This article is dedicated to “those” people. I am one of “those” people. I’m the person who orders dressing on the side. I don’t drink soda, my fridge is full of produce, and I haven’t eaten a King size candy bar in….well, ever. I’m the person who’s conscious of what I eat and try to make good healthy decisions… most of the time. If you are like me, one of “those” people, than this article is for you.
If you are looking to lose a little weight or trim off some fat, you probably already know that cutting back on calories can be helpful. But where the problem lies is if you’re already super conscious about what you eat, you might think there are not many places left to cut back and still enjoy your food. After doing some internet searches on ways to cut 100 calories from your diet and finding the same old, boring advice, I decided to take pen to paper, and share what I came up with when I started thinking about where I could cut back on my already calorie-conscious diet. Hopefully a few of these innovative tips apply to you and you can use them when trying to follow a lower calorie weight-loss diet.
- Switch to unsweetened almond milk. If you haven’t tried almond milk yet, go buy some. At only thirty-forty calories in 8 oz, it is fifty calories less per serving then skim milk and like me; you may actually prefer the taste. Although it is lower in protein, almond milk actually has more calcium then cow’s milk (since its fortified) and can be helpful when trying to cut back on calories.
- Make the breakfast berry swap. A lot of people make a healthy choice by adding berries to their cereal, yogurt or oatmeal in the morning. Save about 100 calories by making what I call the “breakfast berry swap.” For example, instead of having one cup of cereal and a quarter-cup of berries, try having a cup of berries topped with a quarter-cup of cereal. You’ll end up with the same amount of food, and at least half the calories.
- Choose your cheese wisely. Simply put, choosing two ounces of feta or ricotta cheese over two ounces of cheddar or parmesan will save you around 100 calories and it’s still the same amount of food.
- Try spaghetti squash. A spaghetti squash gets its name because when it is cooked and the insides are shredded, you’re left with what looks like strands of cooked spaghetti. Although it does taste a little different, if you dress it up with your favorite toppings, like marinara sauce, the outcome can be pretty comparable, and quite delicious. Also, keep in mind that one cup of cooked pasta is roughly 220 calories, while one cup of spaghetti squash in only about forty calories.
- Measure your calorie-dense foods. Get out your measuring spoon and make sure you are not overdoing it with items like nut butters, oils, and condiments. Using an extra tsp of olive oil on your veggies and a tsp more than you think of almond butter on your toast can easily add up to an extra 100 calories each day. These calorie dense items should be used in smaller quantities for a reason, because you don’t need much to feel satisfied or alter the taste of your food.
- Pass on the croutons. Sorry, I know this one isn’t really creative but it’s one that I forget to do when I’m out to eat. Half a cup of croutons adds about 100 calories to your salad, and they’re really just stale bread…no thanks.
- Ice bath veggies. Shock sliced vegetables like sweet potatoes, zucchini, and eggplant in an ice bath for thirty minutes before you toss them in olive oil and bake. The shocked cold veggies won’t absorb as much oil and fat but will leave the outside crispy and crunchy once they bake.
- Buy flavored coffee. Buy a hazelnut or french vanilla roast and add spices like nutmeg and cinnamon to your coffee. With the natural flavors of the coffee and spices, you’ll only need a splash of milk instead of higher calorie creamers and sugar.
- Leave the last few bites. Re-evaluate the last few bites left on your plate towards the end of your meal. Chances are you are already satisfied, and they won’t look as appetizing as when you began eating.
Hope some of these helped. Mahalo for reading and happy eating!