Did You Know… That often it is only a matter of 100 extra calories a day that can cause you to gain weight steady over time. When people are watching their weight they are keen to cut out some of the more obvious foods that trip you up during weight loss like desserts and fatty foods. But it is often something small like adding too much cream in your coffee daily, adding too much salad dressing or having a heavy hand when using cooking oil that can push your calorie budget an extra 50, 100, 200, calories a day. Over time those sneaky calories can really add up to pounds on the scale.
Shaving a few calories here and there is a great way to reduce overall intake. These tricks are so simple and easy, you’ll never know what you’re missing.
While healthy food choices are key, it’s also important to eat the right amount of food. Cutting calories is one easy way to stop weight gain. 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.
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. This is one of the easiest ways to cut calories. Just one tablespoon of oil has 120 calories.
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. Even though they seems harmless, these low-calorie drinks can still add up. Most bottles are 16 ounces, and if you drink five bottles per day, that 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.
In baking, substitute applesauce for the oil in the recipe. That could save much more than just 100 calories. When possible , leave out the oil entirely. By using a nonstick pan can prevent sticking and will not affect the taste.
Portion Size Counts
With supersized everything 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. Read the nutritional panel on the package to find out how many servings are actually in one portion. You may be surprised to find out that one bagel can be up to four servings not one based on weight.
Learn to Say “No Thanks”
Cut the cheese from your sandwich. 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. Skip the bread or dinner roll to help keep calories under control.
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. 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.