When you a trying to lose a few pounds, it can be tempting to make massive restrictions and eat nothing but salad for six weeks. We both know that this will become boring almost instantly and is not going to last. Instead of spending the next few months as a rabbit, why not implement some lower calorie options to help put you into a calorie deficit.

Cooking Oils – 1 Kcal Spray

Olive oil: 119 kcals (per tbsp.)

1 Kcal Spray: 1 kcal per spray

When using oils, the serving size goes out of the window and it gets poured in the pan out of the bottle. This can easily add up to hundreds of calories on top of your original meal. This simple swap could save you around two hundred calories per meal.

Coke/Fanta/Sprite – Diet equivalent

Coca Cola: 140 kcals (per can)

Diet Coca Cola: 0 kcals

This one doesn’t take a genius to work out. Swapping a drink that contains 140 calories to one that contains 0 is always going to be beneficial for fat loss. You still get the fizzy sweet taste, but none of the added calories. Before the diet coke police come and get me, I would like to say that water should be your first choice.

Dried Fruit – Fresh fruit

Dried Mango: 328 kcals (per 100g)

Fresh Mango: 66 kcals (per 100g)

Dried fruit always contains loads more calories than the fresh fruit equivalent. This is because most of the fruits weight is made up of water, and therefore the dried version is a more calorie dense option. If you have the choice, always opt for fresh over dried.

Sugar in Tea/Coffee – Sweetener

10 Food Swaps to Help Lower Calorie Intake

Sugar: 16 kcals (per tsp.)

Sweetener: 0 kcals

Not everyone likes sweeteners, but stick it out for a little while and it will grow on you. I didn’t like them at first, but when I’m trying to lose a few pounds they are an easy swap for me to drop out some unwanted calories. This one is key for people that knock back a lot of tea or coffee.

Rice – Cauliflower Rice

Rice: 130 kcals (per 100 grams)

Cauliflower Rice: 20 kcals (per 100 grams)

At first, this options sounds shit, but once you mix it in with your meal you cant even tell it’s cauliflower. Cauliflower rice is available in handy microwavable packets too like normal rice, so it can a convenient choice  if you are in a hurry.

Crisps – Popcorn

10 Food Swaps to Help Lower Calorie Intake

Crisps: 171 Kcals (Walkers Ready Salted)

Popcorn: 88 kcals (Proper Corn Lightly Salted)

Crisps are seen as a vital piece of a lunch time meal to everyone (for some reason). A sandwich, crisps and a drink was the staple diet of my childhood. Maybe a chocolate bar on a good day. 7 million bags of crisps are made from the Walkers factory every single day. That’s a lot of people getting crisps for lunch. Make a simple swap to popcorn and you will over half your calories from that greasy bag of goodness.

Ice Cream – Halo Top

Ice Cream: 207 kcals (Vanilla 100g)

Halo top 120 kcals (Vanilla 126g)

What would life be without ice cream? The answer is boring! Making a simple swap from your average tub of vanilla ice cream, to a lower calorie alternative such as Halo top, you could see you calories nearly half and your portion size increase. Result.

Mocha Frappuccino – Normal Coffee

10 Food Swaps to Help Lower Calorie Intake

Latte Macchiato – 695 kcals (Grande, whole milk)

Filter Coffee – 13 kcals (Grande)

If you are a top knot wearing hipster, then I appreciate your burning desire to order a soy milk skinny mocha Frappuccino, but for the rest of, a regular coffee will do the trick. There is a reason your coffee tastes delicious, and that because it is a pot of sugary milk. Stick to the basics and get high on caffeine like the rest of us.

Flavoured yogurt – Greek Yogurt

Muller Corner Vanilla Chocolate – 144 kcal (per 100g)

Greek Yogurt – 59 kcals (per 100 grams)

Yogurt can be a quick, easy and cheap snack to grab on the go and I bloody love it. I have Greek yogurt everyday and is brilliant as a fast snack that gives you plenty of protein. Add some frozen fruit, flaked almonds and you are onto a winner.

Orange Juice – An orange

10 Food Swaps to Help Lower Calorie Intake

Orange Juice: 111 kcals (Per cup)

Orange: 47 kcals (per orange)

It’s easy to fall for the trap that drinking fruit has to be healthy, but it’s easy to forget how much fruit you are drinking. You wouldn’t sit down and eat 4 oranges in a row, so why would you drink alongside your breakfast? Drinking your calories will not fill you up and prevent that mid-morning vending machine visit.

Try out a couple of these out and see which ones you enjoy. You may find some easy to implement, whilst other are a ball ache. We want maximum effect with minimum disruption to your life.