1. Instead of a bagel, use an English muffin.
Swap the 3½-inch bagel with 1 tablespoon each cream cheese and fruity jam for a whole-wheat English muffin topped with a tablespoon of peanut butter and fresh strawberry slices.
2. Instead of low-fat milk, use Greek yogurt.
Flip-flop your breakfast bowl. Instead of pouring 1/2 cup low-fat milk over your bowl of granola (about 2/3 cup), sprinkle ¼ cup granola over 6 ounces of nonfat Greek yogurt. Low-fat granola has about 1.5g fat in 1⁄4 cup — that’s 75% less than regular granola.
3. Instead of OJ, eat an orange.
Skip the 12-ounce glass of orange juice. Eat a fresh orange instead—one cup of OJ has 24 grams of sugar, double the amount in an orange. Plus you’ll tack on an extra 3 grams of fiber, too, by eating whole fruit.
4. Instead of bread use a wrap.
Pile your sandwich fixings on one (8-inch) 100-calorie whole-wheat wrap, rather than 2 slices of hearty multigrain bread.
5. Instead of crackers, sub in apple slices.
Enjoy that savory sharp cheddar with crisp apple slices instead of wheat crackers – and up your daily fruit count too! You’ll also save on sodium. Five wheat crackers: 200mg sodium. One medium fresh apple: Zero.
6. Instead of a flour tortilla, use a corn tortilla.
Turn burrito night into fajita night: Stuff the tasty fixings into 2 (6-inch) corn tortillas, rather than one (10-inch) flour tortilla. You’ll also save 450mg of sodium.
7. Instead of mixed nuts, eat trail mix.
Two handfuls of nuts are heart-healthy but calorie-heavy. Downsize the 2 handfuls of nuts to 1 (about 3⁄4 oz.), and add a handful of air-popped popcorn and whole-grain cereal, such as Chex. There are 400 calories in a half cup of nuts — so portion carefully.
8. Instead of milk chocolate, eat dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate has half the sugar of milk chocolate. Plus, intense dark chocolate, savored slowly, can last as long and deliver the satisfaction you want. Try 2 squares versus a whole candy bar.
9. Instead of ultralight, drink local craft beer.
Savor and sip the superiority of one local, full-flavored high-gravity craft beer. It’ll quench and satisfy far greater than 2 ultralight pints. Be careful: Some specialty beers can have up to 10% alcohol — more than wine.
10. Instead of corn chips, use radishes as a crunchy chili topper.
Instead of an ounce each of corn chips and sour cream, try fresh radishes for crunch, jalapeños for heat, and a small dollop of cool, creamy nonfat Greek yogurt. There’s still room for cheese. Corn chips aren’t just carbs; skip them, and you’ll save 10g fat per ounce.
11. Instead of a vanilla Frappuccino, order an iced vanilla latte.
Even with 2% milk and no whipped cream, a 16-ounce Frappuccino contains 300 calories, mostly from the whopping 67g of sugar. Switch to an iced 2% vanilla latte, and save 40g. Skip the flavoring and order nonfat milk for a refreshing sip with only 11g sugar.
12. Instead of a bran muffin, have a bowl of Raisin Bran.
Coffee shop muffins can weigh in at 400 calories or more. Eat your bran with a spoon, using 2/3 cup 1% low-fat milk. Bonus points: 2g more fiber than the muffin and 200mg bone-building calcium.
13. Instead of ham + cheddar, fill your omelet with veggies and goat cheese.
Rebuild the three-egg omelet. Discard one of the yolks, and trade the cheddar and ham for fresh spinach, tomatoes, and an ounce of goat cheese (keep the peppers). You’ll also save about 300mg sodium.
14. Instead of a premade parfait, make your own at home.
Many grab-and-go parfaits are full of syrupy, sugar-coated fruit — more dessert than breakfast. Build your own with 6 ounces fat-free yogurt, syrup-free fresh peaches, and 2 tablespoons low-fat granola.
15. Instead of a cinnamon roll, toast two slices of raisin bread.
Slather two—yes, two—slices of toasted raisin bread with 1 tablespoon 1/3-less-fat cream cheese sweetened with 1 teaspoon powdered sugar. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
16. Instead of butter and syrup, top pancakes with pecans and yogurt.
Trade the butter for nonfat Greek yogurt, and swap 1 tablespoon maple syrup for 1 tablespoon chopped pecans. Shave off another 100 calories by making it a short stack (two 6-inch cakes instead of three), and top with ½ cup fresh berries.
17. Instead of a Bloody Mary, drink a Mimosa.
A 12-ounce Bloody Mary contains two shots of vodka — the main source of calories —and four-digit sodium numbers. Whoa, Mary! Portion-size plus: The mimosa also comes in a sleek 8-ounce glass.
18. Instead of a lox and schmear bagel, cut carbs with pumpernickel.
Enjoy your lox and cream cheese open-faced on a slice of whole-grain pumpernickel instead of the 300-calorie bagel. Cut back on capers by ½ tablespoon and you’ll also save 125mg sodium.
19. Instead of high-cal toppings, top oats with apples and honey.
Calories from cream, brown sugar, and nuts can quickly weigh down a virtuous bowl of oats. Add crunch with apples, creaminess with nonfat Greek yogurt, and yum with a touch of honey and cinnamon.
20. Instead of sausage patties, fry up some center-cut bacon.
You can still be seduced by salty, fatty breakfast pork from time to time. Center-cut bacon has only 25 calories per slice. It still has nearly 200mg sodium, though, so indulge in moderation.
21. Instead of traditional trail mix, snack on a whole grain variety.
Packed with nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate, trail mix has about 350 calories per ½ cup — great for sustaining hikers, a bit much for desk jockeys. Cut the trail mix in half, and swap in 1/3 cup whole-grain cereal.
22. Instead of full-fat ice cream, have an ice cream sandwich.
Choose an ice-cream sandwich over a scoop of premium full-fat chocolate ice cream, and you’ll save 100 calories plus 8g sat fat (almost half of a day’s limit).
23. Instead of eating chocolate almonds, spread Nutella on a Graham cracker and top with nuts.
Just two handfuls of the almonds will set you back about 240 calories. Try smearing 2 teaspoons chocolate-hazelnut spread on a graham cracker (Warning: That’s not a lot.) Top with 1 teaspoon chopped nuts. You’ll save 16g sugar, too.
24. Instead of a lemon-lime soda, stir up a lemon sparkler.
Liquid calories are part of the snack budget, too. A 12-ounce can of soda contains 36g sugar—nearly 3 tablespoons. Instead, mix 4 ounces lemonade with 8 ounces sparkling water. Garnish with a lemon slice.
25. Instead of cheese in a cracker, spread it on flatbread.
Trade the cheese-filled cracker-sandwich pack for this easy sweet-salty-savory combo: Spread 1 tablespoon part-skim ricotta on each of 2 thin, crisp multigrain flatbreads. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon honey.
26. Instead of peanuts, have edamame for a protein-filled snack.
They’re heart-healthy, yes, but the peanuts contain 200 calories per ¼ cup. Trade legume for legume with ½ cup shelled edamame, sprinkled with 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds and not only do you lose 100 calories, you gain 4 more grams of protein, too.