Eat more calories than you need and you’ll pile on the pounds. Eat just 100 less than you need each day and you’ll lose 10lbs a year without really noticing that you’re eating less. Here are 10 ways to easily reduce calories without starving yourself.
1. Read labels before you buy
You’ll be astounded at how many calories some foods contain. Don’t just check out the amount per 1oz or per 100g but the amount the whole package contains and think about how much of it you would normally eat. Then decide whether to leave it on the shelves or take it home to add to your waistline.
2. Use low fat dairy foods
Choosing low fat does not always reduce calories. Many foods are pumped with sugar or thickeners to make up for the lack of fat. However, low fat dairy products do usually offer substantial calorie reduction over their full-fat counterparts and, with most, there is little difference in taste or texture. This was not always the case. If it’s a while since you tried low fat cheese for example you’ll find it much improved!
3. Eat more vegetables
Instead of making meat the main event in your meal pile your plate high with veggies or salad. In general you should be looking to fill at least half your plate with these. Add vegetables to soups and stews to increase bulk without adding much to the calorie count. Stir fries and curries are also great for making a little meat and a lot of vegetables into a delicious meal.
4. Watch your portion sizes
Take note of the serving size on packaging and follow the guidelines by measuring out your food. Take care especially with snack foods and baked goods. Take a serving size out of the packet and put the rest away. For home cooked meals, a piece of meat should be about the size of a standard deck of cards not half an ox and a meal (excluding any separate servings of vegetables or salad) should be about the size of two clenched fists. You can always have more veggies if that doesn’t fill you up.
5. Eat at home
Restaurants and fast food places make it their business to get you to eat more food than you really need. That’s how they make their money after all. Instead, eat fast simple food at home. You can control what you serve. You can control how you prepare it. You can control your portion sizes. When you eat at home you choose exactly what and how much you eat.
6. When you do go out
Choose restaurants which serve healthy food and choose the healthiest dishes you can find on the menu or ask for something healthy to be prepared for you. You can request a smaller portion or a kid’s size or eat a couple of starters instead of a massive main course. Choose dishes prepared under the grill and with tomato-based rather than cream-based sauces. If you must have something sweet after your meal have coffee and a chocolate or two in place of dessert.
7. Cut down on alcohol
There are a huge number empty calories in alcoholic drinks. If you drink a lot it can really pile on the pounds. And then as often as not you’ll end up snacking on peanuts or other high calorie nibbles along with your drink. A huge added danger with alcohol is that it lowers your inhibitions, mysteriously dissolving your willpower and making healthy eating the last thing on your mind.
8. Choose your snacks with care
It makes sense to eat something about every three hours so that you don’t get too hungry and make poor food choices at meals, grabbing a hamburger and fries because you let yourself go too long without eating. But choose your snacks wisely because those calories can mount up. It’s best to snack on fruit or chopped vegetables if you can or maybe a cracker or two and not overload on calories with potato snacks and chocolate.
9. Cooking not baking
There’s nothing like a baking session for piling on the pounds is there? Because you never bake just for others or eat just one serving do you? Turn your culinary talents to serving up delicious healthy main meals instead. Take pride in your fantastic lunches and dinners and not in your double-choc chip cookie recipe.
10. Plan your food
Use low-calorie and healthy cookbooks to plan your food with care each week before you go shopping. You’ll be less tempted by food you don’t need in the shops if you have a list and as you’ll know exactly what’s for dinner each evening, you won’t ever have to send out for pizza!
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