A few simple swaps can slash cals and still leave you satisfied and energized

December 25, 2013

Delicious sandwiches made with fresh bread, hearty soups, and crispy green salads are all great lunchtime fare. If you pay attention to what you're eating and how you're ordering your midday meal, you can save yourself some serious lunchtime calories. Here are six small food swaps that will make a big difference.

Change Condiments



The easiest way to save calories when building a sandwich is to ditch the mayo. One tablespoon of mayonnaise contains 94 calories, and the same amount of mustard has only 10. Make sure not to order honey mustard, because the sweetness adds calories.

Swap Cheese for Avocado



Cheese may be a go-to, but two slices adds about 200 calories to your wrap or sandwich. Go for thinly sliced avocado or make this avocado yogurt spread instead. Ounce for ounce, avocado contains less than half the calories found in cheddar cheese and offers fiber and healthy fats too.

Go Open-Faced



Even if you're not into eating low-carb, sometimes two pieces of bread seems like one piece too many. Create an open-faced sandwich and save about 100 calories.

Make a Soup Swap



Nothing beats a warm bowl of soup on a cold day, but cream-based soups can contain 100 more calories per serving than clear broth soups. Instead of clam chowder and broccoli cheese, order bean and veggie soups or minestrone made with vegetable stock.

Ditch Herb Croutons and Choose Fresh Herbs



If you like the taste of herb croutons, why not try some fresh herbs instead? A half-cup of croutons adds up to almost 100 calories, and fresh herbs have vitually none. Plus ones such as Italian parsley, mint, basil, and thyme are chock full of antioxidants.

Find Low-Cal Alternatives



Chicken salad is full of protein, but the mayo adds tons of calories you can do without. Try this healthier version made with nonfat Greek yogurt instead-it's only 139 calories per serving.

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