100 Ways to Cut 100 Calories

100 Ways to Cut 100 Calories

Maintaining a healthy weight depends on achieving energy balance.  This is accomplished by balancing the amount of energy burned and food consumed each day.  To stop weight gain, most Americans need to do just two simple things:

  • Add 2000 more steps each day
  • Eat 100 fewer calories daily

Small changes in the types of foods you eat and in the portion sizes you choose will quickly add up to 100 reduced calories, or even more!  By pledging to walk an extra mile (equivalent to approximately 2000 steps) and reduce 100 calories (equivalent to 1 pat of butter) you’ll see how easy it can be to achieve energy balance.

Find some easy ways to cut calories during your day with this list of 100 Ways to Cut 100 Calories, courtesy of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Breakfast – Give your day a healthy start with these breakfast tips:

  • Select nonfat or 1% milk instead of whole milk.
  • Use a small glass for your juice and a small bowl for your cereal.
  • Savor a bowl of bananas, berries, low-fat milk, and sugar substitute.
  • Substitute a no-calorie sweetener for sugar in your coffee, tea, and cereal.
  • Choose light yogurt made with no-calorie sweetener.
  • Substitute no-sugar-added jelly or jam for the sugar-rich varieties.
  • Spread your muffin, bagel, or toast with 2 teaspoons of fat-free or light cream cheese.
  • Split a bagel with someone, or wrap up the other half for tomorrow’s breakfast.
  • Use a non-stick skillet with cooking spray in place of butter or margarine to prepare your eggs.
  • Try turkey sausage or Canadian bacon for less fat than regular sausage.
  • Fill your omelet with onions, peppers, spinach, and mushrooms instead of cheese and meat.
  • Lighten up your omelet, frittata, or scrambled eggs by using 4 egg whites or 1/2 cup egg substitute.
  • Trade regular butter for light whipped or low-calorie butter substitute.


Lunch/Dinner – Try these ideas for lighter lunches and downsized dinners:

  • Put lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles on your burger or sandwich instead of cheese.
  • Prepare tuna or chicken salad with a smaller amount of fat-free or light mayonnaise or try spicy mustard.
  • Grill your sandwich using nonstick cooking spray instead of butter.
  • Stuff a pita pocket with more fresh vegetables, less meat and cheese.
  • Pick water-packed tuna instead of tuna packed in oil.
  • Wrap romaine and sprouts with smoked ham or turkey in a tortilla.
  • Make your sandwich with light, whole-wheat bread.
  • Try a veggie burger.
  • Select soft taco size (6-8 inch) flour tortillas instead of the larger burrito size.
  • Substitute low-fat or fat-free sour cream in recipes.
  • Choose 1% cottage cheese.
  • Skim the fat off soups, stews, and sauces before serving.
  • Enjoy your salad without the croutons.
  • Substitute 2 Tbsp reduced-calorie salad dressing for regular.
  • Use diet margarine.
  • Trim all fat from beef, pork, and chicken (also remove the skin from chicken).
  • Bake, broil, or grill chicken and fish rather than frying.
  • Limit meat portions to 3-4 ounces (the size of a deck of cards).
  • Customize spaghetti sauce with fresh zucchini, green peppers, mushrooms and onions.
  • Turn a mixed green or spinach salad into a main dish by including blueberries, diced apples, or strawberries, almonds, and grilled chicken.
  • Reduce your portion of cooked rice and pasta by ½ cup.
  • Grill portabella mushrooms as a main or side dish.
  • Use 1 Tbsp less butter, margarine, or oil in your recipe.
  • Try reduced-fat cheese in casseroles and appetizers, or use less of a sharp cheese.
  • Season steamed vegetables with fresh lemon and herbs.
  • Use vegetable cooking spray and nonstick cookware instead of butter, margarine, or oil when stovetop cooking.
  • Omit or use half the amount of butter, margarine, or oil called for in macaroni and cheese, rice, pasta, and stuffing.
  • Leave 3-4 bites on your plate.
  • Eat slowly to make your meal last and reduce the urge for second helpings.


