A PDF List of Smart Food Substitutions to Cut Calories

Sometimes it’s not eating much that gains you weight but what food. Some tips for smart food replacements should be learned to lose weight because low calories are taken in by those food substitutes.

In this article, smart food swaps will be provided in categories covering staples, snacks, beverages, dairy, sauce, etc. Switch to a smart diet will help you lose weight through eating.


Swap Whole Wheat or Rice for Quinoa

swap rice or whole wheat for quinoa

Eat this: Quinoa with 222 calories per cup.

Replace this: Whole wheat or rice with up to 455 calories per cup.

Compared ordinary wheat and rice, quinoas are more friendly to weight loss and they are nutritious as well. They have high content of proteins, fiber and vitamins that are beneficial for people’s health. Quinoas are regarded as the best substitutes of most staples and if you want to keep fit but worry about excessive carbs, try quinoas.

Swap Flavored Processed Cereal for Plain, High-fiber Cereal

swap flavored processed cereal for plain high-fiber cereal

Eat this: Plain, high-fiber cereal with 160 calories per cup.

Replace this: Flavored and processed cereal with 400 calories per cup.

Flavored cereal like Kellogg’s Special K Granola Touch of Honey may taste fabulous but it contains nothing but sugar and carb, providing huge calories. It’s optimal to return to the natural state, that is, to select plain and high-fiber cereal as a breakfast. To have a sweet taste, consider cinnamon and fresh berries that will save you at least 100 calories per cup. In addition, such cereal makes you feel full for longer time, stopping you from overeating.

Swap Cinnamon Rolls for Toast

swap cinnamon rolls for toast

Eat this: 2 slices of toast with 230 calories.

Replace this: Classic cinnamon rolls with 880 calories.

Yes! The calories between classic cinnamon rolls and toast are so huge. To lose weight and keep healthy, toast is suggested to replace classic cinnamon rolls although the latter contain cinnamon.

Swap Lettuce Leaf Burgers for Whole Wheat Ones

swap lettuce leaf burgers for whole wheat burgers

Eat these: Lettuce leaf hamburger with 4 calories each.

Replace these: Whole wheat hamburgers with 130 calories each.

A lettuce leaf hamburger can save you 126 calories compared with a whole-wheat hamburger. If you’re crazy about hamburgers but worried about your weight, then lettuce leaf ones should be selected. Apart from being friendly to weight loss, lettuce leaf hamburgers are also beneficial to human body because they provide proteins and fiber.

Swap Thick-crust Pizzas for Thin-crust Ones

swap thick crust for thin crust

Eat these: Thin-crust pizzas with average 490 calories each.

Replace these: Thick-crust pizzas with average 820 calories each.

A lot of tips are available to make pizzas friendly to weight loss, among which using a thin crust tops the list. The thick crust most pizzas use is made of refined white flour containing so many calories. It’s time to switch to thin-crust pizzas with about 330 calories cut for each piece.

Swap Chicken Drumstick with Skin for Chicken Breast

swap chick drumstick with skin for skin-less and bone-less chicken breast

Eat this: Skin-less and bone-less chicken breast with 120 calories per 100 grams.

Replace this: Skinful chicken drumstick with 161 calories per 100 grams.

Chicken is rich in proteins but it’s a trap to believe that unless its breast without skin is consumed only since chicken skin contains so much oil and fat. When it comes to the same amount, chicken breast saves you 41 calories in a serving.

Swap Bagels and Bread for Rice Cakes

swap bagels for rice cake

Eat this: Rice cakes with 250 calories per 100 grams.

Replace this: Bagels with 389 calories per 100 grams.

Rice cakes help you save calories and play a role as bagels or bread that contains high content of sugar and carb.

This article will be continuously upgraded with more healthy food swaps added.


Swap Sour Cream for Pure Greek Yoghurt

swap sour cream for greek yoghurt

Eat this: Greek yoghurt with 13.5 calories per teaspoon.

Replace this: Sour cream with 30 calories per teaspoon.

It should be admitted that thick and oozy cream can’t be resisted. However, half of calories can be reduced if Greek yoghurt is chosen. Greek yoghurt makes people feel full for longer time, stopping them from eating too much. Moreover, Green yoghurt has other benefits for people’s health like being full of proteins, boosting metabolism, improving bone health, etc.

Swap Flavored Milk for Unsweetened Almond Milk

Drink this: Unsweetened almond milk with 35 calories per cup.

