People put on weight gradually… not by deciding to dramatically change their habits and pack on the pounds. But, when it comes to trying to shed those pounds, most people think they need to make big changes.

It’s better to think small. Gradually make small changes that, over time, add up to big results.

For example, consider what you can achieve by simply cutting 100 calories a day. That could take off 10 pounds a year — and keep them off!

The good news is that it’s not that hard to cut 100 calories. Here are 20 ideas. Give it some thought as you go through the day, and you’ll see opportunities to make easy 100-calorie changes. Take advantage of just one or two opportunities each day, and you could be on track for losing 10 pounds this year.

  1. Eat an orange instead of drinking orange juice.
  2. Have Canadian bacon instead of regular bacon.
  3. Drink 1% milk instead of whole milk.
  4. Use smaller dishes — such as a smaller bowl for breakfast cereal.
  5. Make a sandwich with one tablespoon of peanut butter instead of two.
  6. Order a hamburger instead of a cheeseburger.
  7. Put mustard instead of mayonnaise on your sandwich.
  8. Go for a red sauce instead of a cream sauce on your pasta.
  9. Eat roasted chicken instead of fried chicken.
  10. Cut the fat off your steak.
  11. Squeeze lemon on your fish instead of using tartar sauce.
  12. Go for thin-crust pizza instead of thick-crust.
  13. Order broth-based soups instead of cream-based soups.
  14. If two menu items look good to you, pick the one with fewer calories.
  15. Choose a small or medium order of fries rather than large.
  16. Eat slower and pass on the seconds.
  17. Leave a few bites of food on your plate.
  18. Have one scoop of ice cream instead of two, or ice cream in a dish instead of in a waffle cone.
  19. Freeze bananas or grapes for a ready alternative to ice cream.
  20. Snack on pretzels or popcorn (air-popped or light-microwave) instead of potato chips.