Hungry Girl: My Healthy Hacks For Fast Food Burgers

11/09/2015 at 01:01 PM ET

Hungry Girl
Getty; Inset: Lisa Lillien

Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating. She is also the author of ten books, six of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her PEOPLE.com blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.

McDonald’s is currently testing out a few new burger varieties: Buffalo Bacon, Pico Guacamole, and Maple Bacon Dijon. Yeah! They sound pretty good, until you think about how high the calorie and fat counts are likely to be. Luckily, I’ve got tips ‘n tricks for slimmed-down swaps!

First up: The patty. If a beef burger is your jam, DIY with extra-lean ground beef and seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Other options? Ready-to-cook lean turkey patties and meatless burgers.

RELATED: Hungry Girl: How to Make Cauliflower Crust Pizza (Psst: It’ll Be Your New Obsession!)

Fun with buns…My go-to pick is a 100-calorie flat sandwich bun. (Why waste calories on the vehicle? It’s what’s inside that counts!) You could also go protein-style by placing your patty on a lettuce bun.

And now… the toppings!

Buffalo Bacon: To make the sauce, mix crumbled blue cheese, fat-free Greek yogurt, and Frank’s RedHot sauce. Then mash the cheese into the mixture. (Warning: You may be tempted to put this sauce on everything!) Next, cook up a slice of center-cut bacon or turkey bacon. (These have less fat than conventional bacon.) Yumsville!

Pico Guacamole: Top the burger patty with shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, and cook until melted. Mix 1 tbsp. mashed avocado with 1 tbsp. pico de gallo, and spoon over the patty. Drizzle with light ranch dressing. WOW.

RELATED: Hungry Girl: My Must-Make Pumpkin Milkshake – It’s Only 112 Calories!

Maple Bacon Dijon: Rub a drop or two of maple extract onto a slice of center-cut or turkey bacon; cook until crispy. Top burger patty with shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, and cook until melted. Spread bun with honey mustard. Flavor explosion!

‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!

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