How to Lose Weight: #17 Substitute

There are a variety of lower calorie foods available these days, like light cream cheese and light bread. Most are specifically marketed toward those looking to lose weight. Personally, if there is a lighter option, I tend to eat it, unless the light option is not really worth the price (since light options sometimes are more expensive). As those who struggle with their weight know, calories add up very quickly, and saving a few here and there really helps in the long run. Let me compare a few calorie values below, and you can see that in the course of a day, choosing the lighter option over the full-calorie version really makes a difference. If you are not looking into lighter versions of your favorite high-calorie foods, you are really doing yourself a disservice. I list the light version, and the calorie

Light Spread: 50 (tbsp)  -50
Regular Butter: 100 (tbsp)

Light Bread: 35 (slice) -45
Regular Wheat Bread: 90 (slice)

Mozzarella 80 (1/4 c) -20
Regular – 100 (1/4 c)

Skim Milk 80 (c) -40
2% Milk 120 (c)

Light Yogurt 80 (6 oz) -40
Regular Non-Fat Yogurt 120 (6 oz)

Ground Turkey 170 (4 oz) -143
Ground Beef 313 (4 oz)

Whole Wheat Pasta 180 (2 oz) -30
Regular Pasta 210 (2 oz)

Diet Soft Drink 0 (12 oz) -150
Regular Cola 150 (12 oz)

If you substitute all of these in a day, you save 518 calories (which amounts to 3626 calories in a week). At this rate, you would lose a little over a pound of fat a week, all things equal, just by making a few substitutions. In addition to lowering your calories, by making these choices, you would increase your fiber, lower your levels of saturated fat, and consume less sugar and trans-fats! I have generally found that eating lighter versions of foods takes a little getting used to, but only a little. Finding lighter options is usually pretty easy, since they are often with the regular options at the supermarket.

One example of how we substitute is the way that we make pumpkin muffins. By using applesauce instead of the 3/4 cup of oil, we save over 1200 calories! By using Splenda instead of sugar we save even more, and I still love them so much I eat them all day (I will post the recipe soon).