Guess what? You don’t have to forgo all your favorite foods to drop a few pounds. Breakfast waffles, ice cream, and even pretzels. They’re all ok! Well, only as long as you make these healthy substitutes.
It may sound crazy, but we think a reasonable diet plan shouldn’t deprive you of your must-have snacks. Rather, it should consist of tiny, better-for-you tweaks that are barely noticeable in your current lifestyle. Granted, you’ll have to kick some bad habits to the curb for successful weight loss, but there are certainly some dearly-held foods that can be a part of a healthy lifestyle.
That’s why the researchers at Eat This, Not That! have found easy swaps that slash your calorie intake and still satisfy cravings. By making these simple swaps, you can easily shed unwanted calories—over 2,000 a week—and give yourself permission to eat what you want, when you want it. Need some more help achieving your goals? Check out these 40 Tips That Double Weight Loss.
Chobani Fruit On The Bottom Strawberry
Per Container: 120 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 50 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (< 1 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 12 g protein
Yoplait Original Strawberry
Per Container: 150 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (n/a g fiber, 18 g sugar), 6 g protein
Yogurt for weight loss is a great staple in your diet. But there’s a trick to getting the best one for your toned body. You don’t want to buy a yogurt with too much sugar and too little protein. Even though there’s naturally-occurring sugar from the lactose many brands, especially when artificially flavored, add even more sugar to the product! Thirty calories may seem like no big deal, but look past that number. By going with Chobani you’ll gain an extra 6 grams of belly-filling protein, the key to a great breakfast.
Thomas English Muffin
Per Muffin: 130 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 210 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (< 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 4 g protein
Thomas Plain Bagel
Per Bagel: 260 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 460 mg sodium, 53 g carbs (2 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 9 g protein
We get it. Even if it’s not flat-belly friendly, sometimes a bagel is the easiest way to go in the morning. You schmear some nut butter on it, put it in a napkin and off you go to work. Why not do the same thing with a breakfast bread with just half the calories and a better list of ingredients!? An option like this is an unbeatable foundation for breakfast sandwiches.
Tostito Medium Salsa
Per 2 Tbsp: 20 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 2 g carbs (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 0 g protein
Per 2 Tbsp: 60 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 105 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (2 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 1 g protein
Nothing says Taco Night more than a pre-dinner array of all your favorite classic Mexican-inspired dips! But watch out: Even options full of healthy fats, such as guacamole, can sneak on countless calories when you dole it out on each of your tacos. Don’t get us wrong; guacamole is a healthy dip, but only in moderation. If you’re anything like we are when it comes to the toppings bar, we recommend you opt for salsa instead. Filled with flavor, and metabolism-boosting spice if you choose, this sauce is the perfect addition for your fiesta!
French’s Classic Yellow Mustard
Per Tbsp: 0 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 165 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein
Hellmann’s Real mayonnaise
Per Tbsp: 100 calories, 11 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein
Sandwiches can quickly become a trap with additions like extra cheese and oil-coated red peppers. But even just a tablespoon of mayo adds a mere 100 calories! Using an alternative like mustard still adds a creamy texture, and saves you an extra mile on the treadmill.
Select Your Soda
Spindrift Orange Mango
Per 12 Fl Oz: 10 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 0 g protein
Fanta Orange Soda
Per 12 Fl Oz: 160 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 45 g carbs (0 g fiber, 44 g sugar), 0 g protein
Sipping your calories is one of the sneakiest, and yet most common, ways to add unnecessary numbers to your day. Soda increases the risk of weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, drinking just one serving of the sweet bubble beverage can increase the risk of fatal heart disease or heart attack by 30 percent! No fizzy drink is worth that. And if you swapped to diet to cut calories, that isn’t a smart move either. Diet sodas are potentially filled with carcinogenic chemicals.
Your main source of hydration should be water. But if you need a little pop (no pun intended) go for sparkling water or seltzer. Choices like Spindrift are a bubblly alternative just as delicious and completely guilt-free. It’s no wonder you can find them at your local Walgreens, Target or even Trader Joe’s and Costco. Our advice: get your hands on a can to see for yourself what the hype is all about!
Pick Nice Cream
Halo Top Mint Chip
Per ½ Cup: 60 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 110 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (3 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 5 g protein
Haagen-Dazs Mint Chip
Per ½ Cup: 280 calories, 18 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 80 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (1 g fiber, 22 g sugar), 4 g protein
There’s nothing wrong with splurging on a bowl of creamy-deliciousness after a long day. But seriously, is anyone really able to cut themselves off with just a half of a cup? Next time you go shopping, opt for the healthier ice cream. Yes, it exists. With Halo Top, you can cut calories, sugar, and fat without cutting out the taste you love.
