Try as we might, there’s no way to escape the science of calories. Every calorie counts and unfortunately lots of our favorite foods have too many calories. But don’t fret, life doesn’t have to be lived eating flavorless celery and lettuce. There are lots of great ways to cut calories without feeling like you’re being deprived.
Here are 20 great tricks we’ve compiled to help you get through the most important meal of the day with fewer calories, and without sacrificing taste.
1. Use Blue Diamond Almond Breeze milk instead of cow’s milk
While a cup of whole milk contains nearly 150 calories, Almond Breeze contains no more than 45 calories. The unsweetened flavor has 40 calories per cup and the vanilla and chocolate flavors have 45 calories per cup. Yes, chocolate milk for 45 calories per serving, you read that right.
2. Use applesauce instead of maple syrup
Still sweet and flavorful, applesauce on your pancakes or waffles will save you literally hundreds of calories as you start your day. 100 grams of applesauce equals 40 calories, while 100 grams of syrup equals a whopping 261 calories.
3. …or honey instead of maple syrup
Just a tiny amount of honey will go a long way. You can use much less honey than you would use in syrup and get more than enough sweetness.
4. Use egg whites
One egg clocks in at about 70 calories. If you ditch the yolk, you cut over 50 of them. Granted, you’ll need more than one egg’s worth of whites for most dishes, you still get lots of protein and miss very little flavor in your morning scrambles or omelets.
5. Use turkey bacon instead of the pork
Some slices of bacon can be over 100 calories per slice. Most people don’t stop at one slice either. Jennie-O makes an Extra Lean Turkey Bacon for only 20 calories per slice.
6. Always choose whole grain
While the white bread used for breakfast toast has similar calorie counts to its healthier whole grain counterpart, the whole grain option in any morning bread or grain option is best. The fiber in a piece of whole grain toast will fill you up faster, while you can easily eat multiple pieces of white bread to reach the same level of fullness.
7. Reduce your milk to skim
When used in cereal or mixed into eggs, skim milk is an easy option to reduce calories. Its lighter flavor is easy to adjust to when it’s only 80 calories per cup compared to whole milk’s 150.
8. Use olive oil or canola oil spray instead of butter
When using the trusty ol’ frying pan, avoid the butter and grab these healthy sprays. A tablespoon of butter is about 100 calories, while most sprays list their trace amounts as 0 calories. The flavor is excellent and the oils are great sources of healthy omega fats.
9. Use cinnamon instead of sugar
Need to add flavor to oatmeal or cereal? Don’t grab for the sugar bowl; go to the spice rack and use cinnamon. It adds a great flavor without adding any calories. Sugar is about 15 calories per teaspoon and those teaspoons add up fast.
10. Flavor with jam instead of butter
When topping toast, bagels, or English muffins, (whole wheat, of course) grab for the all fruit jam and forget the butter. Most jams are less than 50 calories per tablespoon- 50% less than butter.
11. Swap in Greek yogurt for fatty cream cheese
Smear bagels with Greek yogurt and save lots of calories and gain a ton of protein and flavor. While cream cheese is 50 calories per tablespoon, an entire 150 gram container of Greek yogurt is only 80 calories- and a little goes a long way. That much cream cheese would equal over 400 calories!
12. Bulk up omelets with veggies
An omelet is already loaded with protein due to the eggs, so forget the high fat meats and cheese and load it with low-calorie, high-nutrient peppers and onions. You’ll cut hundreds of calories and end up with a well balanced meal.
13. Use water instead of milk in eggs
Whether making an omelet or scrambled eggs, forgo the high calorie milk and just use water. The eggs will be just as light and fluffy with less calories.
14. Use deli style ham instead of bacon
Especially when adding it into a recipe, use the deli ham and save loads. Compared to its cured pork counterpart at over 100 calories per slice, deli ham comes in around 40 calories per slice and is still full of flavor.
15. Use no calorie sweetener in coffee
Can’t handle your coffee black? Instead of grabbing that teaspoon and dropping in sugar at 15 calories a scoop, use a zero calorie option. Splenda and Truvia are tasty options.
16. Use ice in smoothies instead of milk
After you’ve added all your fruit and possibly a yogurt or protein powder, head to the ice tray and plop some in the blender. The result is less calories and a very refreshing morning treat.
17. Use frozen fruit and water instead of milk in oatmeal
After using water to cook the oats, drop a few pieces of frozen fruit in the bowl and let them melt. A fruit like blueberries or strawberries seep into the whole bowl and give it a delicious flavor. It only takes a few berries, too. A half cup of whole milk is about 75 calories, while a half cup of berries is about 30. That’s a big difference for all the tastiness it adds.
18. Fresh fruit beats all
A bowl of fresh fruit is incredibly filling and so very low in calories. One could easily have an entire cereal bowl of fresh fruit for less than 100 calories. A typical bowl of cereal with milk will be over 300 calories and may not be as filling.
19. Eat the fruit, don’t drink the juice
A piece a fruit will contain much more fiber than its juice, it is much more filling, and it’s much lower in calories. For example, a cup of orange juice is nearly 115 calories, and who just drinks 1 single cup? The actual orange is about 50 calories. It’s filling and satisfying all on its own. Good rule of thumb: eat your fruit, don’t drink it.
20. A few cuts will make indulgences like Starbucks a low calorie treat
Order a grande Americano with 2 pumps of sugar free vanilla syrup and add a splash of fat free milk and half a Splenda. It tastes exactly like a vanilla latte but with about 100 less calories, and a cheaper price tag.
What are your favorite ways to shave calories off your breakfasts?