit the freezer aisles, choose a healthier option such as one of our 14 best brand name ice creams for weight loss. Picking Halo Top in the same indulgent flavor will save you almost 200 calories in addition to 8 grams of heart-harming saturated fat and 18 grams of sugar.

Spray, Don’t Spread

Spraying cooking oil

Eat This: Olive Oil Spray, 5 calories
Not That!: Tablespoon of Olive Oil, 120
This Swap Saves: 115 calories

Next time you order a panini, egg dish, or burger, ask to the have the kitchen use pan spray as opposed to oil or butter. Using “just a little” bit of regular olive oil in the pan can add 120 calories. By spritzing, the oil is well spread out, requiring you to use way less.

Do Taco Night

Tacos

Eat This: 2 Mission Super Soft White Corn Tortillas, 100 calories
Not That!: 2 Mission Soft Taco Flour Tortillas, 280 calories
This Swap Saves: 180 calories

Beyond the refried beans, extra helping of cheese, and and loads of guac you’re likely stuffing into your taco shell, you’re probably forgetting to consider the tortilla you’re wrapping all those fixings with. Before inviting everyone over for Taco Tuesday, make sure to stock up on corn tortillas. They’re gluten-free, pack in three grams of belly-filling fiber, and less than two grams of fat.

Swap Out Granola for Fiber-Rich Cereal

Bran Flakes

Eat This: ½ Cup Kellogg’s All-Bran Original, 80 calories
Not That!: ½ Cup Kellogg’s Special K Granola Touch of Honey, 200 calories
This Swap Saves: 120 calories

Greek yogurt parfaits are a satisfying and balanced breakfast, but they can also be a sugar and calorie-filled trap. Instead of using sweetened granola, try a plain, high fiber cereal and then add some cinnamon and berries to enhance your bowl’s flavor. This simple swap can save you at least 100 calories and will help curb hunger so you won’t dive into your office snack drawer.14

Go for Goat!

Goat Cheese

Eat This: 1 oz Mont Chevre Original Crumbled Goat Cheese, 70 calories
Not That!: 1 oz President Triple Crème Brie, 100 calories
This Swap Saves: 30 calories

When it comes to saying cheese, ask for goat. Creamy, tangy and low calorie (for cheese, that is) indulge in this spreadable treat when you’re watching your weight.15

Toast Instead of Rolls

Cinnamon buns

Eat This: 2 Slices of Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Bread with 1 oz of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, 230 calories
Not That!: Cinnabon Classic Roll, 880 calories
This Swap Saves: 650 calories

When you’re trying to beat winter blues and cozy up to something comforting, try Ezekiel’s cinnamon raisin toast as opposed to traditional cinnamon rolls. And then add some cream cheese to make up for your icing to save an abominable 650 calories.16

Boil, Don’t Fry

Poached Egg

Eat This: 2 boiled eggs, 160 calories
Not That!: 2 eggs scrambled with 1 tbsp. butter, 260 calories
This Swap Saves: 100 calories

Yes, fluffy scrambled eggs and gooey cheese-filled omelets can be totally delicious, but do you know how many hidden calories are folded right into those breakfasts? Generally, recipes call for approximately 1 tablespoon of butter per egg or two — that’s 100 calories added to your plate. Instead, try boiling them: cracked or not, hard boiled, soft boiled, even poached provide you with a menu of delicious, low-cal alternatives that are still packed with protein and waist-slimming choline.17

Try a Spiralizer

Zoodles

Eat This: 1 cup of Zoodles, 19 calories
Not That!: 1 cup of cooked Spaghetti, 200 calories
This Swap Saves: 181 calories

Instead of ordering carb-filled pasta for dinner, check the menu for veggie noodles. From spaghetti squash to zucchini noodles or even sweet potato spirals, these veggie alternatives squash calories out the door. A cup of zoodles contains 25 calories as opposed to spaghetti, which can contain about 200!

Skip the Latte

Starbucks Coffee

Eat This: Grande Iced Coffee with 2% Milk, Unsweetened, 35 calories
Not That!: Grande Iced Vanilla Latte with 2% Milk, 195 calories
This Swap Saves: 160 calories

We totally get that your morning brew is 100% necessary, but all that cream and sugar? The typical combinations are loaded with fat and calories.Try ordering your coffee black and splashing in the milk yourself to further control the calories you sip. Not only will your body thank you, but your wallet will too. You’d be surprised at how much you’ll save by ordering a plain cup of coffee compared to your go-to gourmet version.

Ditch the Bun

Lettuce Wrap Burger

Eat This: 1 lettuce leaf, 4 calories
Not That!: Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns, 130 calorie
This Swap Saves: 126 calories

That juicy burger topped with cheese and tomato is much better off without the starchy bun. Eliminate nearly 130 calories and feel just as full thanks to the protein-packed meat. When you’re ordering out, ask for your burger “protein-style” or in a “lettuce bun.” You’d be surprised how popular this is, even Shake Shack and In-And-Out list this popular option on their menu!

Red Rather than White

Marinara Sauce

Eat This: ½ Cup Newman’s Own Garden Peppers Pasta Sauce, 60 calories
Not That!: ½ Cup Newman’s Own Alfredo Pasta Sauce, 80 calories
This Swap Saves: 20 calories

And we’re not talking about wine. When it comes to sauces, stick to red. White sauces tend to be loaded with cream, butter, cheese, and inflammatory oils. Reds, on the other hand, are filled with vegetables, and often have fewer calories and sugar compared to their white competitors.