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Healthy Swaps for Your Favorite Not-So-Healthy Foods

From Junk Food to Joy Food

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Gone are the days when you thought you could only eat celery and salads to lose weight and eat better. In fact, we know that if you toss all your favorite treats, you're more likely to fail at your healthy eating goals. Today Show nutritionist Joy Bauer, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.N., shows you how to enjoy all the food you love to eat and still lose weight in her new cookbook From Junk Food to Joy Food: All the Foods You Love to Eat...Only Better. The trick is in her sneaky swaps that cut an enormous amount of calories from original recipes but taste just as delicious. Check out some of the healthy recipes you can find in the book, as well as a few more exclusive "Joy Food" recipes. (Hey! Have you seen our 7-Day Super Slim-Down Meal Plan.)

Bacon Cheeseburger

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Yes, you can have bacon! Lean ground turkey and crispy turkey bacon make this burger lower in saturated fat than any beef patty version you could grab at a diner or drive thru.

Junk Food: 1,100 calories
Joy Food: 425 calories

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Sparkling Sangria

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Cut back on sugary fruit juice and make your sangria bubbly with 0-calorie seltzer. A pitcher of this will please any brunch crowd, but hey, you don't need to invite anyone over to pour yourself a glass or two. (Psst...Here's Why Alcohol Is Actually Good for You.)

Junk Food: 220 calories
Joy Food: 170 calories

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Cream of Broccoli Soup

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Typically, you might immediately pass on a dish if the recipe name includes the word cream—sounds like it took a lot of extra fat and calories to make it "creamy" right? Not in Bauer's version. She uses blended cannellini beans to mimic the thick, savory texture for way fewer calories than you'd expect in any bowl from the cafe.

Junk Food: 230 calories
Joy Food: 85 calories

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Crispy Chicken Tenders

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You do not need to deep fry your food to make it crispy. If you're looking for that same crunchy bite, baking will do the trick, too. These tenders were baked with a whole-grain crust and an extra dose of cheesy flavor, saving you calories while elevating the taste.

Junk Food: 680 calories
Joy Food: 330 calories

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Chocolate Crunch Bar

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Drop the candy bar. We know you picked it up on the way to check out at the drugstore, but you won't be disappointed. These dark chocolate bars has only two ingredients, so they are so easy to make and taste just like, if not better than, that processed candy you left at the register. Next. try these Chocolate Smoothie Recipes You Won't Believe Are Healthy.)

Junk Food: 220 calories
Joy Food: 148 calories

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Protein Pancakes

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These pancakes pack in the protein from egg whites and oats for a full belly and have a touch of sweetness on their own. Want to pump up the flavor and color? Top them with frozen fruit that's been warmed--juice and all--for an even bigger nutritional bang for your pancake buck.

Junk Food: 750 calories
Joy Food: 270 calories

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Mac and Cheese

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You may have seen or even tried healthy mac-n-cheese recipes before, but they usually fall short of tasting as decadent and sinfully cheesy as the original. But Bauer's version tastes so much like the full-fat version you probably wouldn't even be able to tell them apart. The only difference is a big one— the calories.

Junk Food: 1,310
Joy Food: 419 calories

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Buffalo "Wings" with Blue Cheese Dip

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You get all the spicy kick without any of the mess with these boneless buffalo "wings." Plus, this appetizer wouldn't be the same finger-food without classic blue cheese dip. This healthy version is made with Greek yogurt, garlic, onion powder, and of course, crumbled blue cheese. Invite friends over, and you have the makings of a yummy party.

Junk Food: 1,030 calories (wings), 160 calories (dip)
Joy Food: 135 calories (wings), 45 calories (dip)

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Banana Split on a Stick

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In this exclusive swap recipe, Bauer saves you more than 800 calories in her simplified, hand-held version of the classic banana split. You even get whipped cream and a cherry on top, just like you would in the enormous calorie-busting version.

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