24 Ways to Lose 10 Pounds this Year by Dropping 100 Calories per Day

Try these tricks to cut out 100 empty calories a day and enjoy something truly satisfying: a slimmer, healthier you.

Did you know that a decrease in just 100 calories per day, or 700 calories per week, can result in 10 pounds of weight loss a year? By dropping 100 empty calories per day, you can combat the slow, steady weight gain that often happens as we move through our 30s, 40s and 50s.

In order to make this decrease in calories as healthy as possible, you want to target empty calories, or calories that are void of any nutritional benefit, such as cookies or white-flour bagels. Here are 9 easy substitutions that will result in a 100-calorie reduction in your daily intake.

Smart substitutions


  1. Top a bowl of berries with a dollop of whipped cream instead of having a bowl of ice cream with whipped cream. One cup of ice cream has 250-300 calories, while one cup of berries has only 45 calories.
  2. Eat your sandwich open-faced and use a piece of romaine lettuce as the top half of the sandwich. One slice of sandwich bread has 110 calories, while a leaf of romaine lettuce has only 5.
  3. Spray your pan with nonstick cooking spray instead of using 1 tablespoon of butter. One tablespoon of butter has 100 calories, while cooking spray has zero.
  4. Pour yourself a glass of unsweetened iced green tea as opposed to sweetened iced tea. Unsweetened iced tea is free of calories, while a 12-ounce glass of iced tea sweetened with sugar has 105 calories.
  5. When a chocolate craving hits, grab 4 Hershey’s kisses (preferably dark chocolate) as opposed to a chocolate bar. An ordinary chocolate bar packs about 250 calories, while 4 kisses have just 100 calories.
  6. Opt for plain nonfat yogurt and sweeten it yourself with fresh fruit, as opposed to fruit-flavored yogurt, which contains a lot of sugar. One cup of plain nonfat yogurt has 100 calories, while one cup of fruit-flavored yogurt can have up to 220 calories.
  7. Choose white meat chicken and eat it without the skin, instead of dark meat chicken with the skin. Four ounces of skinless white chicken has 180 calories, while 4 ounces of dark meat chicken with skin has 280 calories.
  8. Scoop out your bagel (a whole-wheat bagel, of course) and fill the inside with a thin smear of cream cheese and sliced tomatoes. The reduction in bread will be about 150 calories, while the sliced tomato contains only 20.
  9. Top your whole-grain waffle with sautéed apples or sliced berries instead of maple syrup. A mere 3 tablespoons of syrup packs over 100 calories, while a half cup of fruit is only 40 calories.

100-calorie snacks and beverages to cut out of your diet

This list of 100-calorie foods includes options you can easily (or not that easily!) omit from your daily routine. While not all of these foods are "unhealthy," they are calorie dense, making it easy to consume more calories than you might think.

  • 2 Oreo cookies
  • 1 cup of juice (have fresh fruit instead)
  • 8 ounces of cola
  • 2 tablespoons of jelly or jam
  • ½ bagel
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1½ tablespoons of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of salad dressing
  • 1 slice of bread

Battling the bulge

Keep in mind that a difference as small as 50-100 calories per day has been demonstrated to control weight gain in most adults. Using the suggestions above to reduce your daily calorie consumption can greatly help you to win the war against weight. In addition, here are some other strategies to keep your waistline in check.

  • Leave ¼ of your meal on your plate at least once per day.
  • Add 30 minutes of light cardio exercise to your daily routine.
  • Drink only calorie-free beverages (with the exception of milk).
  • Limit your consumption of sugar to no more than 10 percent of your daily calories.
  • Increase your lean muscle mass (lift more weights).
  • Limit post-dinner "snacks" to no more than 100 calories.

The Firm

Sara Ryba is a registered dietitian, certified dietary nutritionist and a contributor to The FIRM Believers Club website, an online community that helps you reach your fitness, health and weight loss goals. With maximum-efficiency home workouts, support and motivation from The FIRM Master Instructors, daily tips, personalized workout rotation calendars, and access to other members through discussion boards, The Club provides all the tools you need to get in the shape you want.


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Meesapan's picture
User offline. Last seen 6 years 25 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 02/01/2010

Leave 1/4 of your food on your plate once a day? What a waste of food! I'd rather make 1/4 less food if I'm cooking myself, or at a restaurant, ask them to box up 1/4 of the plate *before* it gets to the table. I hate to think about people around the world going without food while I throw away 1/4 of my food for my own vanity.

CSConn's picture
User offline. Last seen 6 years 24 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 09/22/2009

lots a good ideas and very easy, but I agree instead of leaving food just save 1/4 of one meal in a small container and eat as a side dish or eat as a light snack to hold u over inbetween your meals. If you eat three meals a day, try saving the scraps of meals or the cut-out of the bagel (with hummus- or dip in mango-salsa) for possibly two snacks in between meals.
~ways to not waste and keep your metabolism working all day!

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