There are plenty of ways to spice up the same meal to make it taste great without adding a ton of calories.
Our team of health coaches and registered dietitians have put together a list of some of their favorite low-calorie options to share with you.
Let’s start with some simple swaps. We call this the secret sauce:
- Swap Regular Mayo with Low Fat Mayo and save 60 Calories per Tablespoon.
- Trade Sour Cream with 0% Greek Yogurt and reduce calories by 180 per half-cup.
- Replace BBQ Sauce for G. Hughes BBQ Sauce and save 25 Calories per Tablespoon
- Instead of using full-calorie salad dressings, swap them for light dressings to cut your calories in half.
- Swap Peanut Butter with PB-2 Powder and lower your calories by 70 for every tablespoon.
- Swap a Tablespoon of Honey or Sugar with Stevia or Sugar-Free Syrups and cut 45-60 calories out of every cup of coffee.
- When preparing foods. Use a Non-Stick Cooking Spray to coat the pan instead of cooking oil. You’ll cut down calories by 100 for every tablespoon you would have used.
- No-Sugar-Added Jam has only 20 calories per tablespoon compared to 50 in a regular jam.
- Becel light has only 42 calories per tablespoon versus 100 calories in butter or margarine.
Some favorite low-calorie sauces and condiments include:
- Walden Farms Dressing and Sauces have 5 Calories Per Tablespoon. They have a wide variety of sweet and savory options to choose from that can be used on everything from Salads to Oats, or even in sandwiches and wraps.
- Hughes Brand offers a variety of low-calorie sauces from Sweet Thai Chili to BBQ sauce, mayo, marinades, and salad dressings.
- Regular Mustard and Flavoured Mustards such as Sweet with Heat, BBQ, Honey Mustard, and Dijon, range from 0-10 calories per teaspoon.
- Hot sauces such as Sriracha or Frank’s range between zero and five calories per teaspoon. We like to use them on proteins such as chicken, beef, or eggs.
- Low Sodium Soya Sauce is about ten calories per tablespoon and is great on rice and quinoa meals.
- Low-Fat Italian dressing has only five calories per tablespoon. Not only is this great for salads, but can be used as a marinade for chicken, a dipping sauce for vegetables.
- Sugar-Free Ketchup is super versatile and only has ten calories per tablespoon.
- Unsweetened Nut Milk’s significantly lower in calories than regular milk or cream, making it a great addition to morning coffee, cereals, and smoothies.
- Salsa is great on eggs, meat, or in a salad and only has five calories per tablespoon.
Spices can make a world of difference in terms of flavor when you add them to your meals.
They have minimal calories and a few of our favorites are:
- Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
- Montreal Steak Spice
- Hy’s Seasoning Salt
- Clubhouse Seasonings Like Parmesan and Herb or Roasted Red Pepper
- Spicy Devil or Flavour Gods Seasonings
- Cinnamon, Nutmeg or All-Spice
- Herbs such as Basil, Rosemary, Oregano, and Cilantro
- And spices like garlic and onion powder, and paprika
When choosing your seasonings and sauces, something to be mindful of is the sodium content. There can be a wide range, depending on what you prefer. Most people don’t realize how many hidden calories there are in sauces and condiments that we use every day.
If you’re anything like me, your tablespoons aren’t level either; they’re heaping. You could be eating all the right foods but adding hundreds of calories without realizing it.
- One level tablespoon of the coffee creamer has 30-40 calories.
- One level tablespoon of honey has 60 calories.
- One level Tablespoon of Mayonnaise has 100 Calories.
- One level Tablespoon of Caesar Salad Dressing has 70-100 Calories.
- One Tablespoon of Olive Oil or Cooking Oil has 120 Calories.
There are plenty more low-calorie options. However, this should provide you with plenty of practical ideas to make your food taste great!