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Tips on Cutting Calories 2010-01-21 10:00:11

Speak Up: Tips on Cutting Calories

With 2010 in full swing, many of us have jumped feet first into healthier lifestyles to slim down. Aside from regular exercise, getting portions under control during meal and snack times is a great way to reduce our calorie intake and help the scale budge.

I'm sure many of you have tips tucked away in your healthy tool belt for cutting calories, such as using skim milk in your coffee instead of cream or lemon juice instead of salad dressing. Although you may save only a few calories here and there, those little bits really add up and can help you get lean. Help other FitSugar readers meet their weight loss goals by sharing your calorie-cutting tips below.

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Advah Advah 7 years
Everything counts: that extra spoonful of sugar here, that half cookie there. If you want a treat, better have it than not if you're then going to eat little bits left and right several times a day, thinking they "don't count". I also noticed I sometimes add sugar (or salt) out of habit - recently realised that coffee without sugar can taste good (I'm a three spoonful in a mug-person). Re meals, start by eating the vegetables/salad before any snack or the rest of the meal. I realised I'm most of the time almost full and don't eat the rest of my dish (then start packing up smaller portions). It's crazy how much we eat without being actually hungry (which probably says something very sad about our way of life).
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
1. Stay busy so you won't eat out of boredom. 2. No empty carbs. 3. Extravagantly huge salads, made with an extravagant variety of vegetables. 4. Protein! 5. Always leave a little room for red wine and dark chocolate.
Dbaby Dbaby 7 years
As a licensed nutritionist, here are my favorite tips: eat a HUGE, whole grain breakfast of steel cut oats with raw nuts, berries, cinnamon and a bit of honey. You won't be hungry again until after 2pm. Eat real food. Unprocessed. If you eat right 85% of the time, 15% of the time you can eat whatever you want. AND you will feel better, AND you will be healthier. (don't drink your calories is fantastic, btw. Well done, ladies.)
Clairecsm Clairecsm 7 years
I make my own dressing using lot's of mustard, balsamic/cider/rice or fig vinagar salt and pepper. it takes 10 seconds to make and it's thick and creamy so you feel like your having real dressing but it's good for you : )
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
Balsamic vinegar instead of salad dressing, and only a very light splash. One egg omelets instead of two eggs, and pad it out with veggies. Green tea instead of unhealthy snacks. I also don't eat meat when I have carbs (like pasta or bread) in the same meal, usually my lunches are vegetarian while my dinners have meat w veg. If I gotta snack a little can of tuna will last me all afternoon. ADZUKI BEANS!
mermaidlocks mermaidlocks 7 years
Okay I have a lot.. 1. is my new best friend, and seriously I am not kidding you have to check this puppy out! First it will calculate your BMI, and ask you a couple questions: your weekly weight loss goal such as 1, 1.5, or 2 lbs (which is the healthy way) or if you just want to maintain your current weight, then your activity level. This magic gadget then will come up with your new daily caloric goal, and then you can start inputting your eats for the day, along with your fitness which can even be just working a desk or cleaning the house. It will honestly change your life, it helps you understand everything and is great if you are going out to eat because it breaks down your nutrition for the day and you can see what you are missing, like your fiber, or even fat intake. I definitely would recommend this to anybody, even if your like me and doing it for a disease and making sure you're getting adequate nutrients! Next, great tips and tricks on snacks and deserts, well I want to bring up air popped home made popcorn which is AHH-MAZING! It is literally 15 calories,no fat per cup popped and is very versatile because if you want something sweet add some Pam(my trick) right after you pop it and then add some cinnomin and your favorite zero calorie sweetener! Or, you can be craving some spice so again Pam, then pepper flakes (which boost metabolism!) and even some course sea salt, can you say YUMMY! Air popped popcorn is one of my vices, and it's so easy, plus it has fiber and you can eat a bunch! Another favorite of mine is a new friend, and it's Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride hot tea by Celestial Seasonings and it taste exactly like a holiday sugar cookie but it's sinless!! I add some nut milk, or skim if you prefer, then my favorite liquid vanilla stevia and it is divine! It honestly is the perfect