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Nutrition Articles  ›  Quick and Easy

50 Easy Ways to Cut 100 Calories

Lose Weight Without Deprivation

-- By Emily Vale, SparkPeople Contributor
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Cutting calories may seem like a daunting task, especially when you're trying to cut hundreds of calories each day to lose the recommended 1-2 pounds per week. Will you go hungry? Will your meals taste like cardboard? Will you have to give up your favorite foods?

Don't worry. When you make small changes, the only difference you'll notice is a drop in the scale! Keep in mind that cutting calories can involve smart substitutions or changes in portion sizes, too. Just remember, start small and work your way up to a new—and healthier—way of eating.

  • 1. Split a 20 oz. bottle of regular soda with a friend. Save 120 calories!
  • 2. Drink 1 cup of diet soda instead of 1 cup of regular soda. Save 97 calories!
  • 3. Swap a 12-oz. glass of whole milk for skim milk. Save 96 calories!
  • 4. Drink two 12-oz. light beers this weekend instead of two regular beers. Save 100 calories!
  • 5. Instead of 1 cup of prepared lemonade, try 1 cup of a sugar free variety. Save 103 calories!
  • 6. Eat a medium orange instead of drinking 12 oz. of fresh orange juice. Save 106 calories!
  • 7. Prepare your coffee with 4 oz. of fat-free half and half instead of regular half and half. Save 88 calories!
  • 8. Enjoy 5 oz. of chocolate milk instead of 5 oz. of a chocolate milkshake Save 110 calories!
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Member Comments

    I was really disappointed by the "eat half of this and take the rest home" ideas. If people were actually satisfied by cutting their portions down to half-size, then we wouldn't all be in the mess we're in. It's one thing to be aware of portion sizes, it's another to simply eat only half the food in front of your face and demand to yourself that you be satisfied. - 6/20/2014 1:26:41 PM
    I think some people are missing the point of this article. It is addressing the concerns of all of the regular people out there who may just be starting to try and lose weight, and think it's too hard or they have to give up too much at once. I don't think it was aimed at the "professional" dieters out there in Sparkland who so indignantly give their OPINIONS as though they all have degrees in health and nutrition. Some people can only handle their journey a few small steps at a time... - 5/19/2014 4:15:06 AM
    Thank you!! Such easy ways to change and still not feel you loose out!!! - 5/18/2014 6:02:32 AM
  • I agree with HANDPICC, DJONES3423 and JANAMP09 - there are a number of problems with these suggestions. Maple syrup is all sugar (very few nutrients), and that's worse for you than a couple more calories. Most of the other suggestions are not realistic. Rather than making sugary substitutions for drinks, you shouldn't drink any sugar at all. "Healthy" and "low-carlorie" are not the same thing! - 5/18/2014 2:01:06 AM
  • Really! Advising people to drink diet pop. Stay away from that stuff people. Study after study has shown how bad it is for people! I personally stay away from anything Fat Free or Sugar Free. They usually had additives that are worse for you then the fat or the sugar. I would advise staying away from pop altogether! - 5/17/2014 7:32:52 AM
  • I don't have the calorie counts, but drinking low fat milk gives you nutrients and less calories. Skim milk is pretty much like water. Also,the chemicals used to make soda diet are worse than the soda....don't bother with it. Have sparkling water when you need fizz. - 5/8/2014 1:30:52 AM
  • I dont - 5/8/2014 1:28:30 AM
  • Very good tips. However a glazed donut has few calories than a bagel. - 2/4/2014 7:52:51 PM
  • wow, eye opening!!! I'm going to print this out as a reminder. Best article! - 1/28/2014 6:31:42 PM
  • 1Tablespoon of butter or margarine has 100 calories. 2 tablespoons of maple syrup have 104. That is an increase of 4 calories Did they mean to say fat free syrup. I find that I sometimes need the butter for fat instead of the carbs in the syrup. I like these lists but as others said read and substitute carefully. - 11/18/2013 6:53:01 AM
  • I love articles like this!!

    Some of these things I currently do, some I've "forgotten about" doing, and some I haven't thought of doing.

    Thanks SparkPeople!!

    Robbie - 11/14/2013 10:38:41 AM
  • I think that articles like this can be dangerous. All that the low-fat, sugar-free craze in our country has gotten us is a bunch of people with assorted health issues, like diabetes and fibromyalgia. Cutting most or all of the fat out of your diet (resulting in a high-carb, low-fat, low-protein diet) isn't smart, nor is switching from sugar to the various chemicals that pass as "artificial sweeteners" nowadays. Your best bet is to switch to natural foods whenever possible and to eat a variety at each sitting so that you have a balance of carbs, fats, and proteins.

    For example, if what you're eating for breakfast is a bagel with fat-free cream cheese or a piece of fruit and washing it down with orange juice, you're eating almost 100% carbohydrates. Doing that, you're setting yourself up for a blood sugar drop that can ultimately lead you to want to eat more as your body desperately tries to raise your blood sugar. If you do this to your body on a daily basis, you will become first insulin-resistant and then possibly diabetic after your pancreas finally wears out and gives up.

    Instead, choose to eat half of that same bagel with a fried egg or a sausage patty (turkey or pork, but pork has more calories) and maybe an ounce of cheese. Now, instead of overloading your body with carbs that it has to fight off, you're giving it a mix of carbs, fats, and proteins that will take a while to digest, and your blood sugar will remain stable. You aren't going to find yourself wanting an apple (another all-carb choice) or candy bar by mid-morning. When you do decide to have a snack, choose an apple with a spoonful of whatever nut butter you like best or a small handful of nuts, or grab a small handful of trail mix that includes peanuts. Chew each bite slowly so that you can experience the flavors fully and give your brain a chance to realize that you're eating so it can turn off the food craving.

    And my opinion is that everyone should run far and fast away from artificial sweeteners. There is a reason that many/most of them are banned in other ... - 11/13/2013 8:08:15 AM
  • Thanks for sharing - 11/9/2013 5:30:26 AM
    I was looking forward to some great tips for shaving calories. As I went through the list for beverages, only #6 was even applicable to me. I only drink diet soda and water, and I already use skim milk. I'm not a beer drinker, nor a lemonade drinker. I don't like sugar in any drink. I also don't drink coffee, and although I would love to have a chocolate milkshake, it is not an option for weight loss. So no real help for me here.

    Then I moved on to the other lists. Similar issues with impracticality. Who eats glazed donuts and bagel with full-fat cream cheese when trying to lose weight? I don't even put butter on my wheat toast. And a candy apple? Is that something people choose regularly? There are a few tips that make sense, but I'm betting most people already do them - like baked chips over regular. I usually love Sparkpeople tips, but this one fell short. If anyone has any other tasty and practical ideas for shaving calories, I'm still interested. - 11/2/2013 9:56:12 PM
    Going out to dinner- order either an appetizer or a dessert, not both, and share it. My husband and I have been sharing dessert when we go out to dinner for over 30 years. He eats faster than I do, so I get much less than half of it - just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. I take tiny bites and eat slowly. - 11/1/2013 12:27:42 PM