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Health and Fitness News

Calorie Cutting Made Easy

Simple ways to cut calories.

Anyone trying to lose weight is conscious of calories. Whether you inspect nutrition labels, track calories with a fitness app, or just mentally obsess about calories, those tiny units of energy plays a big role in weight loss. Creating a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories than you burn is your key to losing weight. While diet and exercise are both a part of healthy weight loss, it’s a lot easier to cut calories than it is to burn them.

But you don’t have to make cutting calories more difficult than it has to be. Try these simple suggestions to reduce your calorie intake.

Watch What You Drink

Liquid calories are easy to overlook. Too easy. Soda, lemonade, sweet tea, alcohol, energy drinks, and sweetened coffee drinks are often extremely high in calories. Sip on them throughout the day or gulp them at mealtime, and you’ll drink down hundreds of empty calories. Instead, swap these drinks for water or unsweetened tea and you’ll feel just as full without piling on the calories.

Use a Smaller Plate

Sometimes your eyes are bigger than your stomach, and large portion sizes make it easy to overdo it on calories. By choosing a smaller dinner plate, you’ll force yourself to eat less food, but the empty plate will tell your brain that you’re full. Better yet, don’t even eat everything on your smaller plate to cut more calories. And after finishing a meal, wait at least five minutes to determine if you actually need seconds.

Go Easy on the Sauce

Just as you can pile on calories with your drinks, there are a lot of calories in sauces, dips, dressings, and spreads. Just one tablespoon of mayonnaise adds 60 calories. Two tablespoons of salad dressing can pile on 130 calories. Ask for sauces and dressings on the side and use them sparingly.

Eat Mindfully

Distracted or rushed eating is a common cause of overeating. Reduce the number of calories you consume by chewing slowly and savoring each bite. Put down your fork or spoon between each bite, eat with your non-dominant hand, or talk more than usual at the dinner table. You’ll give your brain to realize when you’re full, and you’ll eat less as a result.

Also, stay mindful of how much you’re eating by not eating in front of the television or while on your phone.

Eat More Protein

The quantity of food you eat isn’t all that matters. Quality is also important. Many low-calorie foods are also low in nutrients, protein, and fiber. This means you have to eat more to feel satisfied. A better tactic is to fill up on healthy foods that are high in protein and fiber. These foods fill you up because they take longer to digest, boost your metabolism because they’re harder to digest, and provide long-lasting energy so you eat fewer calories throughout the day. Make it your goal to include a source of protein and fiber at each meal and snack.

Make Simple Swaps

You can cut calories and still eat foods that taste good and fill you up. Instead of potato chips, choose air-popped popcorn. When a recipe calls for sour cream, use plain low-fat yogurt instead. Select tomato-based sauces over cream sauces. Instead of thick crust pizza, go for the thin crust piled with veggies rather than processed meats. Choose grilled meats over fried. Use skim milk instead of whole or two percent. Rather than a cookie or brownie, eat a small piece of dark chocolate. These small choices add up to big calorie savings.

Drink More Water

Plain or flavored, water may be your secret weapon to weight loss. Drinking water instead of high-sugar drinks could save you hundreds of calories a day. Thirst is often confused with feelings of hunger, so sip on water throughout the day. People who drink a glass of water before each meal eat fewer calories.