INDULGE! Just follow these easy rules to build a tasty burger for only 400 calories — the perfect amount per meal to help control portions and lose weight.
VEGGIES Choose darker hues. The deeper the color, the more nutrients they pack. Pile them high since they're so low in calories, and opt for spinach over iceberg and red bell peppers instead of yellow for more vitamin A. More smart picks: red onion, pickles, tomatoes, and jalapeños.
CHEESE Shred it. That way, the cheese spreads out more easily so you can use less for just as much flavor. A thumb-size portion (about 2 Tbsp) is 50 calories.
MEAT Buy lean beef. It has the same calories as turkey but is slightly higher in iron and zinc. Choose 95% lean (5% fat) and keep your patty to a 3-ounce, hockey-puck size—about 145 calories. Every 5% jump in fat adds about 30 calories.
CONDIMENTS Go for red spreads. Ketchup and salsa have up to 15 calories per tablespoon; BBQ sauce has about 25. One tablespoon of mayo? It's 100 calories.
BUN Get 100% whole wheat. It offers more flavor and filling fiber (around 2 g) for the same 120 calories as a standard white or potato bun.