More Than 50 Ways to Cut Fat Calories

Kate Grip Denon posted on Yahoo! Health lots of examples of trading high calorie foods for those of the lower calorie variety.  And the reason you should care is that it’s much easier not to eat the calories than to exercise, or metabolize, them away.  So read on and learn about this…

Cut Out the Fat Calories

I’M GOING to grab something from Yahoo! Health and share it with you, along with – per usual – a bit of commentary from moi.

A few days ago, Kate Grip Denon posted on Yahoo! Health, 78 Ways to Cut Fat Calories from Your Diet. In the article, she underscores how tough it is exercise away calories and how easy it is to pile them into your body.

For instance, Ms. Denon writes:

“Sweat through a 30-minute workout and you can torch 200. Take three gulps of a foamy frappuccino and you’re right back where you started.”

To which I say, “Amen!”

However unfair this is, the fact remains that it takes a lot more effort to exercise away the calories that you so easily eat than to simply not eat them at all.  This is one reason why metabolism is often scrutinized.

The “higher” your metabolism, the more calories you’ll burn at rest; meaning, when not exercising.  Over the course of a day, the calories used via metabolic action will far exceed anything but a Tour du France rider will experience during exercise.

Combining these two facts – 1. That it’s easier to avoid calories than exercise them away; and 2. Metabolism burns more calories than a specific exercise program over the course of a day – suggests that you seek to eat less calories overall and give preference to calories from foods that improve metabolism.

In my post, Metabolism’s Role in Burning Body Fat, I wrote about, well, metabolism’s role in burning body fat!  I said:

“How calories are used by the body can be confusing.  Metabolism, thermogenesis, age, gender, and physical activity all play important roles.”

So, to get a handle on metabolism, read my post about metabolism

To become more aware about how you might be adding unwanted and unnecessary calories into your body, stay right here as I present most of Ms. Denon’s examples. For her full list, go read her article.

Reduce Calories at Breakfast

  • Ditch the Pop-Tart for a slice of high-fiber toast with strawberry jam.
  • Drink your two cups of coffee black. Or order a single espresso instead of your usual latte.
  • Swap OJ for the real deal—one fresh orange. (Had fiber.)
  • Trade a side of regular sausage for turkey.
  • Eat your granola from a 4-ounce mug, not an 8-ounce bowl.
  • Order pancakes, but hold the butter.
  • Eat oatmeal plus an egg.

Reduce Calories at Lunch

  • Leave the cheese out of your sandwich.
  • Uses mustard rather than mayo and save 80 calories per tablespoon.
  • Pass up croutons at the salad bar.
  • Devour a slice of Pizza Hut cheese pan pizza instead of the meat lover’s variety.
  • Take your iced tea unsweetened.
  • Make your burger turkey, not beef.
  • Slurp minestrone soup instead of cream of anything.
  • Go bunless—shed your hamburger roll.
  • Have a quesadilla made with two 6-inch corn, not flour, tortillas.

Reduce Calories at Lunch

  • Sip a single glass of wine instead of downing 2 beers.
  • Ask for your rum and cokes in a highball glass. Bartenders pour an average of 20 percent less liquid into taller tumblers, so you’ll swig less per round.
  • Drizzle extra hot sauce, not blue cheese or ranch dressing, on your wings.
  • Ordering a cocktail? Make it on the rocks instead of frozen. Slushy fruit drinks tend to be made with bottled mixers that contain added sugar and syrups.
  • Blending your own? Have a daiquiri, not a piña colada.
  • Pop the cap off of an MGD 64 instead of a bottle of Killian’s Irish Red.
  • Sip a glass of water between drinks—pacing yourself can help you cut back by a glass or more.
  • Dip your nachos in salsa rather than guacamole.
  • For automatic portion control, sip wine from a Champagne flute, not an oversize goblet.

