A Fitter Bacon Cheeseburger?

Yes! Cut 40% of the calories in your cheeseburger with this ultra-lean recipe.

Bacon cheeseburgers are a guilty pleasure. But this recipe from Devin Alexander, the ingenious chef behind books like The Most Decadent Diet Ever!, will prevent you from being convicted of bad eating. "Just don't cheat when buying your beef," says Alexander. "This burger is made with 96% lean meat. Some people think buying 93% lean is about the same, but you gain calories and fat."

Recipe Makes: 1 burger

Ingredients
4 oz 96% lean ground beef
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 slices center-cut bacon
1 reduced-calorie
hamburger bun
1/2 oz light Swiss cheese, cut into slivers
2 tsp barbecue sauce
1 slice red onion

To Make
[1] Fire up your grill or stove top.

[2] Shape meat into a patty. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
- TIP: You can freeze it for a few minutes if necessary to help it hold its shape.

[3] Cut the bacon strips in half crosswise. Cook in a skillet, flipping every couple of minutes, until crispy and well done. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

[4] Place the patty on the grill and cook to desired doneness.

[5] Toast the bun halves on an upper grill rack for 30 seconds to one minute, watching them carefully.

[6] Place the cheese on top of the burger for the last few seconds of cooking so it just begins to melt.

[7] Assemble the burger, topping the patty with barbecue sauce before adding the onion and top half of the bun.

Nutritional Information
300 calories, 33 g protein, 23 g carbs, 10 g fat, 3 g fiber

Make It Healthier:

Lean Fries
To cut more calories, try baking your fries. Shake frozen potato wedges in a plastic bag filled with spices like garlic powder or pepper. Place them on a cookie sheet coated with nonstick spray. Bake at 375 degrees until crisp.

Alternative Buns
Keep carbs under control by opting for low-cal, high-fiber buns. Or, try a few types of bread that are naturally better for you, like flatbread, pitas, or whole-grain tortillas. All offer significant benefits over a regular bun.

A Combo Patty
Save money and add flavor by mixing fruits or veggies into your patty before tossing it on the grill. Mashed black beans or corn cut calories and give the burger a Mexican flair; dried cherries sweeten it and make it more exotic.

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