Replace this: Flavored milk with 80 calories per cup.

Flavored milk contains a high content of sweetener and sugar, adding calories to your body while unsweetened milk saves calories from you.

Swap Butter for Avocado

swap butter for avocado

Eat this: Avocado with 160 calories per 100g.

Replace this: Butter with 718 calories per 100g.

There are so many butter alternatives on the market to be able to compensate for its essential disadvantage of being with so high calories. As high as 718 calories can be found on butter per 100 grams, which is quite unbelievably high! To replace butter, avocado is the best substitution and is even regarded as “nature butter”. Avocados can be used in any recipe calling for butter as a substitution. Apart from avocados, nut or seed oil can be also used to replace butter in recipes, which is especially acceptable in bakery recipes.


Swap Other Nuts for Pistachios

swap other nuts for pistachios

Eat these: Pistachios with 86 calories per ounce.

Replace these: Macadamia with 203 calories per ounce; walnuts with 189 calories per ounce; almonds with 162 calories per ounce; pecans with 196 calories per ounce; cashews with 165 calories per ounce; hazelnuts with 185 calories per ounce; Brazil nuts with 185 calories per ounce.

Although nuts have been regarded as one of the healthiest snacks because they usually contain proteins beneficial for health like Omega-3 and let people feel full, they also carry so much fat, gaining people weight. However, the nuts with the lowest calories can be suitably eaten, that is, pistachios. Have pistachios to replace other nuts so that calories will be cut even if the same amount is taken.

Swap Dried Fruits for Fresh Ones

swap dried fruits for fresh ones

Eat these: Dried fruits.

Replace these: Fresh fruits.

Dried fruits contain a high content of sugar and a low content of fiber and proteins, gaining people more weight if they like chewing them. All in all, fresh fruits should be eaten because they contain natural sweetener.

Swap Chips for Popcorn

swap chips for popcorn

Eat this: Aired popcorn with 106 calories per ounce.

Replace this: Chips with 152 calories per ounce.

Popcorn has similar crunchy taste as chips and salt and sugar can be both gained from it as long as appropriate amount is added. BTW, it’s healthier to DIY popcorn at home with limited sugar and salt inside.

Swap Meat for Fish

swap meat for fish

Eat this: Broiled steak with 230 calories per serving.

Replace this: Broiled cod with 80 calories per serving.

If you’re into meat, it’s right time to switch to fish to replace meat. A serving of broiled steak carries 230 calories while a serving of broiled cod carries only 80 calories. Moreover, fish are also rich in proteins like omega-3 and vitamin D that are beneficial for people to build their bones and brain.

Swap Ice Cream for Fresh Fruits together with Cream (Optional)

swap ice cream for fresh fruits with cream

Eat this: Ice cream with 500 calories per cup.

Replace this: Fresh fruits with 56 calories per cup and optional cream with 30 calories.

Among all the snacks, ice cream is the most difficult to give up because it tastes so perfect. However, the calories it contains are as high as 500 per cup. It’s a good idea to swap ice cream for fresh fruits with low calories. If you still prefer a taste similar with ice cream, you can still add 1/4 cup of cream that carries about 30 calories at most. As a result, huge calories will be saved as ice cream substitution is selected.

Swap Buffalo Wings for Buffalo Cauliflower

swap buffalo wings for buffalo cauliflower

Eat this: Buffalo wings with 616 calories per serving.

Replace this: Buffalo cauliflower with 117 calories per serving.

Buffalo wings are perfect snack for football game watching. Unfortunately, the classic snacks carry calories as high as 616. It’s suggested that it be swapped for Buffalo cauliflower carrying 117 calories only.

This article will be continuously upgraded with more healthy food swaps added.


Swap Fruit Juice for Fresh Fruits

swap fruit juice for fresh fruits

Eat this: An orange with 45 calories.

Replace this: Orange juice with 135 calories per glass.

When fruits are made to fruit juice, nothing will be left but sugar. Let’s take oranges for example. An orange averagely carries 45 calories but is rich in vitamin C and fiber. Vitamin C is nutritious to human body while fiber can make people feel full. A glass of orange juice, however, first of all, calls for at least 3 oranges to be squeezed, that is, 135 calories which is a higher number than 45. Moreover, orange juice hardly carries fiber, which nearly fails to let people feel full.

