Five Easy Food Swaps That Help Trim Pounds

If your regular food selections are leaving you feeling less than thin and sexy in this unrelenting heat, you're not the only one. Summer months generally mean less clothing which in turn means more exposed skin which means we better actually give some thought to what we're putting in our mouths and bellies. If you have been looking for an easy way to shed an extra pound or two, try out a few of our dietary substitutions that will leave you satisfied, but still looking good in your swimsuit

Swap: Thin Crust Cheese & Veggie Pizza for Pepperoni and Cheese Deep Dish

There are some days when you just want to order a pizza. No matter how carefully I am trying to eat, I find this to inevitably be true some days. And though I love my junk food, I find that switching toppings from meat to veggies like olives, onions, and peppers really does satisfy my craving while not totally ruining my weekend bikini plans. 1 slice of Meat Lovers Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut will set you back a whopping 480 calories and 28 grams of fat, while a slice of Veggie Lovers will only provide 180 calories and 6 grams of fat. You do the math, and then reward your good decision making skills with some pizza.

Swap: Tasti D- Lite for Baskin- Robbins

I have become borderline addicted to Tasti D- Lite this summer. A small cup (4 oz) of caramel fudge has only 80 calories and 1.5 grams of fat, contains calcium and protein since its made from skim milk. And it's just as sweet, creamy, and refreshing as 4 oz of B-R vanilla soft-serve which has zero chocolaty flavor but still manages to rack up nearly 190 calories and 8 grams of fat (over half of those are saturated fats, too).

Swap: Cape Cod Reduced Fat Potato Chips for Regular Potato Chips

Confession time: I am a potato addict. And no matter how many times I read about swapping a sweet potato for a white one, it's not happening. That's why I was so excited to discover Cape Cod's Reduced Fat version of my beloved potato chips. These chips do not contain any weird, leakage-producing chemicals. Instead, they are actual potatoes that have been quickly fried and then baked to reduce the calories and fat from 150 calories and 8 grams of fat to 130 calories and 6 grams of fat. Not a bad deal considering they still taste amazing.

Swap: Vodka Soda for Vodka Seven

There are some drinks we imbibe because they are tasty and delicious, calories be damned. For instance, the bacon Manhattan -- you're not drinking it just to get a buzz. However with something as simple as vodka 7, switching to a vodka soda will save you 42 calories (117 down to 75) and 14 grams of sugar per drink. If you're meeting some friends for happy hour and downing multiple beverages, this could definitely impact your daily caloric intake. Add a big squeeze of lime if you want more flavor, or if you absolutely cannot go without the 7-Up, at least do a press which will cut out 50% of the sugary soda.

Swap: Nonfat Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream

Greek yogurt has really had a surge in popularity over the past year or so. It makes sense when you taste how thick and rich the stuff is. Even the non-fat kind is still creamy. 1 oz of non-fat plain Greek yogurt will set you back only 15 calories as opposed to 1 oz of sour cream which has approximately 4 times as many calories and 5 grams of fat. I tried some Greek yogurt on a baked potato this weekend and was honestly surprised at how similar it was to the real thing.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Geri Maria Harris