desert, and fills me up on basically no calories depending on your milk, double bonus! Now onto another sweet treat, which is Homemade Sinless Hot Cocoa, which I got from my good friend Averie at and it contains Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, hot water, and some of your favorite sweetener! You can also add some milk if you want to make it a little creamer, but it is honestly great without it and it comes to about 20 calories, no fat(without milk)!! You can get the unsweetened cocoa powder at your local grocer, and it last forever since you only new 1-2 tbsp depending on how chocolaty you want it, and your favorite sweetener then add your hot water and mix! Now my last, but not least favorite tip, is! It has hundreds of yoga workouts, that you can play right on your laptop for a morning yoga that will center you throughout your day, or when you just don't feel like the gym. The workouts are great, and some have ratings to help decide, plus the 20 min sessions are free and then you can also pay a couple dollars for 60 or 90 min sessions! I am addicted to them, and they even have some meditation! Okay, I have some other tips, such as looking at my favorite blogs that have great meals and workout tips too! My Favs are: also another great ab workout to add to your daily gym session is whittle my middle, and you can find it here: Hope these help!
Jemma84 Jemma84 7 years
Awesome tips! I do many of these things, but I'm trying to get into measuring portions, and making an extra effort to watch my sodium and sugar intake. Also, I ALWAYS order a broth-based soup as an appetizer when going out to eat. By the time the entree arrived, the soup has had time to satiate me enough that I don't rush and overeat. Miso is my fav and it's very low in calories. Another going out to eat trick-- my bf and I like tapas or mezze places. We order a few small plates and share everything. Taking more time to savor each dish and making an experience out of trying smaller bites of more dishes keeps me from overeating. :)
kelkooshoes kelkooshoes 7 years
mek123 mek123 7 years
All of my tips have already been listed above but most important to me is portion size and journaling EVERY bite. I've lost 20 lbs since mid-Sept.
thatgirljj thatgirljj 7 years
First off, I measure stuff. That's the best way to really control your portions. I have a kitchen scale handy for meats and use my measuring cups and spoons as scoops. Honestly, my cooking tastes better if I measure properly. Beyond that, having a cup of veggie soup or light salad helps fill out meals so they're more satisfying. And I always try to fill up on high protein and high fiber foods, they keep you feeling full longer.
tuliprush tuliprush 7 years
1. Use a food journal - I created one on excel where I have a column for the calories, carbs, protein and fat content to list next to the item. I have this for the breakfast/lunch/snack/dinner columns. Then to the right, I created a formula to give me the sums. I use this to plan (a rough estimate) of my meals for the week, which I do every Sunday. This allows me to look at the column of totals and say "Hmm, my protein seems low that day, and I know I'm doing strength training. Let's adjust" 2. Eat a big breakfast right when you wake up - My breakfasts are around 400-500 calories. NEVER do I have a breakfast under 400 calories. This really helps keep me going until lunch and feeling alert and satisfied. I eat breakfast within 20 mins of getting up, and while I have 4 staple breakfasts that I alternate every day to add variety, my FAVORITE is a protein smoothie, which I do on weight lifting days: 1 cup milk 1 scoop unflavored protein powder 1 tbsp peanut butter 1 tbsp wheat germ 140 grams of fruit (This is where I alternate. I'll do a banana, or a half banana & some strawberry/blueberry combo, some peaches, etc. You get the idea) 3. When you feel like snacking on something that you know is bad for you, get up and go for a walk. If you're not hungry, and it's out of boredom, the walk should distract you.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Those are all great tips. I have a few to add-- 1) I make my own salad dressing using oil and vinegar and keep it in a squirt bottle. Then I 'mist' it onto my salad so I only use a little bit. It's better than using fat free dressing. 2) I'll often have coffee for dessert instead of an actual piece of cake or something. I put a little bit of creamer and Splenda in it and it tastes like one of those Starbucks coffee drinks. It usually satisfies my dessert cravings for only a few calories. 3) I'm really careful about what I drink--no froofy mixed drinks because they usually have a LOT of sugar in them. I like to mix half a shot of vodka into a Fanta Zero or Fresca and sprinkle in a pack of Crystal Light To Go (I like fruit punch). I pour it over crushed ice and it's kind of like a margarita.
