10 Healthy Swaps to Save 300 Calories [Infographic]

Holley Grainger, MS, RD
by Holley Grainger, MS, RD
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10 Healthy Swaps to Save 300 Calories [Infographic]

Making some adjustments to your favorite foods to save up to 300 calories is easier than you think. In the examples below, we found common summer foods and made simple substitutions with foods that have fewer added sugars and refined carbs. Then we added whole grains, veggies or fruit to boost the nutrition. The best part? The portion sizes stayed around the same.   

If you think saving 300 calories won’t have much of an effect on your waistline, think again. Cutting just 300 calories each day for two weeks equates to 4,500 calories you’ve shaved. Since science suggests one pound is equivalent to approximately 3,500 calories, that means a painless weight loss of a little more than a pound every two weeks. Not bad for weight loss that doesn’t feel like dieting.


About the Author

Holley Grainger, MS, RD
Holley Grainger, MS, RD

Holley is a registered dietitian, mom, and nationally recognized lifestyle and culinary nutrition expert. She shares simple, healthy meals and practical nutrition advice through social media, national and local broadcast media outlets and her blog,  Holley Grainger NutritionHolley lives in Alabama, with her husband and two young daughters. She believes that a power nap, workout, dark chocolate, and red wine can help make any day brighter! You can reach her on FacebookInstagram and YouTube


49 responses to “10 Healthy Swaps to Save 300 Calories [Infographic]”

  1. Avatar Rick Judge says:


  2. Avatar Mary Contrary says:

    Are you trying to tell me… that there’s as much protein in those scrambled eggs as there is in that ham and cheese omelette? … I don’t believe you.

    • Avatar Jason says:

      I think the goal is the calorie count here not the protein. You can eat lower calories while still hitting those protein numbers. I like to eat unsalted nuts or have more beans in my diet when my protein count is low. ☺

      • Avatar Mary Contrary says:

        I mean, that’s not a terrible solution. But considering most nuts are rather similar to eggs in fat:protein ratio, I’d rather just eat the omelette. I don’t have time to forage all day. It does me no good to eat lower calorie foods if I’m sacrificing protein to do it.

    • Avatar Christy says:

      If it’s more than 25-30 grams of protein, you’re not absorbing it, anyway. But sure, you can do worse than a ham and cheese omelet.

      • Avatar Mary Contrary says:

        The idea that you can only “absorb” 25-30 grams of protein at a time is pure, 100% broscience. There are so many factors that impact protein absorption: form of protein (chicken/steak vs protein shake), the rest of your diet on a daily and weekly basis, and a host of other factors that vary by the individual and rely on genetics.

      • Avatar robinbishop34 says:

        “If it’s more than 25-30 grams of protein, you’re not absorbing it, anyway”


    • Avatar S B says:

      not to mention, they don’t even include the sodium content — which is high in ham.

  3. Avatar Alisa says:

    I like these simple chances im able to do this. It will allow me to eat more throughout the day

  4. Avatar Susan Stukes says:

    Nice post.I really appreciate how you diagramatically shows all about weight loss ways.

  5. Avatar Sonya Michelle says:

    The only swap that took me by surprise was the ice cream for frozen yogurt….I would like to see the other macros for these items.

    • Same here. The rest = nothing new.

      • Avatar Fab Fatale says:

        im reading the comments because i was wondering if i was the only one that thought that was incorrect. ive been eating a grocery store brand frozen yogurt every night that is half the calories of the same brand same flavor ice cream. and a cone is an extra 20 calories. that had to be a mix up on their part :/

        • Avatar Tom Foogleflump says:

          They’re saying 10 oz. of the frozen yogurt. A soft-serve cone is approximately 1/2 of a cup, a whopping 6 oz. difference. Cones can vary in calories from 17 for the wafer-style up to 120 for the waffle cone style. I think the main difference is between the soft-serve (which really is mostly air) and the ice cream in a tub 🙂 Yogurt vs. tub ice cream would win almost every time, I would think.

  6. Avatar Praneeth Bellamkonda says:

    Perfect !!

  7. Avatar Chris Blanco says:

    So in a lot of these, we are trading fat and protein for more sugar and higher carbs. This is not the way to go! Stop counting calories and start lowering carbs.

    • Avatar disqus_huKyBoXG2R says:

      We need carbs though.

      • Avatar Chris Blanco says:

        No you do not. In the absence of carbohydrates the body will burn fat (aka Ketosis). The only carbohydrate necessary for the human body to function is glucose. Glucose is manufactured by the body in a process called gluconeogenesis from the fat and protien you eat.

        • Avatar disqus_huKyBoXG2R says:

          Yeah, you still do need them.

        • Avatar S B says:

          you need carbs such as fruits and veggies. unrefined carbs are the ones to avoid.

          • Avatar Chris Blanco says:

            You definitely do not need fruit. Veggies are helpful for things like potassium, magnesium, vitamins and other nutrients, but the carbohydrates inside those veggies are not necessary. My argument is that the body will run fine in the absence of carbohydrates. There are 0 necessary carbohydrates for the body to function.

          • Avatar S B says:

            well some of us need the fiber to go in the am, if you catch my drift.

