Making smart calorie cuts
Cutting calories can help you lose weight.
Start by making some smart substitutions. Compare the calories of common foods with similar, lower-calorie alternatives.
Original food choice: Plain bagel, medium-sized
Smart substitute: Multigrain toast, one slice with pat of butter
Calories saved: 179
Original food choice: Double-patty fast-food cheeseburger
Smart substitute: Single-patty fast-food cheeseburger
Calories saved: 94
Original food choice: Meat lasagna, restaurant serving
Smart substitute: Whole-wheat spaghetti with marinara sauce, 1 1/2 cups
Calories saved: 486
Original food choice: Potato chips, 1-ounce bag
Smart substitute: Whole-wheat pretzels, 1-ounce bag
Calories saved: 46
Original food choice: Egg salad with mayo, 1 cup
Smart substitute: Fruit salad, canned, 1 cup
Calories saved: 632
Original food choice: Ramen noodle soup, 1 pack
Smart substitute: Low-sodium tomato soup with water, 1 cup
Calories saved: 306
Original food choice: Brownie with frosting, 2-inch square piece
Smart substitute: Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate, 3 to 4 berries
Calories saved: 51
Original food choice: Cola, 12-ounce can
Smart substitute: Water with lemon slice
Calories saved: 153
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Finding a Balance of Food and Activity.” https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/calories/index.html.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture. “FoodData Central.” https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/.