Calories aren’t the only things to consider when you’re watching your waistline, says nutritionist Angela Dowden. To lose weight the healthy way, you need foods that are nutritious and will fill you up. Here are four top low-calorie swaps:
Swap a reduced fat muffin for a bowl of muesli
A Starbucks Skinny Blueberry Muffin has 268 calories, (156 calories fewer than a standard one), but it still contains all your daily recommended intake of free sugars in one go. Swap for a 45g bowl of Sainsbury’s fruit and nut muesli with 125ml semi-skimmed milk instead and you’ll be getting 235 calories and cutting out all those added free sugars. With double the fibre content, the muesli is a more satisfying option and it has slower-releasing carbohydrates. To cut the calories even further, swap your skinny muffin for a banana (around 100 calories) – the perfect portable snack for a fast energy boost.
Swap a diet yogurt for a 0% Greek yogurt
At only 100 calories for a typical pot (e.g. Muller Light strawberry), diet yogurt may seem like the best option to go for when you’re trying to lose a pound or two, but it comes with a pile of sweeteners, sugar, thickeners and flavourings that are less than healthy. Try 0% Greek yogurt instead. It has 86 calories in a 150g serving, tastes deliciously creamy despite being fat-fee, and has a high protein content to help curb your appetite. Serve with fresh fruit and a tiny drizzle of honey if you need some extra sweetness.
Swap a tomato-based salad for a can of tomato soup
If you tuck into a Tesco Greek salad bowl (tomatoes salad leaves, feta, olives and dressing), you’ll be consuming 239 calories, but very likely won’t feel as full as if you had a whole can of Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup (220 calories). When liquids are combined with solid foods in a soup your body treats the whole meal as something solid, curbing hunger more effectively. Tomato soup, which is one of your daily veg portions, also has more of the antioxidant lycopene than fresh tomatoes, as cooking releases it from the plant cell walls within the tomato.
Swap a reduced-fat cream dip for salsa
A tablespoon of Sainsbury’s Be Good to Yourself Soured Fresh Cream is about 30 calories for 2tbsp (versus about 56 calories for the full fat variety) but salsa is better for your waistline than both, with only around 5 calories per tablespoon. Salsa is also higher in fibre, can count toward your 5 a day fruit and vegetable intake and is lower in saturated fat (the type that raises cholesterol).