Desserts – You don’t have to eliminate desserts to cut 100 daily calories…instead, try these ideas:

  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with a sliver, bite, or taste of dessert instead of a full portion.
  • Savor a root beer float with 0 calorie root beer, and 1 scoop of low-sugar vanilla ice cream.
  • Have a single-dip ice cream cone instead of several scoops in a bowl.
  • Choose your piece of sheet cake from the middle, where there is less icing.
  • Top angel food cake with berries and low-calorie whipped cream.
  • Freeze blended fresh fruit into a sorbet for a refreshing dessert.
  • Select a cupcake rather than a standard slice of cake.
  • Dish up low-calorie frozen yogurt or sherbet instead of ice cream.
  • Enjoy a dish of fresh fruit in season instead of custard or pudding.
  • Choose apple, peach, or blueberry over pecan or cream pie.
  • Follow the low fat directions when preparing brownie, cake, and cookie mixes.
  • Share your dessert with someone else.
  • Cut a half slice of cake or pie.
  • Substitute half or all the oil in a recipe with applesauce when baking.
  • Substitute half or all the sugar in a recipe with a sugar-substitute when baking.  Follow product directions for optimal results.


Snacks – Curb your hunger with these healthy snack ideas:

  • Freeze grapes or watermelon wedges for a Popsicle-like treat.
  • Blend a smoothie out of yogurt, low-fat milk, and fresh fruit.
  • Choose 4 ounces of light yogurt made with no-calorie sweetener.
  • Control your portions by pouring an individual serving of pretzels or chips into a bowl instead of eating from the bag.
  • Mix fruit in a no-sugar gelatin for a colorful snack.
  • Try hummus with pita wedges.
  • Enjoy canned fruit packed in water or its natural juice instead of heavy syrup.
  • Pick a small piece of fruit (apple, peach, orange) the size of a tennis ball, or eat just half or a bigger piece of fruit.
  • Make kabobs with fresh fruit and reduced-fat cheese.
  • Dip apples in low-fat caramel, celery in lite cream cheese, veggies in low-fat dressing, or fruit in a yogurt/orange juice mix.
  • Try fresh fruit in place of dried fruit.
  • Eat just 1 of the granola/snack bars in the package and share the other or save it for later.
  • Have 1 less handful of mixed nuts.
  • Satisfy your chocolate craving by opting for 1 or 2 small “fun size” candy bars, or just a few M&Ms or kisses.
  • Munch on a small bag of microwave popcorn–and don’t add butter.
  • Eat 2 of your favorite packaged cookies instead of 3.


Beverages – Try these lower calorie thirst quenchers:

  • Substitute diet soda for regular soda.
  • Pay attention to serving sizes, most soda cans contain 2.5 servings.
  • Select diet flavored iced tea.
  • Quench your thirst with bottled water instead of soda from the vending machine.
  • Opt for the small or medium drink instead of large.
  • Select nonfat (skim) or 1% milk instead of whole milk.
  • Have 1 cup of low-fat (1%) chocolate milk instead of whole milk with chocolate syrup.
  • Lighten up your favorite coffee drink by requesting nonfat milk and using half the sugar or flavored syrup.
  • Choose no-sugar-added fruit juices.
  • Replace just 8 ounces of soft drink, fruit juice, or fruit beverage with water each day.
  • Drink light beer–limit yourself to 1 or 2–instead of regular.
  • Request diet mixers (cola, tonic water, ginger ale).
  • Choose light beer or wine instead of frozen or fruit-based alcoholic beverages.


Dining Out – Whether you’re whipping through the drive-thru or going out for a special occasion, try these ideas for cutting calories when dining out:

  • Limit yourself to 1 portion of bread, rolls, crackers, chips, or better yet, save your appetite for your meal.
  • Ask for a cup of soup rather than a bowl.
  • Select minestrone or other broth-based soups over cream-based soups.
  • Ask for sauce and salad dressing on the side; eat enough to enjoy the flavor, but leave most of it behind.
  • Dip your fork into the dressing, then into your salad greens.
  • Order a vinaigrette dressing rather than a mayonnaise-based dressing.
  • Ask for no croutons and cheese on your salad.
  • Substitute steamed vegetables for the potato, rice, or pasta side dish.
  • Select an appetizer as your main dish; add soup, salad, or vegetable side dish.
  • Choose a healthy option item designated by a symbol on the menu.
  • Ask for a half-portion or don’t eat everything on your plate.
  • Use fresh lemon to season fish instead of tartar sauce.
  • Choose a side salad instead of fries when ordering fast food.
  • Skip the super-size promotions.
  • Select grilled chicken in place of breaded and fried.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Community Insurance Company. Independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

This information is brought to you through collaboration between WHACC, NOACC and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

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