No-diet Substitutions to Help You Lose Lbs


50 Ways to Lose Your Blubber

If you’re my age, you know Paul Simon’s song, “50 Ways to Leave Your lover.” In case you don’t know it, the chorus goes….

“…..You Just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don’t need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don’t need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free….”

It’s catchy, although I’m glad no man has used one of these ways to “leave” me yet in my life. The song was my inspiration for the title of the post. I hope you can use one or more of these simple swaps and tips on a daily basis.  If you can make these small changes daily, over time, you’ll start to see the pounds coming off. And because there is no “diet” involved, you probably won’t feel deprived or like you’re missing out.

Each of these tips will shave approximately 100 calories from your diet or burn about 100 extra calories via exercise. Pick out those that you can do and try to do at least one a day.  If you can do more, that’s even better.  If you cut 200 calories a day from your diet, you can expect to lose a pound every 2 weeks. Not only will these tips help you slash calories, they’ll improve your diet at the same time.

50 Ways to Lose Your Blubber

  1. Lose one tablespoon of fat a day–whether that’s from butter, oil or margarine.
  2. Swap from beef burger to a ground turkey breast burger. Nix half of the bun and you’ll cut another 100 calories.
  3. Toss croutons from your salad..they have 130 calories an ounce!
  4. Eat your calories, don’t drink ‘em. Because the body doesn’t compensate for calories from liquids as well as it does from foods you chew, make a mental note of how much calorie-laden drinks you’re downing. Replace just eight-ounces of soda a day with water or a calorie-free beverage and you’ll be several pounds lighter a year from now.
  5. When eating out, downsize your order. Always order the smallest size beverage, burger and enjoy appetizer sized dinners instead of the regular size on menus.
  6. Skip from yogurt-covered raisins to just raisins. Every half-cup will shave 100 calories.
  7. Invest in nonstick pans for cooking and look at oil misters like Gourme Mist, which provides a small amount of misted oil that you can use when cooking or on salads. You’ll save 100 calories for every tablespoon of oil or butter you don’t use.
  8. Lose 2 Tbsp of added sugars every day…that can be from table sugar, honey, agave, raw sugars, jams or other sources of the sweet stuff.