Swap Soda for Lemon Water

swap soda for lemon water

Drink this: Lemon water with only 6 calories per glass.

Replace this: Soda with 150 calories per glass.

Everyone knows pure water is the healthiest drink, but it tastes so boring. However, soda brings you so many calories that it makes you gain weight. Lemon water is an ideal drink because it provides good taste but doesn’t make you fat.

Swap Latte for Black Coffee

swap latte for black coffee

Drink this: Black coffee with 35 calories.

Replace this: Latte or other coffee with milk and sweetener, with 195 calories.

Latte and other types of coffee containing milk and sweetener are rich in fat and calories. Black coffee is beneficial for weight loss since it contains nothing but caffein. If you expect for sweet taste, add some cinnamon to your coffee instead of sugar or sweeteners.

Swap Sport Drinks for Water

swap sport drinks for water

Drink this: Water with 0 calories.

Replace this: Sport drinks with 26 calories per bottle.

Sports drinks are marketed as supplement to the salt and stop people from dehydration or hypoglycemia after long time’s sports. Compared to soda, sports drinks have much lower calories but they still have more calories than water. Sports drinks aren’t suggested unless it has taken you more than 1 hour to do sports continuously. And they can’t be used as daily drinks.

Swap Bought Smoothies for Homemade Smoothies

Drink this: Homemade chocolate smoothie with 230 calories.

Replace this: Starbucks chocolate vivanno smoothie with 370 calories.

Smoothies can be tricky, leading you to believe they are healthy because they usually contain berries, spinach or kale. A sweet taste is the key for shop smoothies marketers to brand and it carries much sugar and numerous sweeteners, adding calorie burden to people. If ice cream is added to smoothie, here comes a disaster. However, homemade smoothie usually consists of fresh fruits and milk with low calories.

This article will be continuously upgraded with more healthy food swaps added.


Swap White Pasta Sauce for Red Pasta Sauce

swap white sauce for red sauce

Eat this: Red sauce with 120 calories per cup.

Replace this: White sauce with 160 calories per cup.

When it comes to pasta sauce, stick to the red sauce. White sauce usually contains cream, butter and cheese. However, red sauce is usually made from vegetables, containing low content of calories and sugar.

Swap Mayo for Mustard

swap mayo for mustard

Eat this: Mustard with only 3 calories per teaspoon.

Replace this: Mayo with 31 calories per teaspoon.

When it comes to toppings on a sandwich, calories are usually taken in secretly without your awareness. Try mustard to replace mayo as you prepare sandwiches. Only a teaspoon of switch from mayo to mustard can save you as much as 28 calories. Then how many teaspoons do you usually need for one sandwich?

Swap Sugar for Cinnamon

swap sugar for cinnamon

Eat this: Cinnamon with 6 calories per teaspoon.

Replace this: Sugar with 16 calories per teaspoon.

Sugar intake makes you energetic and active but a high intake of it will gain huge weight. Use cinnamon to replace sugar is a good idea to add sweet taste to food and drinks and well control the intake of sugar. In addition, a high intake of sugar tends to make people suffer from Type II diabetes.

Swap Creamy or Oil Salad Dressing for Vinegar

swap oil and creamy salad dressing for vinegar

Eat this: Vinegar dressing for salad with 35 calories per serving.

Replace this: Creamy or oil dressing for salad with 140 calories per serving.

Salad towards weight loss is tricky if you neglect the calories contained in the dressing that is used in the salad. Salad dressing can be either creamy, oil or vinegar and a teaspoon of oil alone brings forward 120 calories. Therefore, use vinegar instead to lower the calories of a salad.

Swap Low-sugar Ketchup for Heinz

Eat this: Low-sugar ketchup with 10 calories per teaspoon.

Replace this: Heinz ketchup with 20 calories per teaspoon.

A switch from Heinz ketchup to low-sugar ketchup like True Made Foods saves you 10 calories for each teaspoon. Although it’s a low amount, it still plays an important role when it comes to weight loss.

This article will be continuously upgraded with more healthy food swaps added.

Other Tips to Cut Calories While Eating

  • Learn to count calories.
  • Use less sauce.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Cook at home.
  • Use smaller plates.
  • Drink water before each meal.
  • Eat your meals slowly.
  • Select small portion size.
  • Focus on your meals while eating.
  • Spray oil instead of pouring.
  • Learn to read food labels.
  • Don’t eat animal skins.
  • Try intermittent fasting.

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