4 Quick Ways to Cut Calories

Dinner Plate - Ways to Cut Calories

The hardest part of weight loss for me is dealing with counting calories. I think it’s a pain in the butt. So when I’m feeling lazy (which is quite often), I focus on cutting calories from my favorite dishes or finding other simple ways to eat healthy without weighing every bite on a food scale.

Here are a few of the easiest ways I’ve found to cut calories and still enjoy a good meal or treat:

Substitute oil in cakes and cookies

At the very least, this cuts down on unhealthy fats. Instead of adding oil to cakes and cookies, I substitute an equal amount of no-sugar-added applesauce. You may have to cook it a smidge longer but my cookies and cakes are healthier and the applesauce keeps the batter moist. Even if I wasn’t trying to watch my weight, I’d use the same substitute, it really makes a huge difference in how moist the dessert turns out.

Drink a glass of tea

I could eat my body weight in ice cream or cookies. Especially after my kids are in bed and the house is quiet and I FINALLY have time to watch a television show that doesn’t feature talking animals or overly perky characters intent on making my children bilingual. When I’m really craving something unhealthy and I don’t have the calories left over to enjoy a treat, I opt for a glass of herbal tea (peppermint is my favorite). Sometimes I add a bit of honey or a packet of stevia. The warm, minty flavor is satisfying and fills my stomach up so I’m not hungry anymore. With zero calories, your evening glass of tea can count toward your water quota for the day too!

Nix the soda

The average 12-ounce soda has 120-150 calories. Drink two or three of those a day and you are guzzling nearly 500 calories. Replace one or more of your soft drinks with water to help flush out toxins and sodium and you’ll easily cut many calories. While diet soda does have no calories, the sugar substitutes can make it more difficult to lose weight, so kick the soda habit completely for the best results.

Use a smaller plate

A Cornell University study showed that people perceive serving portions to be smaller when they were on a larger plate. A simple way to eat less, and cut calories, is to eat from a smaller plate.  People eat up to 15 percent more when they use larger plates. Opt for smaller dishes and bowls to trick your mind into thinking you are eating more than you really are.

Cutting calories does not have to be a chore. On busy days, I don’t have time to measure everything I eat, but I can make a few smart choices to eat fewer calories without stress. What are some ways you keep your calorie count down?

Photo credit: Thinkstock

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