9 Food Swaps that Save 100 Calories – With Snickers, too!

In the name of science, I just sashayed down the hallway to the candy machine in our building and invested a dollar in a Snickers candy bar – all on your behalf, mind you.  Why risk my health for your sake?  To emphasize a way of thinking.  Here’s the story.

Every day before I leave home I empty my wallet of dollar bills.  If I don’t, then (I blush to disclose) the temptation to buy a Snickers Bar at the machine in our office will often overcome me.  So, knowing I would be writing this article, this morning I purposely went where we keep the loot at home (don’t come on by and help yourself!) and purloined a buck so that – again, for the sake of research – I could buy the idiot candy bar.

This was necessary (my-story-sticking-to-it sort of thing, here) in order to have an accurate count of the calories in a Snickers.  Two hundred fifty, as it turns out,   A few years back it was 270, but that’s when they weighed 2.02 ounces (a bit of Snickers history, there, for you).  Same dollar, fewer calories – this is not progress, I regret to inform you.

My personal training clients know that I love Snickers.  One client even slaps a Snickers on the front desk sometimes when he comes in for his workout.  But they also know that it takes – wait, let’s see if you can guess – How many pushups would you have to do to burn off the calories in one Snickers Bar?  If you guessed about 300 (depending on variables like your body weight, kind of pushup, etc.) (and how old the Snickers bar is) you would be correct.  Sounds like a lot of pushups, even for a trainer, yes?

Next question.  How many calories do you have to burn in order to lose one pound of fat?  Answer: about 3,500.  Meaning, do 4,200 pushups and Hey!  You’ve lost a pound, and maybe two days off of your life, and maybe your mind in the process.  Bad deal.

Looking at it another way, a pint of water weighs about one pound.  Size-wise, one pound of fat is slightly larger than a pint of water.  Soooooo, look at your abs in the mirror, and realize that for every pint-sized chunk of fat you see hanging around your gut you have to do a scant  4,000 pushups to get rid of that pleasing bit of plumpness.  Still tempted to eat those empty calories?

This isn’t just a calories in vs calories out thing, of course.  The chemistry isn’t all that simple and Snickers Bars will remain, if I have my way, securely on the bottom of the food pyramid.

Everyone knows that weight management (“girth control”) is best done as a combination of exercise and wise nutrition.  The exercise you get when you come to the Warrior Within studio, but the nutrition is your part of the deal.  Losing fat isn’t easy – you know that, even before the 4,000 pushups.  Let’s make it easier by changing the way you think about your eating.  Here are some thoughts.

Warriors need to know when to fight and when to run.  Pick the time and place of your battles when you can.

If necessary, do what I do with the Snickers battle – run from it.  Right now, I’m not wanting to fight the Snickers battle here at the office or in the Warrior Within studio – the Snickers machine is too close, and besides, my clients are watching.

It’s far easier to win that battle at home, so I empty my wallet of those dollar bills.  Sounds chicken?  Perhaps, but note: I’m winning that battle by fighting it at a time and place of my choosing.  Go you, and do likewise.

Victory can be won all at once, or it can be done incrementally – you have victory either way.  Pick your battle – put some distance between you and the temptation.

What if you could drop 100 calories or more by making a single change to your meal or snack? It is possible – you’ve just got to know where to swap. Check out the list below to find out nine easy swaps, each one of which will make your diet drop 100 calories instantly.

Now, the object of this is not to give you just nine little gadgets that help lower your calorie intake, but to show you that you can change the way you look at what you eat.  For the next week, be very, very intentional in your food choices, analyze what you eat, and be actively aware of the consequences of calorie ingestion. See if you can find other ways to lop off 100 calories – and let this become a habit.  Beats doing pushups.

Food Swap #1: From Bread to Open Face
No, you don’t have to give up bread altogether. If you want to quickly watch 100 calories slide off your meal, all you’ve got to do is toss the top piece of bread from your sandwich or the top bun from your burger.

Besides, you might even burn some calories because it may require a bit of balancing on your part, but it will instantly save you 100 calories and help that loaf of bread go twice as far.

Food Swap #2: From Bagel to English Muffin
Since we’re already talking bread, we may as well knock out the bagel dilemma. They’re delicious, thick, and hard to resist. However, if you can swap them for an English muffin instead, you’ll still enjoy great flavor (and a delightful texture) and without even batting an eye, trim 100 calories from your breakfast, lunch, or snack.

Food Swap #3: From Cream to Nonfat Milk
Have a hard time taking your coffee straight? You’re not alone. Not interested in giving up coffee altogether? I’m not either.  Then you’re going to need to find a new option to the creamer-heavy concoction you make on a daily basis. The easiest solution is to swap out your creamer for nonfat milk. Lucky for you, this small swap pays off big, cutting 100 calories from your morning jolt.
Food Swap #4: From Regular to Light Beer
Your taste buds may revolt at the thought of light beer, but your shrinking waistline will love it. Drop your insistence on good ol’ regular beer and drop 100 calories during a two-beer sitting.

Food Swap #5: From Juice to the Real Thing
Orange juice is a staple of many folks’ breakfast routines. What if you tossed the juice and went for the real thing—a genuine, bona fide orange? You probably already guessed that this, too, would shave a lot of calories from your meal. At the same time, you’ll get more fiber to keep your day moving along well.

Food Swap #6: From Peanuts to damage
They’re readily available, taste great, and give you the salt fix you need. Peanuts are not, however, a low-calorie snacking option. Swap them out for edamame and you’ll grab 4 bonus grams of protein, while cutting your calorie count by 100.

Food Swap #7: From Shake to Milk
When the stress of life gets to you, few things help you forget about your troubles better than a chocolate milkshake. Or strawberry.  Or just vanilla.  Or pineapple.  ANY milkshake.  I’m with you on that.  Unfortunately, that shake leaves you feeling bloated and for good reason. It’s jam packed with calories. Get the same chocolate comfort with a glass of chocolate milk instead of a shake and cut out at least 100 calories.

Food Swap #8: From Bacon to…Bacon
You grew up eating maple pork bacon and you’ve trained your kids to salivate at the thought of it. What if there was a way to have your bacon and eat it, too—without quite as many calories? There is. Going for an ounce—yes, just one ounce—of maple turkey bacon instead of the pork version will shave more than 100 calories from your daily consumption. And you still get to eat bacon!

Food Swap #9: From Raisins to Grapes
They won’t stay fresh for months on end, but if you eat fresh grapes instead of their wrinkled siblings, you’ll cut right around 100 calories at once. Yes, it is that easy.

Bonus: Food Dump #10: Eggplant
Fresh eggplant, perfectly sliced, lightly cooked in a marinara sauce is the same to me as rotten eggplant.  I hate it.  Skip who knows how many calories by avoiding it entirely.  Have a Snickers instead.

And finally: remember that exercise is a huge part of the equation when it comes to achieving weight loss.

Call or email me today and we will get you started on the exercise program that will reshape your body once and for all!

About Tom Schweickert

Tom Schweickert, EA, CPC, CPT brings a unique combination as a Life Coach, Personal Trainer and Money Coach to help folks negotiate these interesting times.
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