50 ways to cut 50 calories

Weight loss, we all love the promise of instant results. We start our ‘diet’ on Monday morning determined that, this time, we’ll be really strict with ourselves and our reward for such self-denial will be watching the pounds just melt off. But for most of us, it’s not long before hunger, boredom and unrealistic expectations get the better of our good intentions.

When trying to lose weight it can be easy to lose sight of one of the most important facts, which is that any bit of weight loss will benefit your diabetes. You don’t need to starve yourself. Slow, steady weight loss adds up over time. If you can cut just 150 calories off your normal eating each day, assuming that your weight is currently stable, over a year that works out as the equivalent to a weight loss of over a stone. Below are 50 easy ways to cut your calories by 50 or more.

Choose just three of these simple steps each day to kick start your weight loss.

Throughout the whole day:

  • Use low fat milk instead of full fat. For each half pint you swap save 56 calories.
  • A teaspoon of sugar contains 15-20 calories. Lose three teaspoons of sugar over the day and save 50-60 calories. If you miss the sweet taste, you can replace sugar with some low-calorie sweetener.
  • When buying bread, choose a medium sized loaf with thin/regular cut slices as opposed to a large loaf with thick cut slices. Save 50 calories on every two slices swapped.
  • If you are currently using a full-fat butter or margarine, choose the low fat version instead and save up to 50 calories for every 15g/ ½ oz substituted (15g is roughly equivalent to two of the small portion packs you get in a restaurant).
  • Two small teaspoons of jam or marmalade (equivalent to one of the small portion packs you get in a restaurant) contains up to 45 calories. So for every two teaspoons of jam or marmalade you cut back, lose 45 calories.

 Breakfast time:

  • Replace a glass of fruit juice with a portion of berries (for example, 90g/3oz fresh or frozen strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries) and save 58 calories.
  • If you like your cranberry juice, choose the light option and save 57 calories on a small (150ml) glass.
  • Volume for volume, some breakfast cereals are much higher in calories than others. Replace a medium-sized bowl of a muesli type cereal with a medium sized bowl of porridge (made on low fat milk and water) and save 50+ calories.
  • Are you using honey to sweeten your cereal? Two teaspoons of honey contain about 44 calories. So lose the honey, lose 44 calories.

 The occasional cooked breakfast:

  • Poach your egg instead of frying it and save upward of 45 calories.
  • Choose standard back bacon rashers rather than thick cut, trim the fat and, rather than fry, grill until crispy. Save 50 calories per two rashers.
  • Choose a regular rather than thick sausage and grill rather than fry. Save 50+ calories per sausage.
  • Have a side portion of grilled tomatoes or baked beans rather than hash browns or sauté potatoes save 70+ calories per 100g (3 ½oz) portion.

 Break time:

  • Choose a diet or 0% yogurt rather than a standard, full fat one, save 50 calories.
  • Choose a diet or 0% yogurt rather than a thick and creamy yogurt save 100+ calories.
  • Instead of a latte, have a cappuccino save 67 calories.
  • Instead of a latte have a cup of tea or filter coffee – save 112 calories.
  • Instead of scone, butter and jam, eat a biscuit and save 80+ calories.
  • Even better, have a piece of fruit and save up to 150 calories.
  • Have a packet of (unbuttered) popcorn instead of crisps and save 180+ calories.

 Lunch time:

  • Have your sandwich in a small, rather than standard, wholemeal pitta pocket and save 50 calories.
  • Enjoy a sub for your lunch? Replace a large roll with a medium and save over 50 calories.
  • Substitute a tablespoon (15g) of light mayonnaise for regular (full fat) mayonnaise and save 68 calories.
  • Replace full fat coleslaw and potato salad with reduced calorie versions and save up to 50 calories for each 50g (2oz) serving.
  • Even better, replace coleslaw and potato salad with salad vegetables such as lettuce, tomato, cucumber, beetroot and save up to 90 calories per 50g/2oz serving.
  • Like French dressing on your salad? Replace it with the light version and save up to 60 calories per tablespoon (15ml).
  • Choose baked beans instead of cheese or sour cream on your baked potatoes and save 50+ calories.
  • Having cheese in your salad or wrap? Choose a lower fat cheese such as feta, mozzarella or half fat cheddar or soft cheese instead of full fat cheese and save up to 50 calories per 30g/1oz portion.
  • Enjoy Mexican dips? Choose salsa instead of guacamole and save 50+ calories.
  • If you’re having a fizzy drink with lunch, choose the diet version and save up to 150 calories per can.

 Dinner time: reduce portions:

  • Take one small egg-sized potato off your plate and save 50 calories.
  • Put ½oz less dry pasta or rice on to cook and save 50 calories.
  • Have a 4oz/120g steak instead of a 6oz/180g steak and save 70 calories.
  • Choose smaller lamb chops at the supermarket, for every 60g/2oz reduction lose 80 calories.
  • Grilling your meat and trimming the fat will save you up to 100 calories.
  • When having chicken or turkey, choose the breast meat with skin removed and save 40+ calories.
  • Bake your fish instead of frying and save 50 calories.
  • Avoid batter and breadcrumbs on your fish and save up to 100 calories on a 120g/4oz portion.
  • Have your potatoes boiled or baked instead of roasted, save over 50 calories on a 120g/4oz serving.
  • Every time you stop your self adding that dollop of butter or margarine to your potatoes and vegetables you’ll be dropping anything from 50-100 calories.
  • If you use the meat juices when making your gravy, skim off the fat beforehand and save up to 50 calories.

 Treats, takeaways and alcohol

  • Are you having dessert? Have a small scoop of ice cream rather than a big dollop of cream and save up to 100 calories.
  • Leave a few spoonfuls of dessert behind you on your plate and save 50+ calories.
  • Choose the smaller size packet of crisps (25g instead of 35g) or better still choose popcorn and save 40+ calories.
  • Having pizza? Eat one slice less than normal and save up to 100 calories.
  • Go for a smaller portion of fries than you normally choose and save up to 120 calories.
  • Have a chicken burger rather than a beefburger and save up to 120 calories.
  • Choose diet or slimline mixers instead of regular and save up to 50 calories per drink.
  • Make a spritzer by replacing half your glass of white wine with soda water, save 70 calories over two glasses.
  • Substitute a short and slimline mixer for a pint of lager and save 85 calories.