I’m always looking for new ways to cut a couple calories from the meals I’m making, the lunch I’m eating and the snacks that keep me satisfied through out the day. You wouldn’t believe how much the little things really help you lose weight. I’m always looking for new tips to help better my choices, today I found a great article on EverydayHealth.com on how to Cut Calories to Avoid Gaining Weight.
Making substitutions when cooking, picking the right beverages, and switching to lower-calorie condiments are just a few tricks to cut calories. While healthy food choices are key, it’s also important to eat the right amount of food. Eating an extra 100 calories a day can cause you to gain 10 pounds a year, whereas eating 100 calories less than usual may result in a loss of 10 pounds. Here are 10 simple ways to reduce calories and still enjoy eating.
Make Oil Substitutions. Changing your cooking methods is a good way to cut 100 calories or more. Use low-salt chicken broth to keep vegetables or chicken from sticking to the bottom of a pan instead of oil or butter. Another option is to use cooking spray.
Go on Beverage Alert. Drink water or zero-calorie beverages. Obvious drinks to avoid are soda, sweet teas, and sugary sports drinks, but this also includes cutting out the sugar-free beverages that only have 10 calories per 8 ounces. Five of those a day adds up to 100 calories!
Change Up that Coffee. We know they’re tempting, but watch out for fancy coffee drinks filled with calories. Switch from a Frappuccino to just regular coffee and lose 100 calories or more. Next, skip the sugar or use a zero-calorie sweetener instead. Just three sugar packets equal 33 calories, so all it takes is three cups of coffee to reach 100 calories in sugar intake alone.
Modify the Recipe. “In baking, substitute applesauce for the oil in the recipe,” says Dana M. Ellis, MPH, RD, a cardiac transplant dietitian at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. “That could save much more than just 100 calories.” When making pancakes, leave out the oil entirely. Using a nonstick pan will prevent sticking and will not affect the taste.
Portion Size Counts. With supersized French fries, bottomless sodas, and a general explosion of portion sizes, it’s hard to know how much to eat. According to the National Institutes of Health, 20 years ago a typical muffin was 1.5 ounces and 210 calories. Today it’s 4 ounces and 500 calories. Two slices of pepperoni pizza used to be 500 calories. Now they’re 850. Eat a 3-ounce bagel instead of a 4-ounce one and save at least 100 calories.
Learn to Say “No Thanks”. “Cut the cheese from your sandwich,” recommends Harwood. “From ordering a sub or hamburger when dining out to making your own sandwich at home, leaving off the cheese cuts 100 calories fast.” The restaurant bread basket is another place to cut calories. Stop at just one piece of bread or one dinner roll to help keep calories under control.
Beware of Condiments. Those little sauces and creams seem so harmless, but watch out. One small serving of mayonnaise has almost 100 calories, and often people eat more than one serving on their sandwich or hamburger. Cream cheese is another calorie-rich spread. “Use low-fat ‘whipped’ cream cheese on your bagel instead of full-fat, non-whipped cream cheese,” says Ellis. “The whipping alone reduces calories by about half and the low-fat reduces them even further.”
Watch Out for Toppings, Dressings, and Dips. They seem so healthy, but salads can be full of hidden calories. Measure salad dressing (stay under two tablespoons) to cut calories. Even better, use a low-fat dressing or switch to a vinaigrette. And leave off the croutons! As for dips, try hummus instead of sour cream or cheesy options to top vegetables.
Make Smart Food Substitutions. Substitutions make it easy to cut calories and enjoy your favorite food: Use skim milk instead of 2 percent; buy wheat crackers instead of butter crackers; choose cereal instead of pop tarts; replace a bagel with an English muffin; order chicken grilled instead of crispy; cook with lean ground turkey breast instead of ground turkey meat; and enjoy yogurt instead of ice cream. This approach can be adapted to any cuisine — if you love Chinese food, have your mu shu chicken with lettuce wraps instead of pancakes.
Drink Responsibly. Alcohol can be another source of hidden calories. For health reasons as well as a way to cut calories, women should have no more than one drink a day, while men should stop at two. Both a 5-ounce glass of wine and 1.5-ounce serving of distilled spirits have 100 calories each, while a 12-ounce beer has 150 calories. Decrease alcohol intake by one drink and there goes 100 calories right there.