Losing weight comes down to one thing: eat less calories. Now, I know that isn't exactly breaking news, but I see individuals all the time who don't know where to start changing their diet. It seems too big, and that leads to the "I'll start on Monday" mentality. To combat this, I've laid out a few simple ways to cut 100 calories out of your favorite snacks and meals -- and, trust me, you won't even miss the old dishes.
#1 Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is one of my biggest “simple swaps” (that’s what I call them for my clients because one easy choice can change their daily lifestyle without any major hassles.)
-1 cup of 0% FAGE greek yogurt not only saves calories but adds protein to most dishes that would have virtually none!
-1 cup 0%FAGE greek yogurt is 80 calories. This can be substituted in any dish that contains mayonnaise, miracle whip, sour cream, or cream cheese! I would not recommend making a full substitution in something like a cheesecake however.
-You can use greek yogurt in a spinach dip that would have mayo and sour cream traditionally, mashed potatoes, loaded baked potatoes, creamy soups or salad dressing, dips (for vegetables, fruit, chips, crackers, etc.) baked goods, and anything that you can think of that contains mayo, sour cream, or cream cheese traditionally!
1 cup of greek yogurt instead of sour cream saves 400 calories, 1 cup of greek yogurt instead of Philadelphia cream cheese saves 160 calories, 1 cup of greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise saves 640 calories, and 1 cup of greek yogurt instead of Miracle Whip saves 200 calories!
-¼ cup salsa will give you vegetables in a spicy 20 calories!
-¼ cup of guacamole—although full of heart healthy fats will cost you 100 calories.
So swap a little bit of salsa for guacamole and you'll at least 80 calories. (And don't forget to limit the tortilla chips!)
-Choose marinara over alfredo sauces when having Italian fare and you will save you more 100 calories per ½ cup serving!
-Have your squash and eat it too! Squash is loaded with vitamins and minerals your body needs. This holiday season, make a squash side dish instead of mashed potatoes to save over 150 calories per cup!
Brittany Utke is a dietician based at Camelback Village Health and Racquet Club. Learn more about her by watching this video: http://youtu.be/Pd5h5hrS7eQ