  9. Make simple subs when cooking and baking. Cut sugar by 1/3 in all recipes; use applesauce or prune puree to replace half the fat in baked goods. You can replace 100% of the fat with applesauce in brownies or a moist cake and they’ll still come out great.
  10. Substituting fruit or veggies for candy or other sweet treats once daily will save you over 100 calories. Plus, the fiber in the produce will help keep you fuller longer.
  11. Drink from tall, thin glasses. Research from the University of Illinois found that consumers drink, on average, 77 percent more when they drink out of short, squat glasses compared to tall, thin glasses. The amount of liquid calories is perceived as less when served in a short, wide glass.
  12. Why sit when you can stand and why stand when you can walk. Standing for 50 minutes daily equals 100 calories and 15 minutes of walking equals 100 calories.
  13. Downsize your plates and bowls. Seriously. If you eat out of large containers or from large plates, you’re going to eat more calories-probably much more than 100 calories. Dinner plates should not be larger than 9 inches in diameter.
  14. Eat breakfast. No matter what it is, people who eat breakfast consume fewer calories in total during the day. However, a protein-rich breakfast is best because it provides a better appetite control than carbohydrate-rich breakfasts. For a lunch or dinner, make your meal from a salad. Add lean protein to it to keep you satisfied.
  15. Eat three squares and two snacks a day. For most people, that eating pattern helps keep energy levels up and keeps you from getting ravenous from not eating for long periods of time.
  16. Sleep More. There’s a reason it’s called “beauty” sleep. Research shows that getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night can help you stick with healthier eating and helps control hunger-related hormones that trigger food cravings.
  17. When eating pasta, switch from a cream sauce to marinara and lose more than 100 calories.
  18. Eat during daylight not when it’s dark. Our bodies are built to burn calories by day not by night. That’s one of the reasons shift workers have a harder time controlling their appetite and weight. Research found that those who eat more calories after 8 pm are more likely to be overweight or obese.
  19. Instead of drinking a 20-ounce bottle of soda, fruit juice or other sweetened beverage at one time, make it last for 2 1/2 servings (as the label states). Dilute 100% juices with seltzer or plain water if you need to drink more.
  20. Strong is the new skinny. Adding two pounds of muscle means that your body will burn an extra 100 calories a day (at rest). Muscle is many times more metabolically active than fat, which is why muscular people can eat more than a comparable-sized person with less muscle. fitness_model
  21. Clean your house. Just 30 minutes of tidying up equals 100 calories to help lighten you up, adds Smith. (Soon you’ll be tossing out the clothes that are too big for you.)
  22. Plain is best for your waistline. When it comes to chips, ice cream, frozen desserts or yogurt and pretty much all foods, the more plain the flavor, the lower the calories. Stick with original or plain as much as you can to shave significant calories.
  23. Eat your fruit fresh, not dried. Snack on 10 grapes instead of a mini box of raisins and you’ll save yourself 100 calories.
  24. When you eat, eat. Don’t read, watch TV or do anything else. Being mindful of what you’re eating and how full you fill will help teach you better hunger management skills.
  25. Find a healthy social network. If your friends, colleagues or family sabotage your weight loss efforts, seek out healthy communities online like this website and our Facebook page. Look for social media outlets where you can connect with dietitians who specialize in weight loss.
  26. Find your “thinspiration.” I’m always motivated by sports and athletic goals and I keep “boards” on Pinterest with fit, healthy women’s bodies that provide me the inspiration I need to kick my butt in the gym most days of the week.
  27. Reflect on why you want to lose excess body fat and the payoffs you’ll get from the process of making healthier choices over unhealthy options. Do you have a significant anniversary coming up, a major birthday? Whatever it is, find something to help kick-start your healthier habits.
  28. Be a dog’s best friend. You’ll burn about 6.5 calories per minute of walking your dog. That’s 100 calories for a 15-minute walk. If you don’t have one, walk with a friend or on  your own.
  29. Add a salad before lunch.  New research shows that a large salad before a meal saves 125 calories for that meal.  Add a salad to every lunch and lose 12 pounds in a year!
  30. Eat, then go food shopping. Think of today’s supermarkets and specialty markets as goodie factories with samples galore. Eat before shopping so you can avoid the temptation of tasting the samples.  It will also help you from bringing home indulgent items.
  31. Don’t drown your salad in dressing.  Swap your regular bottled dressing for fat-free and save over 100 calories per two-tablespoon serving. Or, make your own dressing with less olive oil an more vinegar an spices.  Spritz it onto your salad to cut calories further.lettuce-wrap-sandwich
  32. Go for baked or popped snack chips instead of fried.  Each 2-ounce nosh will save you 100 calories.
  33. Skip the dip or lighten it up.  Instead of having guacamole with your favorite chips try salsa.  You’ll save over 100 calories per 1/4 cup.
  34. Order a virgin (mixed drink, that is).   A virgin cocktail will save you about 100 calories since the distilled spirits pack in 100 calories per  1 1/2-ounce shot of distilled spirits.
  35. Substitute two bottles of low-carb or light beers for regular and you’ll save 100 calories.
  36. Skip the cheese on your sandwich or next burger.  An ounce of cheese packs in 100 calories.
  37. Have a whole wheat English muffin or 2 slices of whole wheat toast instead of a bagel for breakfast. You’ll save over 150 calories.
  38. Try skinnier adult beverages. Having wine, champagne, beer or spirits with non-calorie beverages can save over 100 calories compared to fancy mixed drinks like Margaritas or Mojitos.
  39. Choose the best licks.  Skip super-premium ice cream and have a frozen fruit juice bar.
  40. During the day, make sure you get up and move. Have a little face-time with a colleague instead of constantly emailing  Take a walk at lunch or mid-afternoon to blow off some steam and reboot.
  41. Replenish your glass of regular soda with diet soda, water or seltzer and you’ll save 100 calories for eight ounces.
  42. Nuts are nutritious, but high in calories.  Eat about 15 fewer mixed nuts than normal to shave off 100 calories.
  43. Eliminate the bread basket when eating out.  You’ll save over 100 calories per roll.
  44. Eat protein-rich snacks. Research shows that they help fill us up so we’re less likely to overeat later.  Keep snacks to about 150 calories.
  45. Nix post-dinner noshes.  Physiologically, the body doesn’t need additional energy after your evening meal to go to bed.
  46. Order half a deli sandwich instead of a whole one. Most deli sandwiches pack in over 500 calories, which is too much for lunch.  Eat half the sandwich and a piece of fruit instead of the other half and save yourself 200 calories.
  47. Enjoy a lettuce “pocket” sandwich.  Have a sandwich wrapped in Bibb or leaf lettuce instead of pita to save over 150 calories.
  48. Broth bests cream-based soups any day.  Make the swap and you’ll shave more than 100 calories a cup.
  49. Swap one serving of vegetables (1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked) for just one serving of carbs (such as 1/2 cup of cooked pasta or rice or the handful of pretzels) twice daily,  you’ll save over 100 calories per day.MyPlate
  50. Replicate the MyPlate guidelines when eating by making sure 1/2 your plate coming from fruits and veggies, 1/4 from lean protein and 1/4 from quality grains (like whole grains).
  51. Keep all treats like chocolates, chips or hard candy tucked far away in hard-to-reach places. Research shows that when treats are kept further away and you can’t see them, you won’t eat as much of them.


–Julie Upton, MS, RD, CSSD


  1. says

    Cutting fat is tip #1? Did you learn nothing from the abject failure of the low-fat era?

    Counting calories is a fool’s errand. Want to cut fat? Suppress the hormone that allows the storage fat (insulin) by not eating carbs, and take up a resistance training program.

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