You are here

The Best Ways to Cut Calories


Save 100+ Calories

1. Add the Olive Oil Last
We often think of sautéing as a lowfat cooking method, but some vegetables, such as eggplant, mushrooms, and greens, tend to soak up the majority of the fat that's added to the pan. Steam your veggies instead, then toss them with a few teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a pinch of red pepper flakes and sea salt.
Calories saved per cup: 150

2. Lighten Up Your Juice
Fill a water bottle with 6 ounces of juice and an equal amount of sparkling water. Or make an Arnold Palmer by mixing 6 ounces of lemonade with an equal amount of unsweetened iced tea.
Calories saved: 100

3. Make Skinny Mashed Potatoes
Mix in half a cup of low-sodium chicken broth for every 3 pounds of potatoes instead of half a cup of butter or heavy cream. If you still crave that rich flavor, top a small scoop of mashed potatoes with a pat of butter (that's about a teaspoon) for just 36 extra calories.
Calories saved per cup: 150

4. Trade in Your Wine Glass
Traditional red wine goblets are designed with a larger bowl to allow the liquid inside a chance to breathe. Fill it up and you may be getting 8 to 9 ounces of wine. Using a champagne flute, which holds only about 5 ounces, guarantees automatic portion control.
Calories saved: 100

Save 250+ Calories

1. Downsize Your Baked Goods
You can automatically halve the calories in fresh-baked muffins by using a pan with a dozen slots rather than one with just six. And if you swap half a cup of applesauce for the half cup of butter or oil called for in your recipe, you can save an additional 75 calories per muffin.
Calories saved: 310 to 385

2. Get Sandwich Savvy
A 6-inch tuna hero with lowfat chips may seem like a light meal, but it contains 700 calories and more than 30 grams of fat. Opt for a small turkey sub without mayo or oil-and skip the soda, chips, and cookies.
Calories saved: 420

3. Bulk Up Your Pasta-with Veggies
If you're making pasta at home, a 2-cup serving of noodles with a large ladle of meat, vodka, or Alfredo sauce can set you back 600 calories or more. To fill your plate, mix a cup of pasta with a cup of steamed veggies, topping the dish with half a cup of your favorite jarred marinara sauce.
Calories saved: 250

4. Serve Dessert in a Shot Glass
Can't resist taking a slice of key lime pie or cheesecake at a buffet? Allow yourself to savor the amount that fits in a shot glass (that's about 3 tablespoons) and you'll save 80 percent of the calories you'd get in a full-size portion.
Calories saved: 360

Save 500+ Calories

1. Take Your Own Popcorn to the Movies
A medium container from the theater has at least 900 calories-not including the "butter" topping. Pre-pop your lowfat favorite and stash the bag in your tote.
Calories saved: 600

2. Ditch Designer Cereals and Granolas
Multigrain and all-natural options can still be high in sugar and fat. Pour a bowl with milk for breakfast and you can easily spoon up 700 calories before you even walk out the door. Go for fiber-rich cereals that contain 200 or fewer calories per cup.
Calories saved: 500

3. Choose a Leaner Cut of Meat
When dining at a restaurant, order a 6-ounce filet mignon rather than the 10-ounce T-bone or prime rib. Some chefs will brush the meat with butter or oil after cooking to make the steak look juicier, so ask that the kitchen skip this step to cut an extra 100 calories.
Calories saved: 500 to 600

4. Turn Your Back on the Buffet Table
Pick a spot that's at least 16 feet from the smorgasbord and face away from the food when eating. One study showed that people who did this ate several hundred fewer calories, on average, than those who sat just a few feet away.
Calories saved: 650