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Eat This, Not That

Shave off extra calories by swapping high-calorie foods for low.

By Lara McGlashan

Small Changes = Slimmer Waistline

It can be tricky adding a diet component to a workout program. In fact, you might be feeling hungrier now that you're exercising more. To properly fuel your body while still losing weight, eat three meals and one or two snacks daily. But for each of your meals and snacks, see where you can cut the fat, both literally and figuratively. "Making smarter food choices and swapping good foods for bad is easier than you think," says Kim Lyons, personal trainer from The Biggest Loser and coauthor of Your Body, Your Life (Sterling).

On the days when you exercise less, swap more foods; on days when you exercise a lot, swap fewer foods. "It's tempting to cut a lot of calories every day, but if you do that, your body goes into a sort of shock, hoarding all the calories you eat, and you stop losing weight," says Lyons. To keep progressing safely, try to trim no more than about 500 calories from your diet each day.

Breakfast

Swap Out: 12-ounce regular cappuccino
Swap In: 12-ounce regular coffee with 1 small container half-and-half
Save: 87 calories

Swap Out: 2-ounce regular cream cheese
Swap In: 4-ounce 1% cottage cheese
Save: 117 calories

Swap Out: 1 tablespoon butter
Swap In: 1 tablespoon sugar-free jam
Save: 92 calories

Swap Out: 2 large whole eggs
Swap In: 3 egg whites
Save: 105 calories

Swap Out: 1 whole wheat bagel
Swap In: 1 slice whole wheat toast
Save: 150 calories

Swap Out: 8-ounce low-fat strawberry-flavored yogurt
Swap In: 8-ounce plain fat-free yogurt with 2 sliced strawberries
Save: 96 calories

Swap Out: 1 pork sausage patty
Swap In: 2 turkey sausage links
Save: 108 calories

Lunch

Swap Out: 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
Swap In: 1 tablespoon fat-free ranch plus 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
Save: 107 calories

Swap Out: 1 tablespoon regular mayo
Swap In: 2 tablespoon hummus
Save: 54 calories

Swap Out: 3 ounce hard salami
Swap In: 3 ounce Prosciutto
Save: 180 calories

Swap Out: A 20-ounce Coca-Cola
Swap In: Blend 1/2 cup O.J., 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup ice, 3 strawberries
Save: 122 calories

Swap Out: Grilled chicken sandwich
Swap In: Chicken soup
Save: 126 calories

Swap Out: 1/2 cup tuna salad on lettuce
Swap In: 3 ounce grilled chicken on lettuce
Save: 98 calories

Swap Out: 2 slices whole wheat bread
Swap In: One 4-inch whole wheat pita pocket
Save: 126 calories

Dinner

Swap Out: 1 cup white rice
Swap In: 1/2 cup brown rice plus 1/2 cup steamed mixed vegetables
Save: 82 calories

Swap Out: 3 ounce 85% lean ground beef burger
Swap In: 4 ounce 99% lean ground turkey burger
Save: 98 calories

Swap Out: 1 cup sauteed broccoli
Swap In: 1 cup steamed broccoli
Save: 102 calories

Swap Out: 3 ounces filet mignon
Swap In: 3 ounces tuna sashimi
Save: 51 calories

Swap Out: 1 cup pasta (cooked)
Swap In: 1 small sweet potato (baked)
Save: 128 calories

Swap Out: 3-ounce pork chop
Swap In: 3-ounce pork tenderloin
Save: 45 calories

Snacks

Swap Out: 5 Ritz crackers plus 1 tablespoon peanut butter
Swap In: 1 light string cheese plus 1 small red apple
Save: 49 calories

Swap Out: 1 Krispy Kreme doughnut
Swap In: 4 Hershey's Kisses
Save: 100 calories

Swap Out: 1 cup fruit salad in heavy syrup
Swap In: 1/2 cup sliced strawberries plus 1/2 cup blueberries
Save: 116 calories

Swap Out: 1 cup Cracker Jack
Swap In: 1 cup microwave kettle corn
Save: 185 calories

Swap Out: A 16-ounce Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino
Swap In: A 16-ounce Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino Light, with no whipped cream
Save: 240 calories

Swap Out: Blueberry muffin (4 ounce)
Swap In: McDonald's small fruit-and-yogurt parfait with granola Save: 153 calories

Originally published in the July 2008 issue of Family Circle magazine.

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