Pick Your Pretzel
Rold Gold Original Rods
Per 3 Pretzels: 110 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 450 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (< 1 g fiber, < 1 g sugar), 2 g protein
Rold Gold Original Sourdough
Per 3 Pretzels: 270 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 1500 mg sodium, 57 g carbs (6 g fiber, < 3 g sugar), 6 g protein
For most households, pretzels are a go to pantry staple. You eat them as kids and as parents. But did you know that the shape of your pretzel could mold the shape of your figure? It’s true. Go for Rold Gold Rods; they have 40 percent fewer calories, and that’s great to know if you love to keep on munching.
Sargento Ultra Thin Sharp Cheddar Cheese Slices
Per 3 Slices: 130 calories, 11 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 210 mg sodium, 1 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 8 g protein
Sargento Sliced Sharp Cheddar
Per 3 Slices: 240 calories, 21 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 290 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 15 g protein
Like all things we know aren’t great for us, cheese is fine in moderation. It packs in protein, calcium, and has no sugar or refined carbs. Just be sure you choose the cheese that’s best for you. These thin slices from Sargento clock in at just 43 calories per slices, and only have 3.5 grams of fat! Use three slices on your next grilled cheese compared three of the brand’s classic slices, and you can save over 100 calories!
Kashi Blueberry Waffles
2 Waffles: 140 Calories, 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 310 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (7 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 3 g protein
Kelloggs Blueberry Eggo Waffle
Per 2 Waffles: 180 calories, 6 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 370 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (< 1 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 4 g protein
Craving something sweet in the morning? Choose a waffle with a good nutritional profile. Kashi blueberry waffles are made with nearly half a day’s worth of metabolism-boosting whole grains, not too mention, our favorite fiber-filled blueberries. And compared to the commonly chosen Eggo, Kashi using no artificial coloring, which is a major bonus.
Quaker Organic Instant Oatmeal Regular
Per Packet: 100 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 0 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (3 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 4 g protein
Quaker Protein Instant Oatmeal
Per Pack: 240 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (4 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 10 g protein
Like many companies, Quaker has products we love, and some quite the opposite. Quaker’s Protein Banana Nut Oatmeal is filled with omega 6’s, an essential fatty acid that Americans each too much of. When consumed in excess, this fat can lead to fat-inducing inflammation. That’s why we suggest choosing Quaker’s Classic Instant Oats. With no added sugar, this oatmeal creates the perfect platform for a healthy breakfast. Once you’ve warmed it up, top it with a few slices of banana for a touch of sweetness, nut butter for some fat and protein, and cinnamon for a little spice. You’ll save calories, chemicals, and feel better after eating a breakfast made with real ingredients. Feel free to also try any of these 50 Best Overnight Oats Recipes.
Fiber 1 Cereal Original
Per Cup: 120 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 220 mg sodium, 50 g carbs (28 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 4 g protein
Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Cereal
Per 1 Cup: 190 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 210 mg sodium, 46 g carbs (7 g fiber, 18 g sugar), 5 g protein
More often than not, products with fiber can wear a health halo. They can be filled with too much sugar and calories for comfort. Instead of using a sugary granola or cereal, try a high fiber cereal that is plain, then add some cinnamon and berries to enhance flavor. That simple swap can save you at least 70 calories! This new alternative will fill you longer and help get you toward your weight loss goals by keeping you from diving into your snack drawer before it’s time for lunch.
Bolthouse Farms Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette
Per 2 Tbsp: 30 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (0 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 0 g protein
Briannas Creamy Balsamic
Per (2 tbsp): 160 calories, 17 g fat (1 g saturated), 290 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 0 g protein
Just a quick pour of dressing can turn your bowl full of veggies and protein into a high-calorie dish. That defeats the purpose of eating a meal that’s lean and green. Read your dressing labels and watch out for added sugars and excess calories. That’s why we love Bolthouse Farms Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette. At just 30 calories, it adds a kick of flavor without negating your salad of nutritional benefits.
Amy’s Margherita Pizza Single Serve
Per Pizza: 400 calories, 17 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 720 mg sodium, 47 g carbs (3 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 16 g protein
DiGornio Traditional Crust Small Size Four Cheese Pizza
Per Pizza: 710 calories, 29 g fat (14 g saturated), 1190 mg sodium, 88 g carbs (4 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 25 g protein
If your night calls for movies, wine, and a personal pizza at least do it right! DiGiorno deceptively markets this pie as personal, and yet only provides nutritional facts for half the pie. Forget that! Choose a pizza, made with a simple sauce from organic tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella and basil. That way you won’t feel guilty after your indulgent night.
