By Lacy J. Hansen
Try as we might, there’s no way to escape the science of calories. Every calorie counts and unfortunately lots of our favorite foods have too many calories. But don’t fret, life doesn’t have to be lived eating flavorless celery and lettuce. There are lots of great ways to cut calories without feeling like you’re being deprived.
Here are 20 ways to reduce breakfast calories. We’ve actually tried these and can attest that you’ll get through the most important meal of the day with fewer calories, and best of all, you won’t sacrifice any flavor!
1. Replace honey with maple syrup
Just a little honey will go a long way. You can use much less honey than you would use in syrup and get more than enough sweetness.
2. Use egg whites
One egg has about 70 calories. If you ditch the yolk, you cut 50 of them. Granted, you’ll need more than one egg’s worth of whites for most dishes, you still get lots of protein and miss very little flavor in your morning scrambles or omelets.
3. Use olive or canola oil spray instead of butter
When using a skillet avoid the butter and grab these healthy sprays. A tablespoon of butter is about 100 calories, while most sprays list their trace amounts as 0 calories. The flavor is excellent and the oils are great sources of healthy fats.
4. Use cinnamon instead of sugar
Need to add flavor to oatmeal or cereal? Don’t reach for the sugar bowl; go to the spice rack and use cinnamon. It offers a warm flavor without adding any calories. Sugar is about 15 calories per teaspoon and those teaspoons add up quickly.
5. Use Greek yogurt instead of fatty cream cheese
Smear bagels with Greek yogurt and save a lot of calories and gain a ton of protein and flavor. While cream cheese is 50 calories per tablespoon, an entire 150 gram container of Greek yogurt is only 80 calories- and a little goes a long way. That much cream cheese would equal more than 400 calories!
6. Bulk up omelets with fresh vegetables
An omelet is already loaded with protein due to the eggs, so forget the high fat meats and cheese and load it with low-calorie, high-nutrient peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, and even avocado. You’ll cut hundreds of calories and end up with a well balanced meal.
7. Use ice in smoothies instead of milk
After you’ve added your choice of fruit and possibly yogurt or protein powder, add some ice in the blender. The result is less calories and a very refreshing morning treat.
8. Use frozen fruit and water instead of milk in oatmeal
After using water to cook the oats, drop a few pieces of frozen fruit in the bowl and let them melt. A fruit like blueberries or strawberries seep into the whole bowl and give it a delicious flavor. It only takes a few berries, too. A half cup of whole milk is about 75 calories, while a half cup of berries is about 30. That’s a big difference for all the sweet flavor it adds.
9. Eat the fruit, don’t drink the juice
A piece a fruit will contain much more fiber than its juice, it is much more filling, and it’s much lower in calories. For example, a cup of orange juice is nearly 115 calories, and who just drinks a single cup? The actual orange is about 50 calories. It’s filling and satisfying all on its own.
10. Rethink your latte
Order a grande Americano with 2 pumps of sugar free vanilla syrup and add a splash of fat free milk with half a Splenda. It tastes exactly like a vanilla latte but with about 100 less calories, and a cheaper price tag.