Cutting Calories in your Diet
Looking to cut calories from your daily diet? Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you need to stop eating the foods you love.
From reducing portion sizes to changing the way you cook (perhaps using one of the healthiest grills), there are plenty of simple ways to reduce your calorie intake. It’s all about making a few small tweaks here and there.
But why would you want to cut calories? If you’re on a weight loss mission, calories are key. You can do all the exercises in the world, but if you’re still consuming more than you burn, you won’t lose weight.
Of course, the number of calories you burn per day varies from person to person. You may be wondering how many calories you should be eating in a day, and there is a simple formula to solve this problem.
Once you’ve finished eating your calories, you might want to consider tracking everything you eat on a calorie counter app like MyFitnessPal. Doing this for just two weeks can help you notice where the bulk of your calories are coming from, and where you can make a few small changes to get some of those calories off the head.
1. Roast instead of frying
Frying is a healthy way to prepare food. It basically involves using a shallow frying pan over high heat, with – crucially – a relatively small amount of oil or fat.
Frying food requires much less oil than frying, and as a result you can save calories.
In addition, frying foods can create Trans fats that can increase bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and decrease good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol).
So switching to frying not only cuts calories, but also promotes good health. Too much bad cholesterol can lead to a buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries, which the British Heart Foundation says can lead to a stroke or even a heart attack.
2. Choose vegetable sauces over creamy sauces
Choosing vegetable sauces instead of creamy sauces is another way to help reach 5 servings a day and reduce your total calorie intake.
Tomato-based sauces usually contain around 50 calories per 100 grams and creamy white sauces have around 125 calories per 100 grams.
So, if your mission is to cut calories, ditch the carbonara sauce for now and go for the tomato-based marinara sauce instead.
3. Vegetable filling
Speaking of veggies, it’s time to load up on your next supermarket trip. Why? Vegetables usually contain few calories but provide plenty of volume.
As Hope explains: “Ensuring that half of your plate is full of non-starchy vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, kale, spinach, tomatoes and peppers is a great way to load up on fiber, keeping you full for longer without adding extra calories to your meal.
4. OPT DIY Ice Cream
Like sauces, ice cream is another food that homemade is even better – and it’s very easy to make!
“Ice cream can have about 150 calories and 15 grams of sugar per 100 grams,” says Hope, who recommends making your own healthy version to save calories.
By mixing yogurt with fresh berries in your best blender and then freezing them, you can save a third of the calories. In addition, this mixture contains less sugar.
Yogurt is also a rich source of protein, while berries are full of antioxidants to help support immune function as well.
5. Add protein to every meal
If you’re a fan of pasta with sauce, it’s time to mix things up. Protein has a much higher satiety value than fat and carbs, so if you want to resist snacking later in the day, make sure you include a good portion of protein at every meal.
Examples of good protein include lean meats (see below) such as chicken, turkey, fish, tofu, tempeh, beans and legumes, as well as eggs.
So how much protein do you need? The average person needs about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, and a healthy portion of protein is usually the size of the palm of your hand. However, if you do exercise regularly — especially resistance exercise — you may need more to help your muscles repair and grow.
6. Eat fruits and vegetables instead of drinking them
If you start your day with homemade fruit juice, you may be missing out on valuable nutrients and consuming more than you would by eating the ingredients.
Consuming whole fruit increases satiety due to the fiber content, which means you’ll consume less than if you threw all the fruit into the juicer. This was supported by a 2009 study, which confirmed that solid fruit affects satiety more than pureed fruit or juice.
Try adding chopped fruit to your morning porridge or cereal to help ensure you get all five important servings of fruits and vegetables each day.