May 19, 2015 9:00 AM

Author: Office of Public Affairs

Looking to lose weight? Don’t set yourself up for failure. “Making drastic diet changes can be difficult to stick with long term, so start with some simple switches you know you can maintain,” says Jamie Saunders, MS, a registered dietitian at University of Utah Health. Replace these high-calorie foods with lighter options and still satisfy your cravings.

diet nutrition

Food Swaps

Swap soda for seltzer water

Replace one can of soda with a glass of seltzer water and save 143 calories. Bored with plain-old water? Liven your glass up with a squeeze of lemon, cucumber slices or mint leaves.

Swap ranch dressing for a spritz of vinaigrette

Two tablespoons of ranch salad dressing adds 146 calories to a “healthy” salad. Instead, use a balsamic vinaigrette spritzer for a mere 10 calories. Spritzing is more fun, anyway.

Swap crackers for an apple

Instead of crackers, eat a sliced apple. You’ll get that crunch you crave and save 60 calories and 228 milligrams of sodium. Bonus: You get a daily serving of fruit.

Swap a bagel for an English muffin

Put down the bagel and pick up an English muffin. A plain 3½-inch bagel has 289 calories, an English muffin just 120. That’s a 169-calorie difference!

Swap steak for fish

Say “yes” to meatless Mondays. By swapping out a 4-ounce beef sirloin steak for the same portion of halibut, you save about 70 calories and 11 grams of fat. Watch for sales on the catch of the day.

“As you develop healthy habits, make other small changes to improve your overall lifestyle,” Saunders suggests.

Don’t Drink Your Calories

If you’re trying to slim your waistline, watch what you drink. This infographic shows how much sugar is in common beverages and explains how to choose healthy alternatives. 

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