Looking for little easy changes to help you hit or maintain your weight-loss goal? Each of these tiny tweaks saves 100 calories or more! That may not sound like a lot on its own—but make just a couple of these swaps every day, and that comes out to a minimum 73,000 calories, equal to about 21 pounds a year! We asked registered dietitians across the country for their brilliant calorie-saving ideas.
1. Swap berries for syrup.
Top your pancakes or French toast with heated frozen fruit instead of syrup. A half-cup of unsweetened frozen cherries, at 45 calories, is more than 100 calories less than three Tablespoons of maple syrup. Plus, you get bonus fiber from the fruit to help keep you full!
2. Bulk up pasta with veggies.
“There is no reason to eliminate pasta from your diet,” said Keri Gans, MS, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet. “But to save some calories, try swapping out some of those noodles for veggies, such as broccoli, zucchini, or artichokes. If you cut back by around half a cup of cooked pasta, you will save almost 100 calories.”
3. Opt for baked, not fried, taters.
Order a baked potato instead of fries on the side. Even a small side of fries can tally up to about 230 calories, while a small baked potato is only 128 calories. That’s a savings of more than 100 calories.
“Don’t forget to eat the skin for extra fiber!” said Lauren Pendergast, RDN, owner of Nutrition By Lauren in Jersey City, NJ.
4. Dress your corn differently.
“Lose the butter, and squeeze some lime on your corn on the cob,” Gans suggested. “A tablespoon of butter has 102 calories, and most likely more than that is going on your corn. Try squeezing some lime instead for practically zero calories. The taste is different but equally satisfying.”
5. Add some fizz to your wine.
“Instead of having two 5-ounce glasses of rose wine at 138 calories each, just pour 2.5 ounces of wine and fill the rest of your glass with sparkling water for a refreshing and lower-calorie spritzer,” Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, author of Eating in Color, suggested.
6. Halve your post-dinner treat.
Note we didn’t say to skip dessert! Just downsize it.
“When you finally unwind on the couch at the end of the day, it's an easy time to add calories you're not hungry for and don't really need,” noted Alicia Blittner, MS, RDN, employee wellness manager and corporate nutritionist at FreshDirect. “If your regular routine is to have a cup of vanilla ice cream, that’s 260 calories. Cut the ice cream serving in half, then top that off with a handful of berries.”