Losing weight doesn’t have to be hard work, you do have to look at your diet and exercise but there are other things you can do that can help. Simple things such as swapping certain things in your diet for others that taste just as good but have less calories.

These suggestions are based on swapping things in your diet that you may like to indulge on every now and then, it is just to give you an idea on how you can cut calories very simply by making different choices but not depriving yourself of the treats you enjoy.

I mention specific companies/products in some parts of this post but this is purely for you to see how many calories you can save by making different choices when eating popular foods, I am not promoting any of the products or places mentioned.

Here are 20 simple swaps:

Cereal

Swap your morning bowl of cereal for porridge. If porridge is not your thing then go for the healthier cereals, check the ingredients first as there are many that you may think are healthy but are in fact high in calories. Cereals are the choice of many as they are quick and easy but you could be eating more calories than you think for breakfast, and here are some reasons why:

  • Portion size – are you using big bowls, do you fill your bowl too much? It is easy to eat double the amount than you need. Try and keep your portion to under 1-1 ½ cups.
  • Are there any nuts? Nuts are good for you and contain protein and healthy fats but they are also high in calories so be careful of how many are included.
  • Sugar? Do you add sugar to your cereal, if so consider swapping sugar out for sliced fresh fruit, not dried fruit which is higher in calories. Sliced bananas, strawberries or blueberries are my favourites for adding to porridge.
  • Stay away from the sweetened cereals such as coco pops, frosties etc, these type of cereals have a lot of sugar.

Milk

Swap whole milk for a different kind of milk e.g. almond milk, coconut milk etc there are many different varieties that contain less calories. If you don’t like the taste of the other milks then swap whole fat for semi-skimmed or even better non fat milk and you could save up to 90 calories. Swapping milk can change the calorie content for not only your breakfast but also for your coffee, tea, hot chocolate etc.

Alcohol

If you like to treat yourself to an alcoholic drink every now and then you could save yourself some calories by drinking something different:

Swap a whisky and coke for a vodka and slim line tonic saving you 71 calories.

Swap your margarita for a mojito and save 135 calories.

Swap a pint of beer for a glass (120ml) of white wine and save 107 calories.

Chocolate

If you want to indulge in a chocolate bar then go for the ones with lower calories, swap out a Snickers bar (319 calories) for a Cadbury Flake (170 calories) instead and save 149 calories.

Two fingers of a Nestle Kit Kat is even better (107 calories) saving you 212 calories compared to the Snickers bar.

Coffee

Do you frequently visit coffee shops for a coffee or a quick lunch, if so, then try some of these swaps:

Leave behind the Venti Vanilla Latte (320 cals) and order instead the Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte (160 cals) for a saving of 210 calories or alternatively go for a Tall Caffe Latte (100 cals) and save 270 calories.

Fancy a Tuna Melt Panini (389 cals) swap it for a Tuna Mayonnaise and Cucumber Sandwich (258 cals) and save 131 calories.

Swap the Chicken Caesar Wrap (434 cals) for the Chicken Salad Sandwich (272 cals) saving yourself 162 calories.

Pastries and Muffins

Swap a blueberry muffin for a butter croissant and you could save 234 calories.

Swap a reduced fat chocolate chunk muffin for a pain au chocolate and save 186 calories and you still get your chocolate fix.

Swap the lemon poppy seed muffin for an apricot croissant and you will save 191 calories.

Pizza Express

Swap the baked dough balls with garlic butter (342 cals) for the garlic bread (238 cals) saving 104 calories.

A mixed side salad with house dressing (139 cals) opt for the light dressing and save 34 calories, ask to have no dressing and save 116 calories.

If you like to have one of their salads for your main course then consider swapping the warm vegetable and goats cheese salad with chicken (909 cals) for the Pollo Pancetta Salad without goats cheese (778 cals) saving you 131 calories. Now if you wanted to save even further you could order the Pollo without dough sticks you could save a total of 379 calories.

If pizza is your choice then save calories with the Leggera Pizzas which are all 500 calories each so these pizzas have less calories than any of the Classic or Romana pizzas.

The Classic pizzas range in calories from 669 -951 calories and the Romana pizzas range from 813-1148 calories.

Watching a movie

Have popcorn with no butter instead of snacking on potato chips.

Fast food

I would suggest staying away from fast food altogether, due to the high number of calories and it’s high fat and salt content, but if you do feel the urge then there are some swaps you can do to help lower the amount of calories:

Swap the Premium Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich for the Premium Gilled Chicken Club Sandwich and save 160 calories or go for the McChicken and save 260 calories.

Swap the Double Quarter Pounder with cheese for a Big Mac and save 200 calories or go for a simple cheeseburger and save 450 calories.

I wont list any swaps for Burger King but I will mention that the key to calorie swaps for fast food in general is to think about reducing the extras.

Think about what’s added in to your choices for example cheese is going to bump up your calories, also the way the food is cooked, choose grilled over fried. Watch out for the sauces and dressings these can add on the calories as well. Sizes that you choose make a difference, whether it fries or sodas, you can save 100 calories can by having a medium soda instead of a large. When making swaps to reduce calories there is ton of information available but I recommend that you make your swaps for the healthier choices. Don’t just swap sugar for sweetener to reduce calories or even the diet soda instead of the normal soda, these types of swaps may cut calories but the alternatives have ingredients that are manmade and aren’t so good for you. Personally I would rather have sugar than sugar substitutes as the sugar substitutes  can cause bloating, abdominal distension and gas as they are not easily digested.

One last point, just because the calories are less you still need to be mindful of the nutritional content of the foods, foods can still have high fat content.

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