          • Avatar disqus_huKyBoXG2R says:

            Are you a licensed nutritionist or dietitian Chris?

          • Avatar Chris Blanco says:

            Are you?

          • Avatar disqus_huKyBoXG2R says:

            As you said, great argument.
            I think I will stick to info from people who have an education in nutrition and diet, and not some pseudoscience following know-it-all on the internet.

          • Avatar Chris Blanco says:

            I will stick to info of the doctors and nutritionists who support the Ketogenic Diet that helped me lose 15 lbs so far, cure my celiac disease, lower my cholesterol and fix my triglycerides. You go ahead and keep going with the calories in and out.

          • Avatar RenegadeRN says:

            Just watch out for your thyroid Chris. Celiacs have a higher incidence of autoimmune thyroid disease and super low carbs affects your ability to utilize your thyroid hormone. Glad Keto has worked out for you, but just know it may or may not in the long run. Been there, done that. … and yes, I am also a nutrition professional….

        • Avatar Adam Evans says:

          It is my opinion that we do need carbs, just as we need protein and fat. If we didn’t then our bodies simply would not metabolise them. I truly believe that from a need point of view, what we all need above anything else is a balanced diet that takes into account our level of activity.

          I regularly train on my cycle 8-12 hours each week and I could not do this if I cut out carbs from my diet. I eat a balanced diet that contains both complex and simple carbohydrates. I am currently 63kg and 12% body fat.

          As I stated above, this is my opinion and probably worth what you paid for it. I would not dream of preaching to others, especially as I am not qualified to do do. While this works for me, it may not work for others because my circumstances are unique to me.

          • Avatar Chris Blanco says:

            You should read the Real Meal Revolution. Professor Tim Noakes was a marathon runner that carb loaded, and still got sick. Switched to a low carb, high fat diet and and improved his performance.

            The book was so controversial, he was taken to court for professional misconduct and found NOT GUILTY

          • Avatar Adam Evans says:

            Carb loading is totally against my point, which is about a balanced diet, with no bias towards any one macro nutritional group.

            Going with your point for just a second, I fail to see the correlation between carb loading and sickness. Without detailed knowledge of both the state of health, fitness and food intake, I would say that the link between carb loading and sickness is at best circumstantial. It’s probably fair to say that people who carb load get sick just as much as those who don’t. By the same token, someone who did carb load, but doesn’t anymore is probably going to perform just as well as someone that never has. My point here is that much of this is meaningless and someone can approach two events in exactly the same way and have two very different performances.

  8. Avatar James Robertson says:

    How much would I save on a whole wheat, ham and cheese sandwich– with mustard instead of mayo?

  9. Avatar Deana Reynolds says:

    Well it’s common sense that plain scrambled eggs would be less than a ham and cheese omelet. I could figure that out without thinking, but I was hoping for swaps that would be at least close in terms of how satisfying the dish is..

  10. Avatar Lexy Leo! says:

    I have a better substitute for the chocolate milk shake than a simple berry smoothie. Half of a banana, 1 cup of Almond milk, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, cacao powder to taste , cinnamon to taste, stevia or truvia, ice, plant base protein powder (chocolate) or 2 tbsp of hemp seeds. Guess what!! It’s about 350 calories and it tastes amazing!

    • Avatar Deana Reynolds says:

      I agree! I would like to see substitutions that are at least close to the original in either flavor or satiety. If I’m craving a chocolate milkshake, no way is a berry smoothie going to do the job. I have a shake I do with one banana, 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, 2/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk, and a tablespoon of peanut butter. Add as much ice as you like, and it actually helps the chocolate shake cravings!

  11. Avatar rhondajo3 says:

    For all fast food sandwiches, I dump the bottom of the bun, to knock off another 100 calaories.

  12. Avatar Lethargic Pol says:

    It’s about training your pituitary, hypothalamus and digestive system to be satisfied with LESS fat, refined sugar and refined wheat flours, and protein………and the American diet is hopped up to make you MORE addicted to those things. It’s difficult, but it’s like training yourself against revisionist history that seeks to eliminate the memory of certain traditional American icons……..it has to be deliberate, intentional and gradual, and it has to be repeated with resolve.

    It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it can be done……if you make the decision to do it and stick with it.

  13. Avatar Aaron says:

    The low fat yogurt made me think of that episode of Seinfeld…lol

  14. Avatar swanpr says:

    The chicken sandwich one is hogwash. The 300 cals saved are from the swapped fries, not the fried vs grilled chicken. Look up the nutritional info on most fast food chains, you will see there is very little difference in calories between the two. Dump the fries and have the fried chicken, it’s all the same.

  15. Avatar Beth Stone says:

    So, what? It’s nothing new to you. But, it might be to someone else. If it doesn’t help you, fine. You can always learn something. I appreciate this article, because it makes me think. When I am hard pressed for time, I can still make the better choice. Of course, fast food is not the ideal. But, things happen sometimes where you need to get something quick. I love people who are trying to get healthy, being all self-righteous. Something made you unhealthy. So, don’t tell me you’ve never eaten fast food. If you do say that, you lie. The point here is, you can do if you need to and still eat healthy.

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