Shave 200 Calories a Day with This Swap

Medically reviewed in October 2021

To shave 200 calories from each day -- without missing a thing -- put your blender to work.

Then, use pureed vegetables in place of higher-calorie ingredients in your favorite entrees -- soups, casseroles, mac and cheese, and more. In a study, doing so helped people consume 200 fewer calories a day -- but still feel satisfied.

A Simple Swap
In the study, participants ate all of their meals in a lab once a week for 3 weeks. They ate carrot cake for breakfast, mac and cheese for lunch, and chicken-and-rice casserole for dinner, along with side dishes at each meal. But some weeks, the dishes were prepared with extra pureed veggies in place of higher-calorie, more energy-dense ingredients, like milk, cheese, and butter -- to the tune of 200 to 360 fewer calories per day. The participants didn't know about the swap, but they rated the slimmed-down dishes to be just as tasty and satisfying as the higher-calorie meals.

Painless Calorie Cutting
Ready to lower the calorie count of your favorite dishes? Adding pureed vegetables to soups, stews, and casseroles isn't just a trick for getting kids to eat better. It works for adults, too. You can also add more whole vegetables to everyday meals, like sandwiches and salads. Or just make it a point to use more of the space on your plate for vegetable sides instead of calorie-dense meat. Because vegetables are naturally low-calorie and filling, you'll eat fewer calories overall but still feel full. Try these other creative ways to slim down your days:

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