Annie’s Organic Star Pasta & Chicken Soup
Per Cup: 80 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 680 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 6 g protein
Campbell’s Country-Style Chicken Noodle
Per Cup: 120 Calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 790 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 7 g protein
When it comes to slurping soup, chose one where you can keep going back for more. Annie’s Organic Star Pasta and Chicken Soup is made with wholesome ingredients, void of artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. So as Annie’s says: “Hop on over to the soup aisle and reach for the stars!”
Ice Cream Bars
Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Cookies ‘n Cream
Per Bar: 100 calories, 2 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (0 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 5 g protein
Magnum Double Cookies and Cream
Per Bar: 280 calories, 17 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 90 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (2 g fiber, 23 g sugar), 2 g protein
If scoops of ice-cream aren’t your thing, but you’re still hankering for a frozen dessert, have no fear. We’ve got the solution. Yasso makes their pops out of the best ingredients. In fact, the first two ingredients on this nutrition panel are nonfat milk and Greek yogurt, which explains its protein power punch. The more protein your dessert carries, the more filling it is. That’ll keep those late night tummy rumbles astray until it’s time to make some of our
healthy breakfast ideas come morning.
Cucina Antica Tomato Basil
Per ½ Cup: 35 calories, 1.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 240 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 1 g protein
Emeril’s Tomato Basil
Per ½ cup: 80 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 430 mg sodium, 12 g carbs, (3 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 2 g protein
Whether you choose vodka, tomato basil, or just the classic marinara, pasta sauce is one of those products that often hides unsuspectedly large quantities of sugar. In the case of Emeril’s Tomato Basil, you’ll be ingesting 7 grams of sugar per half cup. That’s more than two Chips Ahoy! But it get’s worse: we were shocked to learn the celebrity chef uses more soybean oil than extra virgin olive. This is a concerning switch, as the bean-derived oils are full of unhealthy fats such as omega 6’s — a group of fatty acids that have been connected to increased levels of inflammation and weight gain. The simple switch to Cucina Antica provides you with the same great taste for no worries! Low in calories, high in satiating ingredients, and made with stuff we can actually pronounce.
Nut Thins Artisan Cracker Snacks, Multi-Seeds
Per 13 Crackers: 130 calories, 3.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 135 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (2 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 3 g protein
Triscuit Whole Wheat Crackers
Per 13 Crackers: 260 calories, 7.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 960 mg sodium, 43 g carbs (6.5 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 6.5 g protein
Whether you’re snacking on a cracker at the airport, eating it with protein like turkey or hummus, or putting it out with hors’ d’oeuvres for your dinner party, you should choose a product you can keep on going back for. We do give props to Nabisco for crafting a cracker made from only 3 simple ingredients. But we wish we wouldn’t have to be so careful about our intake. Blue Diamond’s nut and rice baked crackers make for a healthy, filling vehicle destined to be your next go to. Pair them with a natural bean dip, or some low-fat cheese to fit even more muscle-shaping protein into your repertoire.
Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q Sauce
Per 2 Tbsp: 25 calories, 0 g fat, 240 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 0 g protein
Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Barbecue Sauce
Per 2 Tbsp: 70 calories, 0 g fat, 290 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (0 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 0 g protein
You’re making some BBQ chicken for dinner. Yum. A sauce’s nutritional profile may not look too bad for just 70 calories, but who only uses tablespoons? Some brands are sweeter than others — and we’re not talking about the flavor. Sweet Baby Ray’s is filled with calories and sugar, and icky ingredients such as corn syrup and sugar, Competitor Stubb’s is made from higher-quality ingredients: tomato paste, vinegar, spices and brown sugar. Clocking in at just 25 calories, it’s a guilt-free option for when you’re starting to grill it up.
Amy’s Quarter Pound Veggie Burger
Per patty: 210 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 600 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (6 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 20 g protein
Sunshine Organic Quarter Pound Original
Per patty: 360 calories, 21 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 300 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (6 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 12 g protein
Made the move to go meatless? Make sure your plant-based patty is a solid-substitute for the minimally-processed beef-patty. And that’s exactly what Amy’s Quarter Pound Veggie Burger does (minus the carbs, but you’d have a bun anyway.) Made with a clean source of soy protein, organic grains, veggies and flavors from real ingredients, Amy’s burger of 210 calories is sure to keep you satiated, without having the regrets you’d get from Sunshine Organic. You’d need an extra boost of protein to keep you full after choosing that.
Trop 50 No Pulp
Per 8 fl oz: 50 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (0 g fiber, 13 g sugar), < 1 g protein
Tropicana Original No Pulp
Per 8 fl oz: 110 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (0 g fiber, 22 g sugar), 2 g protein
In general, orange juice (or any juice) is not the smartest way to start your day if you’re trying to get over a weight loss plateau. But if your morning routine requires a glass of OJ, choose Trop50. Each serving is just 50 calories, and only has 10 grams of sugar.