Simple ways to cut 500 calories from your diet daily
Dieting 101 states that in order to lose a few kilos you need to cut back on the amount of calories you consume. But the big question when it comes to cutting calories is, how many calories do you cut and how do you go about cutting them?
Start with small changes that can help you reduce calories without having a big impact on your daily lifestyle, here are some more simple changes:
Reduce portion sizes
Larger plates are a western phenomenon that offers little value to the quality of our diets. Rather take a side plate and serve up on that, especially when dishing up food at a buffet. Your portion sizes should be no bigger than the size of your fist for meat and the palm of your hand for carbs. And, despite what your parents told you, you don’t have to clean your plate to leave the dinner table. If you are full then leave the rest of the food. You’ll soon get used to smaller portions and won’t waste food.
And if you think Sushi was a healthier option, think again.
Watch the beverages
One of the simplest and most effective ways to cut calories without noticing it is to reduce the amount of sweetened beverages you consume. For instance, did you know that a 350ml serving of orange juice or fizzy drink contains around 170 calories? By cutting back on those three glasses you drink each day you’ll be cutting back a total of 510 calories. Instead of sweetened beverages drink more water, unsweetened tea or a cup of coffee. Alcohol is also very high in calories (7 per gram), but is low in nutrients. So if you enjoy a regular glass of wine or beer then opt for light options, or drinks with low-calorie mixers such as soda water.
Still cooking with oil?
We’re all guilty of cooking our food in olive oil, but did you know that just one tablespoon of olive oil contains around 100 calories? Cutting back on the extra olive oil will reduce your overall calorie intake.
Simple things to also keep in mind is that 182 calories amounts to one medium baked potato, 70g of french fries and 42g of potato chips. Instead of sautéing everything in oil you should rather cook your food by grilling, baking, steaming or microwaving.
Go for vegetables
Substitute half of your serving of meat with vegetables. This can decrease the calorie content of your meals while also boosting your nutrient intake. Vegetables are also full of fibre and water, which keeps you feeling full for longer. You can cut out 125 calories by reducing your dinner meat serving by 57g and replacing it with half a cup of vegetables.
The key to reaching that magical target of cutting 500 calories from your daily diet starts with small steps. For instance, instead of having that Coke with your lunch have some ice cold water or swop a carb serving at lunch or dinner with some vegetables. These are all small, simple changes that have a cumulative effect, helping you to eventually cut a massive 500 calories from your diet.
1. Use one tablespoon of mayo and one tablespoon of low-fat cottage cheese instead of two tablespoons of mayo in your tuna salad.
2. Ditch the salad dressings and sauces. Rather use herbs and spices wherever possible, or stick to fresh organic vegetables for salads as they are packed full of natural flavour and don’t need dressing.
Combine these diet tips with the following guidelines to help boost the daily calorie burn
1.) Move more – take the steps, walk around the office every hour or park farther from the shopping mall entrance and walk. Getting in a few extra steps throughout the day adds up to a big difference.
2. ) Stop mindless munching – if you’re bored you will often snack. Rather go for a walk outside or read a book to take your mind off the impulse to eat. And never eat in front of the TV or movie screen.
3.) Order the smallest size of whatever it is you are buying or ordering. And don’t be scared to ask for kiddies or half portions at restaurants.
4.) Ditch the fruit smoothies. Rather juice green vegetables for your daily health smoothie.
5.) Skip the side orders and desserts at restaurants. Also you don’t need a starter and a main, pick one dish and stick with it.
6.) Ditch the butter and margarine. Rather use some fat free cottage cheese as a spread.
When you approach it like this it’s a lot easier to cut 500 calories from your daily diet than you think. Just remember the key is to start small and take it one step at a time. Eventually you won’t even notice the changes you struggled with in the beginning.
Need some inspiration in the kitchen? Check out our other protein recipes.
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.