Last Updated on June 4, 2020
I know how hard it can be counting calories and feeling like you need to get rid of all of your favorite foods to achieve the body and fitness goals you have. I personally have discovered food products that help me sustain a healthier lifestyle that don’t sacrifice flavor or restrict eating certain foods! Find out my favorite easy low-calorie food swaps to give you a more flexible diet!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional or nutritionist and therefore will not be portraying any information in this post as scientifically-backed or from a professional opinion. I will simply be notifying you of lower calorie substitutes for common food products. It is all based on my personal experience, opinion, and fitness journey.
This post does contain affiliate links. You can find my full disclosure here.
Don’t stop at these easy low-calorie food swaps! Check out my easy fitness & food habits to lead a healthier lifestyle!
Swap #1: Low-Calorie Sauces
The first of our easy low-calorie swaps is going to be perfect for not losing flavor on a diet. One thing I’ve definitely done when “starting a diet” is eat the plainest, simplest foods so that I can eliminate any extra calories. However, the lack of flavor leaves me completely unsatisfied and with intense cravings.
My favorite discovery ever? SUGAR-FREE SAUCES. From Ketchup to Barbecue Sauce to Pasta Sauce to Sesame Sauce.
These sauces allow me to pack in flavor while adding only an extra 5-30 calories to a meal.
Here are my favorites:
Swap #2: Zucchini Pasta
Zucchini Pasta has literally changed my LIFE.
I had tried it a few years ago and hated it, but I recently bought a veggie noodle maker and decided to make fresh noodles out of zucchini.
The thing I like the most is that because it’s a vegetable and not carb-y pasta, I don’t get that heavy feeling in my gut after eating it.
Heat it on a pan, throw in some sliced grape tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and at the very end, a half a cup of my favorite no sugar pasta sauce and a tablespoon of pecorino or parmesan cheese. BUONISSIMA!
I promise you won’t even be able to tell the difference!
The amazing thing is that two whole zucchinis are about 60 calories, so you’re getting this enormous amount of volume in a meal. Plus, it’s one of those easy low-calorie food swaps that gets your veggies in for the day, too!
The slicer I have is so easy to use! You can find it here.
Swap #3: No Sugar Maple Syrup
Another game changer!
Protein pancakes and scrambled egg whites are the absolute go-to breakfast that works for me. It personally keeps me full for hours and I still get the delight of eating pancakes for breakfast.
But I realized a few months ago that one serving of my Aunt Jemima syrup was 215 calories. WHAT?!
So, I sought out an alternative. My discovery was Sugar-free Maple Syrup. Most brands are 10-15 calories for two tablespoons and it’s just as sweet (with no added sugar.)
The syrup that I use is here!
Swap #4: Zero Calorie Non-Stick Spray Oil
I typically reach for a Non-Stick Spray Oil instead of Olive Oil or Coconut Oil.
There’s no need to cut out an entire food group when looking to cut your calories, but I have just found for me that a spray oil is more convenient and doesn’t add any more calories to my meals!
Swap #5: Low Sugar Fruits
Being healthy with a sweet tooth is DIFFICULT, but, for me, fruit makes it so much easier.
I personally am obsessed with grapes. However, they are higher in sugar than options like strawberries and melons, which also tends to mean the calories add up a lot quicker.
Because I’m trying to sustain my healthy lifestyle, I’m always looking for foods that are high volume but low-calorie. I can stay satisfied for longer and don’t feel like I’m not eating enough.
Substituting grapes or apples on occasion for berries instead, or simply portioning them out so I still get some of my favorites in, is the perfect compromise.
Swap #6: No Sugar Coffee Creamer
One of my tricks to controlling my calories is waiting to eat my meals later in the day. I use coffee in the morning to hold me over until my breakfast around 12:30 after I workout.
I love my coffee SUPER sweet so I used to just dump the sugar in it. Now I’ve found a creamer that is super sweet at only 15 calories per tablespoon! A lot of times it is trial and error finding easy low-calorie food swaps that work for you.
Swap #7: Low-Calorie Cauliflower Rice
I love making Asian dishes and a lot of the bases are made with rice! And while rice is a good complex carb to eat, one cup is going to be around 180-200 calories.
If you’re looking for a substitute, cauliflower rice is where it’s at! At only about 25 calories for 3/4 a cup it’s a total calorie and carb saver.
I actually hate the taste of cauliflower… but to make it super tasty I’ll add sesame sauce while I am cooking it so it’s like the vegetable taste has more flavor to it!
I usually buy it in the frozen section of the grocery store, but here’s an online option!
Swap #8: Whole Wheat Carb Balance Tortillas
Last but not least, one of my favorite switches has been to these tortillas. I couldn’t find a good price online, so best to buy these at the grocery store!
One of my favorite low-calorie meals I make is chicken or steak fajitas! I love them and I use simple ingredients, so I get my Mexican food fix without all the extras.
I love that there are different size tortillas so you can really control how many calories you want to eat.
Went a little over at lunch? Only have one or two for dinner. Have a lot of room for calories at dinner? Then have 3 or 4 tacos!
Let me know your favorite low calorie foods you love!
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No matter what your goals, whether it’s weight loss or wanting a more flexible diet, easy low-calorie food swaps that also taste good will keep you consistent!
Go the distance and smash those goals!