kaylei-h kaylei-h 7 years
I always use Cool Whip Free when I am craving Ice Cream. I just take the tub and throw it into the freezer, and after a few hours - Walah! - It's essentially ice cream with 15 calories for 2 tbspns!
imLissy imLissy 7 years
I chew sugar free gum after meals when I crave something sweet instead of eating candy or cookies.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
Switch from nonfat milk to almond milk. One cup of regular nonfat milk has 100 calories, but there's only 60 calories in a cup of almond milk, and it tastes much richer.
filmgirl81 filmgirl81 7 years
I definitely follow a lot of the tips already posted. When we go out for veggie burgers, I eat them with just mustard, and one bun. I try to avoid a ton of bread filler. One of my favorite low cal snacks is fat free fage yogurt with a bit on onion soup mix in it. I use it as a veggie dip. It has the protein and nutrients I need, esp being a vegetarian.
katyharper katyharper 7 years
Keeping up with what you eat in a food journal helps so you can track any extra calories you're taking in. And a big thing that helps me is to try to eat slower. I tend to inhale my food, but if I take time to eat it, I realize I'm full faster.
Zulkey Zulkey 7 years
I more try to add low-calorie foods to my high calorie food to bulk up. Like I made a sausage/bean/crouton/asparagus dish from Smitten Kitchen but put it on a bed of spinach. Other than that, I just try to reduce the amount of butter/oil in a recipe so I still get flavor but save about a hundred calories.
siúcra-gaelach siúcra-gaelach 7 years
that pie trick sounds so yummy! i have been incorporating more soup into my diet. i like broth-based soups with beans for protein and fiber, and i sneak in veggies that i wouldn't normally eat (like peas). it's important to get a soup that's low sodium though, otherwise it is not as healthy as it sounds. portion control is huge! i had to learn what 3 oz of chicken looked like, and at restaurants and at home i was sometimes eating 3 times this size! i love to fill up a huge part of my plate with salad - that really helps. i also love to bring my food to work in cute containers. prepping everything the night before makes leaving for work in the morning a breeze. and i know it sounds obvious, but using measuring cups for food has also helped a lot - now i know i am eating 1/2 cup instead of eyeballing it (and my eyeballs are a lot bigger than my stomach!).
ticamorena ticamorena 7 years
Although I agree with all the above comments, and in general support people trying to cut calories from their diet for health reasons, I also feel that if you're having to cut calories from your food, you should change your general approach/attitude to diet. I managed to really reduce the number of calories I ate by re-evaluating my philosophy to food. Anyhow, some tips are: precede and end each and every meal, snack, etc with a peice of fruit or raw veg, my faves are carrots, apples, mandarins, pears, fresh dates, broccoli, bell peppers etc; replace half of every meal portion with salad leaves -whatever it was that you were going to eat, halve your portion, then fill up the plate with baby leaf spinach, or lettuce, anything that is raw, and has no dressing. Start learning to love chilli - it fires up your metabolism and generally does not suit creamy, cheesy foods/ sauces, so you'll eat less of those.
laellavita laellavita 7 years
i agree with not drinking your calories! the only exception i make is the VERY occasional all fruit smoothie from jamba juice, but i stick it in the freezer and make it last for hourrrsss. otherwise, if i want apple juice, i eat an apple and i drink my green tea without any sugar or even artificial sweetener. also, i know they're a little more expensive but buying the little 1 oz bars of good quality dark chocolate means i don't have to exert will power over the whole bar - it's already portioned out for me. i also do the basalmic vinegar instead of a vinaigrette trick, and if i want scrambled eggs, i cook them in a tupperware in the microwave with the vegetables -- no need for even a cooking spray!
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