What to Swap! How to save Calories by swapping some foods!

Start with a simple Swap!

As far as losing weight and ways to lose weight we all know that counting your Macro’s is the best and most effective way to lose weight (You can calculate your macros here). Now people will say that IIFYM (if it fits your macros) means you can eat whatever you want, and you can, BUT there are few things you can change and swap to save yourself some calories, Small swaps that will help you keep those calories down and let you enjoy more food! So let’s begin with the first one.

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Milk Chocolate Swap

If you are a chocolate fan this one will apply to you massively. Milk chocolate is very calorie-heavy, but the thing is everyone like a bit of chocolate. So what’s the Answer? Swap it out for Dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is a lot, lot lower in calories than milk chocolate. I feel it is more filling than milk chocolate, and you also get better flavours. Some even say that Dark chocolate has some health benefits, but we are not going to go into that in this article.

Dark chocolate is a lot higher cocoa (the higher the better) and a lot lower in milk. It is a richer, more bitter taste that may take some adjustment, but you will 100% notice the calorie difference immediately. It makes a great pre-workout snack, and if you get the Salted version it will lead to some crazy pumps!

Give some dark chocolate a go and let us know what you think!

Full Sugar Soda’s Swap

This one should be obvious but some people are still drinking full sugar coke. The Calories you will save is just unreal, For example, your standard 330ml can of Full sugar coke (The Red Can) contains 35g of sugar, that’s per can. So if we do the maths, there are 4 calories per gram of Carbohydrates, so that is 140kcals in 1 can of Coke cola, that’s just the sugar. So if you swapped to sugar-free, For example, Coke Zero, that’s my personal favourite, which is sugar-free you will be saving yourself 140kcals each time you drink one. Think of the calories you will be saving!

You can even take this one step further if you swap out Coke for Diet Coke or Coke Zero in your mixer, For example, Jack Daniels and Diet Coke, you will only be consuming around 50-70 calories per drink.

It is not just Cola, but most Soda and fizzy drink have a sugar free alternative, so you can swap all your drink and save yourself a load of calories.

Crisps or Chips

We all like a bag of Crips, or chips if you are from across the pond. The downside is that they are so calorie dense, and they don’t leave you full. So what can you swap them out for? Popcorn!

On average a packet of ready salted crips will be around 132 kcal per a 25g bag. Whereas the popcorn alternative will be around 105kcals per 25g. You can even get “healthy” popcorn which contains even fewer calories.

Many popcorn brands now do some amazing flavours of popcorn, it’s not just your Sweet or Salted anymore, you can get sweet flavours, and you can also get savoury flavours. So there are hundreds of choices to choose from. Just got to find a flavour you like.

Warning some popcorns won’t save you many calories, Depends on brand and flavour so make sure to give it a quick check.


Ground Beef

If you are a vegan or vegetarian then you can skip this one. If you are a vegan or Veggie then please get in touch for an opportunity to write for us!

Beef! I find beef so much tastier and easier than chicken, if we had to diet like a bro, I would much rather Beef and rice over chicken and rice, however, beef does come with its downsides. The fat content, beef can be very high in fat. Your standard pack of ground/minced beef with be 80/20, meaning it has a 20% fat content. Which is useless if you are trying to keep your calories downs.

So I recommend swapping to lean 5% beef. Much lower in fat, while retaining a high protein count. So will save you loads of calories, give you the same great taste. The only downside is that it is slightly more expensive than a chicken breast but in our opinion well worth the swap.

Granulated Sugar

If like me you like sugar on your cereal or in your tea and coffee, then this is an easy swap to make would be to swap granulated sugar for Sweetener or half sugar half sweetener. This could potentially save you hundreds of calories a week!

You can get sweeteners in many different forms, cubes, granulated, pips etc, so the usages and possibilities are endless for it. The main reason I use it is in Tea/Coffee and on cereal, just to add a bit of sweetness.

It’s cheap, easy to come but and there are many different brands and variations of it. The best one in our opinion is a brand called Stevia, it’s a sugar substitute that come from a plant called Stevia Rebaudiana, part of the same family as the sun flower. All natural, healthy and has loads of benefits. The only down side is the price, it tend to be rather expensive to purchase.


Sauces and Syrups

With all the supplements and products out there, I find these useful! Calorie free syrups! I don’t know of anyone that tracks sauces and syrups and If you enjoy a syrup on your pancakes or in your coffee, or you enjoy sauces on your food I would expect you are putting a fair amount on. Due to them being rather high in sugar they tend to be calorie dense as well! Fear not because various companies now do calorie free sauces and syrups, of which some taste very nice and some taste no different to the normal, high calorie version.

My personal favourites are the ones sold over at Myprotein. They have a huge range of sweet and savoury sauces. Of course other companies do them, so it pays to have a look around.


This is a swap but I thought we would throw it in here. Drink more Water. Drinking water not only hydrates you and makes you overall healthier, but will also “Fill you up” so you don’t get hungry and you don’t feel the need to snack. Buy yourself a nice bottle, fill it up and just sip on it throughout the day, you will find yourself snacking less and thus saving calories.

We recommend buying yourself a high quality water bottle and just see how many you can get through throughout the day. You will notice yourself snacking less!


As you can see there are many swaps that you can do, each one will save you loads of calories. There are even more swaps that you can make, we might even have to do a part two. Let us know on our instagram if you would like to see part two.

If you feel like you haven’t got the calories for the sweeter things or feel like you can’t fit your favourite foods in then you can make some simple swaps and fit everything in. That is the true meaning of IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros).


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Written by Kieran Blacker

Kieran is the CEO and Founder of Sets & Reps. He decided to make an application that helped people get a gym workout when not at the gym. He designed, Coded and built the application himself.