6 nifty swaps to save over 300 calories a day

Emma White - Nutritionist | 08 Mar, 2024

We can all be creatures of habit at times, meaning we tend to 'stick to what we know'. But what if we explored a few alternatives each day in a bid to save some calories, with minimal effort?

Small swaps throughout the day can lead to big savings, and all for very little sacrifice. Keep reading for my easy swap suggestions for a typical day’s food and drinks which could save you over 300 calories!

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Granola for Porridge Oats

Instead of starting the day with granola, milk and fruit – why not try porridge or overnight oats instead? With porridge, a little goes a long way, so you won't need as much. Plus, granola tends to have added sugar in the form of honey for example, so opting for plain porridge oats with milk and fruit and can be a better way to start the day.

  • SWAP 40g granola, 125ml milk and 100g berries (260 kcals)
  • FOR 30g porridge oats, 150ml milk and 100g berries (217 kcals)
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Medium Sliced Bread for Sandwich Thins

If you're more about the fillings than the bread when it comes to your lunchtime sarnie, try switching to sandwich thins. They do the job just as well!

  • SWAP 2 medium slices wholemeal bread (174 kcals)
  • FOR 1 wholemeal sandwich thin (101 kcals)
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Mayonnaise for Light Mayonnaise

It's a super easy swap, and really the taste difference is minimal – especially when having on a sandwich. Switch out full-fat mayo on your lunchtime sandwich for the lightest version and you could save calories without really noticing!

  • SWAP 10g mayonnaise (73 kcals)
  • FOR 10g lightest mayonnaise (10 kcals)
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Salad Dressing for Balsamic Vinegar

If you tend to have a salad with your lunch or dinner, and like to dress it in something for added flavour, why not try balsamic vinegar mixed with some herbs? This can add a nice hit of flavour to your leaves, without the added calorie tag that oil-based or creamy dressings can bring. Plus, it could help aid in the digestion of your meal!

  • SWAP 1 tbsp Caesar dressing (59 kcals)
  • FOR 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (14 kcals)
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Oil for Frylight

While certain oils – such as olive oil rich in heart-healthy fats – can be a good addition to our diet from a health perspective, they do tend to come with a hefty calorie tag. If you're needing to save on a few calories, switching to a low-calorie cooking spray can be just the ticket. Just a couple of sprays can do the job of cooking oil, for a fraction of the calories.

  • SWAP 10ml serving of oil (82 kcals)
  • FOR 3 sprays of Frylight (3 kcals)
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Chocolate for Low-Cal Hot Chocolate

If you're partial to a little sweet treat in the evening, why not try a little switch out to see if a low-calorie hot chocolate hits the spot just as well? Chances are a hot chocolate will last longer than a small chocolate bar – and the liquid will certainly fill up your tummy more! With this swap you still get to satisfy your chocolate craving, just for fewer calories.

  • SWAP Fun size chocolate bar (98 kcals)
  • FOR Low-calorie hot chocolate with 5g mini marshmallows (57 kcals)

Total savings – 344 kcals!

Over a week this amounts to nearly 2,500 calories – enough of a deficit to potentially lose around 0.75lbs. Just remember to ensure you're eating around your calorie allowance and not dropping too low – we recommend 1,400 as a minimum for anyone who is relatively active day-to-day. These tips are useful for anyone who needs a little help sticking to their allowance on some days.

Nutritionist Emma White (ANutr), MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.

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