Shave 200 Calories a Day with This Swap

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. (How many calories do you need per day? Find out here.)

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:

Discover how many calories you can burn just by walking.

RealAge Benefits

Eating a diverse diet that includes 5 servings of vegetables per day can make your RealAge as much as 4 years younger.