Reduce Calories at Your Snack Break

  • Drink sparkling water instead of soda.
  • Move your stash of Hershey’s Kisses at least 6 feet away from your desk—you’ll dip in half as often.
  • Drain the heavy syrup from your can of fruit cocktail and then rinse the fruit with water before digging in.
  • Have 1/2 cup of fresh grapes instead of that little snack box of raisins.
  • Lay off the Lay’s Classic potato chips and have a handful of Rold Gold pretzels.
  • Munch on a bag of Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop Kettle Korn, not Movie Theater Butter.
  • Chase down the ice-cream truck for a Good Humor vanilla sandwich, not a King Cone.

Reduce Calories During Dessert

  • Stop eating when you hit the crust. The edges and bottoms of baked goods are especially caloric because they absorb the butter used to grease the pan.
  • Fill your bowl with sorbet instead of ice cream—you can have an extra 1/2 cup of the former and still slash calories.
  • Next time a cocoa craving hits, ditch the dish of chocolate ice cream (about 3/4 cup) for a Fudgsicle.
  • Have sugar-free Jell-O instead of pudding. Better your nighttime treat jiggle than your thighs.
  • Go ahead and have that piece of birthday cake—just scrape off the chocolate frosting first.
  • Eat 5 meringue cookies instead of 2 chocolate chip ones.
  • Pass on the à la mode and savor that brownie au naturel.
  • Can the cone. Have your ice cream in a bowl.
  • Top your dessert with 1/2 cup of fresh berries instead of 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup.

Reduce Calories in the Kitchen

  • Substitute nonfat Greek yogurt for a serving of sour cream.
  • Use chicken broth (low-sodium is best) instead of oil to sauté meat and veggies.
  • Making homemade mac ‘n cheese? Cut 2 tablespoons of butter from the recipe.
  • Replace the oil or butter in cakes with Sunsweet Lighter Bake prune-and-apple mixture or any brand of unsweetened applesauce.
  • Next time you make meatballs, meatloaf, or burgers, go half-and-half with ground beef and turkey.
  • When preparing packaged foods that call for butter or oil, like rice and stuffing, use a broth instead.
  • Swap low-fat cottage cheese for whole-milk ricotta when you make lasagna or stuffed shells.

Reduce Calories at the Drive-Thru

  • Pass up a Wendy’s baked potato with sour cream and chives and chow down on value fries instead. Amazing but true.
  • Have a McDonald’s cheeseburger instead of a Quarter Pounder with cheese.
  • Downsize your drink: Trade a large fountain soda (with ice) for a medium.
  • Go for grill marks. Order a flame-broiled chicken sandwich rather than one that’s breaded (and usually fried in oil).
  • Treat yourself to an ice-cream cone at McDonald’s instead of Dairy Queen.
  • Crunch on one Taco Bell regular taco instead of a Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco. And all the hot sauce you want.
  • Slurp a cup of Panera Bread’s low-fat chicken noodle soup instead of the cream of chicken with wild rice.
  • Make your daily pick-me-up at Starbucks a skinny vanilla latte, not a regular.

Reduce Calories When Not Cooking

  • Request the lemon chicken with white rice, not fried.
  • Skip the crunchy noodles with your bowl of wonton soup.
  • Ask for an order of Szechuan Shrimp instead of your usual General Tso’s.
  • Choose the pasta with 1/2 cup of marinara instead of 1/2 cup of Alfredo sauce.
  • Indulge your inner carnivore with beef stroganoff, not meat lasagna.
  • Go with the baked potato (butter only), not the mashed, as your side of choice.
  • Dip your dinner roll in marinara sauce instead of olive oil.
  • Avoid anything breaded. Flour and bread crumbs not only add calories, but also absorb more cooking oil.

And there you have it – many ideas for how to substitute high calorie foodstuff for choices less calorie-endowed.

Thanks to Yahoo! Health and Kate Grip Denon for this list.  I’m so completely out of synch with experiencing most of the foods mentioned that I could not have come up with these suggestions.

If you’d like to know how I eat, check out Diet 101.


Last Updated on April 25, 2022 by Joe Garma

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Joe Garma

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

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