Here are some easy, almost mindless ways to shave calories all day long–and shed a few extra pounds as a result!
Research shows that you eat about 60 fewer calories per meal when you slow down your pace. Apply this strategy for three meals a day, and you’ll almost certainly see a dip on the scale. Take smaller bites, chew your food thoroughly, sip water throughout meals, and join in on the conversation if you’re dining with friends or family.
Start Dinner with a “Veggie First Course”
Beginning dinner with a non-starchy veggie (like a bowl of broth-based vegetable soup, a large tossed salad with low-cal dressing, or something as simple as a sliced cucumber or handful of baby carrots) can slash your dinner calories by 20 percent!
That’s because this vegetable first course is loaded with fiber and water, so it fills up your belly and quickly starts to curb your appetite….making it likely that you’ll eat less of your main entrée.
Slim Down Your Coffee Order
If you switch from half-and-half and three sugar packets to skim milk and one sugar, you’ll save over 27,000 calories (and potentially lose up to 8 pounds) in the course of a year!
Brown Bag Your Lunch
During the work week, commit to brown-bagging your lunch every day instead of ordering out. When you prepare meals at home, you’re in control not only of what you’re serving, but also of portion size. Save calories by using slimming ingredients like low-fat mayo, reduced-calorie salad dressing, low-cal bread options (like 100-calorie sandwich thins), and reduced-fat cheese, and by bulking up your meal with plenty of vegetables. By making lunch at home, you can easily shave 200 to 400 calories off your daily total.
Eat Your Sandwiches Open-Faced, And Lose The Top Slice Of Bread
Each and every sandwich you devour will be 100 calories lighter! That means, if you’re a daily sandwich eater, at the end of the month you’ll save your waistline 30 slices of bread and a whopping 3000 calories!
Make the TV Room a “No Eating” Zone
It’s incredibly easy to polish off a whole bag of chips or entire row of cookies when you’re mindlessly snacking while watching television. TV keeps you distracted, so you’re less apt to listen to your body’s fullness cues and keep portions in check. If you train yourself to eat only while sitting down at the table (without a computer or a TV playing in the background), you’ll be more in tune with your body and more in control of your food intake.
Fight Cravings With Nail Polish?!
Ladies, when you get a case of the munchies, distract yourself by giving your nails a manicure (even if it’s just a fresh coat of clear polish). Once they’re perfectly painted, you won’t want to smudge wet nails by reaching for a handful of chips or cookies. By the time the polish has dried, chances are your urge to snack will have subsided.
Enjoy “Unfried” Classics
Fried foods can soak up tons of oil (which equates to tons of calories)…and many are coated in breading first, which jacks up the numbers even more. Traditional, fried eggplant and chicken parmesan are calorie bombs, but you can make a slim, guilt-free version using grilled eggplant or chicken topped with marinara sauce and reduced-fat mozzarella cheese. Instead of ordering greasy, deep-fried French fries at a restaurant, make oven-roasted fries at home using sweet or white potatoes and a bit of oil spray. Your baked fries will have less than half the calories and wayyy less fat!
Swap Pasta for Spaghetti Squash
Swap calorie- and carb-heavy spaghetti noodles or other pasta with spaghetti squash, which has a similar texture and appearance but a fraction of the calories, thanks to its low starch and high water content. Toss with your favorite low-cal sauce, like marinara. You can save up to 500 calories per pasta dinner every time you make this slimming substitution.