By now, most of us realize that if we’re overweight, we’re probably eating too much. However, that realization doesn’t mean that it’s always easy to combat our obesity-promoting cultural influences. That’s where the “smart” part of staying trim comes in. You really don’t have to succumb to cheap fast food, sugar-laced drinks, office donuts, or processed “meal kits.” You always have the right to choose!

Even so, a little tactical assistance along the way can really help. One clever approach is simply to think in terms of swaps. It’s far easier to “give up” an unhealthy option if you have a tasty, healthy alternative lined up to replace it. Losing weight and keeping it off doesn’t have to involve drastic measures. It’s often a case of working smarter, not harder.

Trimming calories here and there with clever exchanges adds up to significant savings, leading to safe, healthy weight loss─especially if you exercise 3-5 times per week. The best part? You won’t feel deprived. Check out these healthy, calorie-slashing trades─and enjoy!

Re-think juice

Drinking processed juices─even those without added sugar─is far less beneficial than consuming fresh, fiber-rich, whole fruit. The nutrients most fruit juices offer scarcely justify the pancreas-taxing sugar load they deliver. Even cutting orange juice consumption by 50% could save you thousands of calories annually! Fresh pressed veggie juices, low sodium V-8, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice mixed with sparkling water, and stevia-sweetened lemonade are refreshing, easy swaps.

Skip refined breakfast carbs

Exchanging a donut for a bagel is a great start, potentially saving you thousands of calories a year. The next step is deleting refined breakfast carbs altogether, as well as sugar-packed cereals, instant oatmeal, etc. Why not totally replace that acid-forming, blood-sugar spiking white flour with a morning whey protein shake? Not only is it refreshing, delicious, and highly satisfying, it also keeps you going long and strong, without those debilitating dips in blood sugar, energy and mood. Welcome to a rare situation of all upside, no downside. That’s what we call smart nutrition!

Seek smart fats

Cheap oils, saturated and trans fats, and anything deep fried comes with a price. Is it worth it? Scaling back on these items is easier than you think. Here’s a million dollar tip. Instead of cooking in oil, add it afterwards. We all need “good” fat, so consider drizzling health-boosting nut and seed oils (which should never be heated) over cooked foods, as well as creating healthy dressings and vinaigrettes with them. If you do use oil for cooking, sautéing in a little olive or coconut oil is a great alternative to frying. And don’t forget your daily, omega-3 rich fish oil, the smartest fat of all!

While these seem like minor adjustments, they yield powerful dividends over time. That’s playing it healthy and smart!