Fitness

Cut the calories

Make these five easy food switches

Consuming too many calories can foil the weight loss efforts of even the most dedicated walkers. These five easy food swaps will help you cut calories, eat healthier and make every stride count.

1. Choose a fruit and protein combo instead of your afternoon sugar fix
Switch your usual chocolate chip cookie at three o’clock for something that’s lower in calories, such as a combination of fruit and protein, suggests Samara Felesky-Hunt, a dietitian in Calgary, Alberta. “Once you start with a cookie, it turns into two or three and becomes mindless eating,” she says. “But if you plan ahead with cottage cheese and pineapple, yogurt and berries or almond butter and an apple, you can save yourself anywhere from 300 to 600 calories.”

2. Order green tea instead of a latte
Even if you buy the smallest size, a latte contains about 150 calories. Green tea, on the other hand, has none. “It’s full of antioxidants, and you’re also increasing your water intake for the day,” says Ashley Hill, a dietitian in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. (Just try and hold the sugar, too.)

3. Cook with olive oil, not butter
Olive oil is made up of 75 percent monounsaturated fats, which are good for your heart, explains Hill. Butter, on the other hand, is comprised of only 28 percent of these heart-healthy fats. Canola oil is another great option, she adds, weighing in at 61 percent. Added bonus: These fats help to curb your hunger – a surefire way to reduce excess calories.

4. Pair your toast with jam, not margarine
The easiest way to cut calories is to reduce fat, since it has twice as many calories as protein or carbohydrates, says Angela Dufour, a dietitian in Bedford, Nova Scotia. At breakfast, replace margarine with jam on your toast to save about 8 grams of fat, or 72 calories.

5. Skip the pop, sip on H20 and fruit juice
With activity levels increasing over the summer months, there’s a lot of confusion over what and how much to drink, says Dufour. “Cola has extra calories and few nutrients. Our best bet is water, or smaller servings of fruit juice.” Add a lemon slice to your water for an extra kick.