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Eat Less and Cut Calories!

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Publication Number: IS1778
View as PDF: IS1778.pdf

If you are managing your weight or trying to lose weight, it is important to make small decreases in the calories you eat. In the past, you may have spent time trying to add up all of the calories or fat you eat during the day. While this may be helpful, it takes a lot of time and effort. An easy way to get started eating less is simply to cut 100 calories from your diet—every day.

The plan for eating less is as simple. Most people overeat regularly just because food is always around. Your body won’t even notice, and you won’t feel hungry, when you take away 100 calories. Listed below are achievable tips to help you eat 100 fewer calories each day.

Substitute healthier foods at home, at work, or even when you are out at restaurants. If substitution is not an option, you should downsize your portion to save 100 calories. If downsizing is not an option, you can cut 100 calories simply by eating a little less. All you have to do is pick one of these tips each day. Many more tips are available from America on the Move at


Substitute a healthier version and save 100 or more calories

• Substitute four egg whites or 1⁄2 cup egg substitute for two whole eggs.

• Use light or sugar-free pancake syrup instead of regular syrup.

• Instead of chocolate syrup on an ice cream sundae, use fresh berries or other in-season fruit of your choice as a topping.

• Try raw vegetables instead of tortilla chips with your salsa.

• Grab the granola bar from the vending machine instead of the fudge nut brownie.

• When you crave something salty, have a serving of reduced fat cereal mix rather than peanuts.

• Choose minestrone and other broth-based soups over cream-based soups.

• Choose red sauce rather than cream-based sauces on pasta.

• Replace 8 ounces of fruit juice or soda with water.

• Grill a sandwich with non-sick spray rather than butter.


Downsize your portion and save 100 or more calories

• Don’t eat the dollop of butter that is served on pancakes or waffles at your local restaurant.

• Use a small bowl for your morning cereal instead of a larger bowl.

• Choose your piece of cake from the middle! You’ll get much less icing on a center piece than on an edge piece.

• Order lunch-sized portions of steak and seafood entrees (even when out to dinner), instead of the much larger dinner portion.

• Leave the cheese off sandwiches and hamburgers.


Eat a little less to save 100 or more calories

• Leave three or four bites of food on your plate at each meal.

• Split a meal with your spouse or friend next time you go out to eat.

• Leave 10 fries uneaten on your next order.

• Eat half of a sandwich at lunch and save the other half for dinner with a salad.

• Eat the “fun-sized” candy bars instead of the regular-sized ones.

Information Sheet 1778 (POD-10-15)

Reprinted with permission from America On the Move ( Distributed in Mississippi by Brent Fountain, PhD, RD, LD, Associate Extension Professor, Food Science, Nutrition, & Health Promotion.

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