Diet & Nutrition Tips,  PFOODIE,  Self-Help

10 Super Simple Tips to Cut Calories Comfortably

Say THAT 5 times fast!! “10 Super Simple Tips to Cut Calories Comfortably,ย 10 Super Simple Tips to Cut Calories Comfortably,ย 10 Super Simple Tip…” Sorry, couldn’t resist! Sounds like a tongue twister – hard to say! But there’s nothing hard about applying these tips! They’re truly Super Simple!

You’ve heard the saying “don’t sweat the small stuff” Well, that shouldn’t apply to calories if you are working your butt off to burn them. Small stuff adds up QUICK!

As I was pouring my coffee this morning, I started to read the back of the label to my powdered flavored coffee creamer. It’s only 35 calories per serving and I convince myself that I don’t use much since I don’t like my coffee that sweet. However, I realized I went through one in about a week and a half so I did the math. 35 calories times 60 servings for the whole container equaled a WHOPPING 2,100 calories!! That’s nearly 2/3 a pound I COULD have LOST, not EATEN!

So I continued to really make it sink in by finding out how many calories that would be for the year if I had one every other week. 54,600 CALORIES!! That’s 15.6LBS from 35 calorie coffee creamer. So I instantly decided I like my coffee black. haha Not really, but you bet your bottom I’m going to be using a LOT less of it!!

Here are 10 ways to cut calories without feeling deprived:

1.) First, ask yourself if you REALLY MUST have that one food item. If it’s not something you absolutely love and look forward to, cut it out completely.

2.) If you REALLY love it, don’t cut it OUT, cut it BACK. I love my coffee. Personally, I’d rather cut something else out of my diet to make room for it – but I do plan to use a little less creamer and be more aware how many calories I’m actually getting per day from it.ย 

3.) Look for alternatives. Don’t just grab the first sugar-free, fat-free item you see thinking that will solve your problem – you have to compare apples to apples. Many pre-packaged items change serving size to appear more healthy or they add sugar to replace fat which can often bring it right back up to about the same amount of calories as the original. Also take in consideration that if you don’t like it as much, you may eat more of it to get the flavor you are missing from the original item. I think this is very common with sweets and salty snacks. Often times the snack isn’t quite sweet or salty enough so you eat double the amount trying to get our fix.

4.) Slice and dice it. Think about this: what would you rather have? 3 chunks of chicken or 15 slivers of chicken? When preparing meals, slice food finely so you get more flavor in each bite. This works extremely well for toppings on salads. By slicing or dicing food into smaller pieces, you can actually have less food with more taste. Slice and dice fruits, veggies and meat, and choose sliced or crumbled nuts instead of slivered or whole nuts.

5.) Just add water. I eat a lot of salads so I cut salad dressing with water to reduce the calories. When I make my own recipes, I use only 1/3 of the oils the recipe calls for and replace the rest with water. Some condiments, like salad dressing, can be cut with water too. I pour the excess into another container and add water until I get it to the consistency I want without losing too much taste. Ironically, it spreads the flavor more evenly on the salad so I taste more of it than when it’s globbed on thickly.

6.) Pick and Choose. Sometimes when we are building meals we add too many ingredients than it really needs to taste good. With every item we add, we are adding calories. If you are making a salad, limit topping to only one high-fat item. So instead of adding nuts, cheese AND dressing, choose what item you want the most and modify. The same goes with casseroles and hot meals. Bottom line is if you simplify your meals, you will eat much fewer calories.

7.) Go whole or go home (crying). What do I mean? If you stick to whole foods, you are less likely to eat over budget – and it’s a LOT easier to manage when counting calories. Many people get depressed trying to add up every single item they put in their mouth because they haven’t changed their eating habits. We don’t need green bean casserole when fresh green beans are plenty tasty. If you are trying to lose weight, try eating as many whole food as possible.

8.) Do a food audit. I can’t TELL you the number of people that come to me swearing they are eating only 1200 calories a day only to find out they aren’t counting alcohol, protein shakes, condiments, vitamins, supplements and fluids. Geesh! If you aren’t losing weight, then you are most definitely getting more calories than you think. Maybe it’s time for an audit! If you want to FIND what is sabotaging your diet, you must LOOK for it! Once you find it, then you can decide what to do about it, but you can’t fix a problem unless you know what it is.

9.) Snack small. Most of the time we just want to taste something, not fill up. Stick to lower calorie snacks that offer a lot of taste in one bite or a lot of bites for little calories. Chocolate lovers may enjoy one small piece of rich chocolate or a frozen pudding pop, since it takes a longer time to eat, over equal calories in a low-cal chocolate pudding. Salt lovers may enjoy eating an entire bowl of 100 calorie popcorn or 82 Salty Stix for only a 105 calories versus an equal amount of calories in 9 crackers. Outsmart your cravings by thinking ahead and planning low-cal solutions to satisfy your craving without sabotaging your diet.

10.) Slam a glass of water. Many people grab fruit or food when they really need water. If you’ve ever been out in the sun on a hot day and craved a big juicy piece of fruit, it’s likely you’re needing water. Sure, fruit is not bad for you, but before you grab food slam a glass of water. If you find yourself staring into the fridge looking for a snack, slam a glass of water. If you are gazing into the pantry looking for a snack, again, slam a glass of water. If you are STARVING and about to sit down for dinner, yep you guessed it, slam a glass of water. If you are craving a beer or a soda, you will likely drink it fast because you are hot or thirsty unless you slam a glass of water. The more water you drink, the healthier you are AND the less likely you will be to over eat.

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Owner of Lift Vero and motivational "pfitness, pfood and pfaith" blogger in Vero Beach, Florida.


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