Who doesn’t love a big, juicy burger? But if they’re a part of your regular diet, then you may find some love handles developing. A bacon cheeseburger at Five Guys, for example, rings in at 920 calories. Biting into your favourite, fully loaded burger occasionally is fine if it’s a special treat for yourself, but if you tend to need a burger fix more often than not, consider looking for ways to cut back on calories to make your slider a big healthier for you.
Change your bun
Cut down on carbs and enjoy your burger in a thinner bun or even a pita—and make it a whole-grain version rather than white bread while you’re at it. Another option? Skip one half of the bun and eat your burger on a plate with a fork and knife. For a fresh, crispy version, try using a large lettuce leaf in place of a bun—you may find you even get to enjoy more of the burger itself when not masked in a big bready bun.
Limit your condiments
Mayo, ketchup, BBQ sauce—all add loads of flavour to your burger, but they can also be high in sugar and calories. A typical ketchup packet, for example, contains 15 calories and 110 milligrams of sodium—which doesn’t sound like a lot, but remember that you’re likely also loading on mustard, cheese, relish and more. Look for other leaner ways to add flavour. Fresh herbs can pack a punch (or blend some basil up with some olive oil, pine nuts and garlic for a tasty pesto) as can some roasted veggies. Skip a slice of cheese and add some avocado instead for creaminess (and you’ll get some healthy fats, too!).
Switch your ground meat
Here’s a no-brainer on cutting back on calories and fat: make your burger smaller. You’ll still get to satisfy your burger craving, just will have a bite or two less than your usual hefty-sized version. Alternatively, try making it with a leaner meat such as ground turkey or chicken (just be sure that your ground alternative is the white breast meat—the dark meat won’t cut you much in terms of fat).