What’s your favorite guilty indulgence? For some, it’s ice cream. Other people can pass by an all-you-can-eat sundae bar without a twinge of regret, but they go weak in the knees at the scent of movie popcorn -- with extra butter and salt.
You don’t have to give up the things you love to eat healthfully. Instead, try replacing some of the calorie- and fat-laden snacks in your diet with similar but more sensible goodies. You might be surprised at how many calories you’ll save, and how much you’ll still enjoy your new treats.
Let's say you indulge in one treat every day. Those seemingly harmless calories can really add up, turning into extra weight. Compare how many calories you'll take in after one week with the full-fat-and-sugar varieties with healthier but still tasty alternatives.
- Switch your favorite chocolate ice cream, at 267 calories per cup, for a 3-ounce frozen fruit juice bar at just 61 calories. That’s more than 1,400 calories a week!
- Buttered popcorn has 365 calories in a 5-cup bag. Replace it with low-fat popcorn at just 32 calories a cup and you’ll save over 205 calories per bag, or more than 1,000 calories a week if you nosh every week night in front of the TV.
- Doughnuts are high in calories and saturated fat, and low on nutrition. Replace that chocolate doughnut at 275 calories with 1/2 ounce of dark chocolate that comes in at about 120 calories and is loaded with healthy antioxidants. You can still enjoy that rich chocolatey goodness and subtract over 1,000 calories a week!
- Do you like an ice-cold beer? One 12-ounce can of a regular beer has about 150 calories, while most same-size light beers have about 100. If you have a beer after work, that’s 250 calories cut by the end of the work week.
- Are you a soda drinker? They can be one of your biggest sources of empty calories. Try switching your daily 12-ounce can of sugar-sweetened soda for a same-size diet version and you’ll go from 155 calories per can to close to zero calories a can. That’s more than 1,000 calories a week. That number can go even higher if you drink more than one can a day.