3. Low-Fat and Fat-Free Dairy Products. Milk, yogurt (solid, frozen, and drinkable), cheese, sour cream, and cream cheese are available in lower-fat varieties that offer both healthy nutrients and great taste. Laughing Cow light cheese has only 35 calories per individually wrapped wedge, and Yoplait Fiber One nonfat yogurt combines yogurt crunchy cereal for a fiber boost and only 50-80 calories per 4 oz. cup.
Fat-free half-and-half is a suitable substitute for heavy cream with a fraction of the calories. And lower-fat and fat-free cream cheese and sour cream can easily pitch-hit for their fattier counterparts, particularly in recipes.
"You can trim calories effortlessly if you use low-fat and lighter products and if the product is mixed in with other ingredients, no one will ever notice," says Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, and the "Recipe Doctor" for WebMD and a WebMD blogger.
4. Rotisserie Chicken. It's no wonder that nearly every grocery store sells rotisserie chickens. You can serve one as is, shred it to use for tacos, pasta dishes, or casseroles, or chop it for an entree salad. You can even have it for dinner one night, then debone it and freeze the leftover meat for a quick meal later in the week.
5. Diet-Friendly Desserts. Lower-calorie and portion-controlled sweets mean that desserts can be part of any weight loss diet. Dieters who crave ice cream love Skinny Cow ice cream cones (150 calories), Edy's Slow-Churned ice cream bars (150 calories), and Fudgsicles (100 calories). Cookie lovers can enjoy Hershey's 100-calorie wafer bars, Teddy Grahams, graham crackers, Fig Newtons, vanilla wafers, or gingersnaps. On the road, try chewing on a piece of sugarless gum or suck on a piece of hard candy to satisfy your sweet tooth without sabotaging your diet.
6. Flavored Mustards and Vinegars add sizzle to foods, with few calories. Try honey, tarragon, ginger, garlic, wasabi, or Dijon mustards, or balsamic, wine, herb, cider, fruit-flavored or, sherry vinegars. Use them in place of oil, mayonnaise, or butter in recipes.
7. Light Salad Dressings: Nearly half of the salad dressings you'll see on your grocer's shelves are reduced in calories and/or fat. Use Wish-Bone salad spritzers to lightly mist your salads, or try one of the many light or nonfat salad dressings. Another option is to make your own lower-calorie dressing, using more vinegar than oil, as well as a little water.