7 Tricks to Add Flavor and Cut Fat and Calories

Get easy tips and tricks to add flavor to your favorite recipes while cutting calories and fat.

Slashing calories doesn’t have to mean cutting taste. With a few easy tricks and techniques, you can actually bump up the flavor in your favorite recipes.

Watch: See how to cut calories to lose weight


Enjoy Your Sandwich Open-Faced

Pictured Recipe: Portobello & Beef Patty Melt

1. Enjoy Your Sandwich Open-Faced

You’ll automatically cut bread calories in half and barely notice. An average regular-size piece of bread is about 100 calories.


Team Up Low-Fat Creamy Ingredients

Pictured Recipe: Creamy Spinach Dip

2. Team Up Low-Fat Creamy Ingredients

Try replacing full-fat sour cream and mayonnaise in creamy dips and salad dressings with a combination of reduced-fat cream cheese, cottage cheese and/or nonfat plain yogurt. You’ll cut calories and the layers of flavors will still taste rich.


Use Low-Fat Mayonnaise

Pictured Recipe: Curried Chicken Pitas

3. Use Low-Fat Mayonnaise

In place of the full-fat version. It has which has just 15 calories and 1 gram of fat per tablespoon compared with 90 calories and 10 grams of fat in the traditional kind.


Oven-Fry To Save Calories From Fat

Pictured Recipe: EatingWell Fish Sticks

4. Oven-Fry To Save Calories From Fat

If you crave fried foods, don’t deny yourself. A typical serving of fried fish sticks packs 16 grams of fat. Oven-frying replicates that special taste and texture for only 3 grams of fat per serving.


Use Spices To Add Calorie-Free Flavor To Food

Pictured Recipe: Indian-Spiced Chicken Pitas

5. Use Spices To Add Calorie-Free Flavor To Food

Your spices should be fresh to get maximum impact, so buy them in small amounts, label with a date, and discard and replace after one year.


Keep Lemons Around

Pictured Recipe: Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry

6. Keep Lemons Around

They zest up almost any dish, without any calories. Stock up when they’re on sale and freeze the zest and juice for up to 6 months: pare the rind and freeze in strips, and freeze the juice in ice cube trays.


7. Spice Things Up

Don’t bank on the spice turmeric as a magic bullet for weight loss yet. But go ahead and try it in your cooking—it adds flavor without any calories. In one study, when mice were fed high-fat diets with added curcumin (an active ingredient in the spice turmeric), they gained less weight than a similar group whose diets had no added curcumin.