Every day is a chance to start fresh. Wake up, eat a balanced breakfast, and by the time 11 a.m. rolls around, many of us start thinking snacks, lunch, and beyond. The problem? It’s easy to get sidetracked from a day of healthy eating if you don’t implement the right strategies. What if we were to tell you that cutting unnecessary calories from your day-to-day doesn’t have to feel like a major struggle? Holly Perkins, C.S.C.S., and author of Women’s Health Lift to Get Lean, has the strategies you need to easily cut 400 calories from typical diet indulgences.
“[Sure] 400 calories is a significant number to cut out of your daily diet,” says Perkins. “It’s actually pretty easy to do if you make some smart swaps.”
Keep these six calorie-saving strategies in mind next time you’re tempted to ditch your diet:
1. Avoid the calorie-dense cocktails like the piña colada (two drinks deliver 656 calories) and drink two 6-ounce glasses of red wine instead (300 calories). Keep your hand out of the bowl of bar nuts (44 calories per scoop) and you’ll have saved calories.
Savings: 400 calories.
2. Cut up a large apple (116 calories), top it with 1 cup of plain yogurt (149 calories), and sprinkle a teaspoon of cinnamon (6 calories) on top. Choose this dessert over a piece of apple pie (411 calories) with a cup of vanilla ice cream (274 calories).
Savings: 414 calories.
3. Instead of the cheddar (113 calories per slice) and egg on a bagel (360 calories), breakfast on eggs with a slice of whole wheat toast (75 calories).
Savings: 398 calories.
4. Make your breakfast to-go. Have a granola bar (118 calories) instead of a bowl of granola (299 calories) with 1 cup of whole milk (149 calories). Eat a medium navel orange (60 calories) instead of drinking 10 ounces of processed orange juice (150 calories).
Savings: 420 calories.
5. Save money and calories by skipping the smoothie made at the franchise store. Make your own: Blend 2 slices of pineapple, 1 apple, 1 peeled beet, 1 carrot, 1⁄2 cup organic apple juice, and a dash of water and ice. One serving is only 115 calories. Save the second for an evening snack.
Savings: 485 calories.
6. Substitute 2 cups of spaghetti squash (84 calories) for 2 cups of pasta (443 calories) and top it with 1 cup of tomato sauce. Season it with freshly ground black pepper instead of 2 tablespoons of shredded Parmesan cheese (44 calories).
Savings: 403 calories.