Chances are you have heard some of these suggestions before. But just because you have heard them, doesn’t mean you are actually doing them! Take a good hard look at what you are currently doing and decide where you can slash some calories. Some of these are easy as long as you are committed!
1. Quit drinking your calories. This includes milk, juice, alcohol, sweetened tea and coffee with sugar and cream. You’re quenching thirst with added calories.
2. Eat more often. That’s right, if you are going too long in between meals, you are probably overly hungry and eating too much.
3. Switch to leaner proteins. Poultry or fish instead of red meat. Skim or low fat milk and dairy instead of whole. Beans, legumes, nuts and seeds work well too!
4. Add in produce. Every time you eat, make sure it includes a fruit or vegetable. This will add volume and bulk without all the calories.
5. Go veg. Try to make two lunches and two dinners each week vegetarian. Meats can be high in calories, especially for the portion sizes that we currently eat. Case in point, 8 oz. of salmon (the size of fillet you would buy or order eating out) is 440 calories.
7. Use lower calorie condiments. Try mustard, ketchup, canola or olive oil based mayonnaise, vinegar, light oil based dressings, worcestershire sauce, light soy sauce, hot sauce, lemon/lime juice, horseradish, salsa, relish, herbs and spices for added flavor without the calories. Order all condiments on the side when eating out.
8. Downsize. Use mini-bagels, pre-portioned yogurts, cheese or ice cream bars, order half size entrees or salads at restaurants and choose smaller fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. Look for easy ways to watch portions.
9. Ditch the sugar. Look for unsweetened or lower sugar fruits, cereals, granola bars, condiments, etc.
10. Leave 3 bites on your plate. You don’t have to finish it! And by starting with 3, you will realize that it is possible.
11. Go fresh. Eat the whole food instead of the processed version: an apple instead of applesauce, chicken breast instead of the chicken nugget, plain yogurt instead of flavored yogurts.
12. Bake lighter. Anytime you are baking, cut sugar by 1/2 and fat by 1/3 and you will still get good results.
13. Eat for volume. Start your meal with a broth based soup or a large salad. This will fill you up without adding calories.
14. Get adequate sleep. If you aren’t sleeping 7-8 hours at night, your Leptin hormone level may be lower resulting in weight gain. You’re also awake more hours, which means more hours to eat!
16. Eat at home. Meals eaten at home are much lower in calories, fat and sodium and higher in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.
17. Be picky. If you don’t like it, don’t eat it! Make sure it is worth it.
18. Be assertive. Don’t be afraid to order food the way you want it. Some examples: order meats grilled “dry” (without butter or oil), steamed veggies without butter, ask for whole grain options and order condiments on the side.
19. Be mindful. Quit nibbling on dinner before you eat it. Don’t take bites out of your kids’ food. Take the long walk around the office avoiding the candy dish.
20. Eat breakfast! Studies show you will eat less overall by starting with a healthy, balanced breakfast.