Here are 21 easy ways to cut calories so you can lose weight and learn more portion control.
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If your goal is to lose weight rapidly, then it’s crucial to control your calories. The success of your weight loss journey depends on your ability to cut calories on a daily basis. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to cut calories from your daily meals!
Cutting calories to lose weight doesn’t have to be difficult! Try these easy strategies to cut calories, one meal at a time:
21 Easy Ways to Cut Calories
Count Your Calories
The easiest way to start cutting your calories is to simply count them. You can download a number of free apps to help with counting your calories or join me on WW (Weight Watchers) by clicking HERE for my referral link.
WW takes the guesswork out of calorie counting and helps teach you portion control. You’re still able to eat your favorite foods as long as you can stick to your allotted points but the big thing is learning how much is too much and sticking to it.
Weigh or Measure Your Food
Cutting calories to lose weight is all about learning portions. Weighing with a scale and measuring your food is the best way to cut calories by eating the serving size.
It’s important to read labels on products and be aware of the serving size.
By counting the number of items in a serving, you can control your calories. This is easier with items such as crackers or other solid foods. For other foods, measure out an approximate serving size as noted on the label.
Use Less Sauce and Dressing
Salad dressings and extra toppings can add 200 or more calories to your meal! And don’t forget about the fat content.
Once you add dressing, croutons, bacon, and other toppings, you sabotage what could be a healthy, low-calorie, side dish or meal.
Avoid Creamy Sauces and Dressings
For pasta dishes, opt for a tomato based sauce. Same goes for salads. Skip the creamy ranch or chunky blue cheese and opt for a balsamic vinaigrette.
Coffee Drinkers: Reduce Those Extras
When I first started on WW, my morning coffee was 12 points. Daily. Yikes.
I knew it was going to be hard to switch my morning coffee up, but I switched to a sugar free creamer and use a no calorie sweetener instead of sugar.
If you’re adding creamer, sugar and any other kind of toppings to your coffee you should try and cut out the high cal/high fat items.
You can reduce hundreds of calories by eliminating sugar and other “extras” in your coffee. You may want to try low-calorie flavorings or stick to simple black coffee with no sugar.
Watch What You Drink
From fruit juices to alcohol, I try to do my best to avoid drinking my calories!
Limit cocktails. Alcohol has a high number of calories, and juices or other additives can make it even higher. You don’t want these empty calories if you’re trying to lose weight fast!
Opt for Small Desserts
If you have a sweet tooth like myself, opt for sweet fruits like apples or strawberries.
Consider miniature desserts. It’s hard for me to avoid craving sweets when I am trying to cut back but everything in moderation right!?
Add More Veggies to Every Meal
Bulk up your meals by adding veggies to your plate. This will help you cutback on that higher calorie food.
Drink a Glass of Water Before Eating
Something I do before every meal is drink a cup of water. This will help me feel fuller and prevent me from overeating or going for seconds.
Have a Low Calorie Appetizer
Starting your meal with a salad or soup is a great way to start filling up so you don’t overindulge on your meal. You can reduce your calorie intake by 20% just by starting off with a low cal soup or salad.
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Cook Your Own Food
Food prepared by a restaurant can have so many hidden calories! Prepare your own food to control your portion sizes and any cooking oils you may use.
Eat More Protein
Add more protein at every meal to help stay fuller for longer and avoid all that extra snacking in between meals.
Swap Out Fries for Vegetables
Most restaurants will swap out fries for steamed veggies or even a side salad. Heck, McDonald’s even offers that option! Swap out for veggies or a side salad any chance you get.
Say No to the Bun
I love bread.
Removing the bun could save about 160 calories! Even for sandwiches, opt to eat just one slice to cut out some extra calories and eat the sandwich open face.
Healthy treats can still be loaded with calories. It’s important to remember that even healthy foods need to be eaten in moderation.
You really have to read labels if you’re eating processed or packaged foods that claim to be healthy. These foods may not be as healthy as they claim, and they may have a great deal of calories.
Don’t Clean Your Plate
Your parents may have taught you that it’s healthy to be part of the clean plate club and eat everything in front of you. However, you’re an adult now and you don’t have to eat your entire plate of food.
It’s more important to pay attention to your body and stop eating when you feel full. I still have to tell myself it’s okay to stop eating!
When Eating Out, Take Half Home!
I’ve recently put this into practice and it’s a great trick to not overindulge while eating at a restaurant PLUS leftovers.
Read Your Labels
Check your labels for portion size, calories, fat, sugars and carbs.
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Eat Your Fruits!
I feel like everyone loves a smoothie (except me) but eating your fruits over drinking your fruits is actually better. your body metabolizes the drink differently than actually eating the fruit. Click here for more info on how fruit changes when blended.
Pizza Lovers: Go for Thin Crust
If you have kids, pizza is probably a go-to when you want to order out. Opt for the thin crust to save some calories but still indulge in the dinner treat.
No Food After 8pm
Where are my late night snackers at? :raises hand:
Once the kids are in bed, I’m suddenly hungry like I forgot to eat all day long.
News Flash: I never forget to eat and I’m thinking about my next meal while eating.
I stopped eating so late to avoid those extra calories that I truly didn’t even need. I drink water to help feel full and see how my body reacts. If I am still ravenous a half hour later after drinking my water, I opt for some fruit or something incredibly small.
You can lose weight and have a healthier diet by watching your calories. Cutting calories doesn’t have to be a difficult or annoying process. Eliminate the highest-calorie culprits and enjoy most items in moderation and you’ll see the pounds start to disappear.
What are some easy ways you have cut calories?