Top 10 Ways to Cut Calories

It’s common knowledge that to lose weight, one must burn off more calories than they take in.  People get encouraged often to “cut” calories out of their day.  However, sometimes people do not know where to cut these extra calories.  For starters, take a look at this list:

  1. Eat smaller portions
  2. Add vegetables
  3. Limit snack foods
  4. Drink more water
  5. Drink less sugary beverages
  6. Drink more water
  7. Eat at home more often
  8. Eat more grilled foods
  9. Limit desserts
  10. Limit fried foods

If you have more questions on how to lose weight, or these fail, consult a dietitian.  They are trained to identify extra calories and suggest alternatives.  Did I miss any? Share your favorite ways to cut calories in the comments below!  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

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Switch Out The Saturated Fat

This post is the second in a series of 10 called “10 Simple Steps to Make Good Habits More Delicious”

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that we limit our intake of saturated fats.  These fats come from animal products such as milk, meat, and butter.  A diet high in saturated fats has been linked to cardiovascular disease and other illnesses.  Therefore, these guidelines recommend that Americans replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats.  Unsaturated fats are from vegetable products and are usually in their oils.  

Eating a diet that has less then 10% of their calories from saturated fats has been found to lower your risk for cardiovascular disease.  A diet with less than 7% of calories from saturated fats have an even better impact on cardiovascular health.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines also recommend Americans to limit their trans fat consumption as close to 0 as possible.  Trans fat can be found in butter spreads, some fried foods, and some packaged foods.  Avoid any food that includes :hydrogenated oil” in the ingredient list.

You may be asking, so how do I switch from saturated fats to more unsaturated fats?

Switch from……………………………………To

High fat meats                                      more lean meats

Butter                                                    tub margarine or vegetable oil

Ice cream                                              frozen yogurt

Whole milk                                            skim milk

Mayonnaise                                          low fat mayonnaise

Regular cream cheese                         low fat cream cheese

 As Always, Trust Your Gut!

How Much Of A Problem Are Sugar Sweetened Beverages?

It’s becoming more and more evident that drinking sugar sweetened beverages regularly are tied to increased weight and risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, etc.  But, are they the REAL problem?

Sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) are any drinks with sugar added into them.  These include soda pop, sweetened iced tea, lemonades, fruit punches, etc.  These drinks are high in calories and taste very sweet.  They contain mostly sugar, and not much else.  

I’ll be honest, I enjoy a sugar sweetened beverage as much as anyone.  They are refreshing, tasty, and are sometimes more appetizing than unsweetened tap water.  I do drink them from time to time.  Like I said in one of my earlier posts, no food is inherently “good” or “bad”. 

So, what’s the catch?  These drinks are packed with sugar and calories.  They do not fill you up as much as normal food, so you drink more.  Here’s the real problem: we drink WAY too many SSBs.

Soda pop was introduced in the 1950s in only 6.5 ounce bottles.  The prevalence of weight gain and diabetes back then were nowhere near where they are today.  Now, we can buy them in 12 ounce cans, big gulps, and 20 ounce, 1 liter, and 2 liter bottles.  Restaurant chains even offer small, medium, large, and extra large drinks.  Even the small drinks are 12-16 ounces of soda pop!  I have met people who drink a 2 liter of soda pop each and every day,

So, what can we do?  I’m not going to tell you to give up these drinks entirely.  Giving up something we like is very difficult.  But, we can definitely cut down on them.  I think these drinks should be reserved to only special occasions.  But, I can’t ask you to do that.  How about switching out a can a day for some water?  That would instantly cut 250 calories from your day.  Remember, small changes make a difference in a year!

As always, trust your gut!