Nobody enjoys counting calories. However, to lose or maintain our weight we have to be aware of how many calories we ingest everyday. Here are ten ways to help you cut 500 calories a day.
Count or Measure Everything
Our eyeballs are not measuring devices. Everything you eat should be weighed or counted so that you know exactly how much of that food you have eaten. The Merck Manuel of Health and Aging reported that individuals who weighed and counted their foods ate 510 fewer calories a day than those who did not measure their foods. Just by measuring your food you can cut 500 calories a day.
Keep in mind that many pre-packaged items may contain more than the package claims. Rather than weighing these items I just add 10% extra to the calories in my food journal. For instance a 100 calorie pack of almonds may actually contain 110-125 calories if you weighed the contents.
Limit the Toppings not the Salad
Salad is a great way to fill up on healthy vegetables without a lot of calories. However, the calories can add up quickly once you start adding toppings. Skip the croutons (50 calories) and caramelized nuts (150 calories), dip your fork in dressing rather than coating the salad (up to 100 calories), trade grilled chicken for breaded chicken (100 calories), and trade cottage cheese for blue cheese (100 calories).
My favorite salad is organic spring mix, with 2 tablespoons ground peanuts, 1/4 cup each of green, red, and yellow peppers, some sprouts, and Asian Sesame salad dressing. A huge plate ends up being less than 200 calories.
Lighten Up the Pasta
My husband is Italian so he grew up in a home where pasta was a staple food. When we first got married every time he cooked it was pasta with chicken, pasta with meatballs, or pasta loaded with cheese. If your a pasta lover you can still enjoy your favorite dish with just a few switches that will cut 500 calories per dish!
Lighten Up Your Spaghetti:
*Trade traditional semolina pasta for whole wheat pasta. (50 calories per cup.)
*Turkey meatballs instead of beef meatballs. (100 calories per serving.)
*Make your own tomato sauce. (90 calories per cup.)
For every one cup serving that is a calorie saving of 240 calories! The average person eats about 3 cups per meal for a total calorie savings of 720.
Keep the Vegetables Healthy
Vegetables are supposed to be good for you. However, the way many people cook and serve their vegetables a lot of the nutrients are lost and hundreds of calories are added.
Keep the veggies healthy and cut 500 calories by:
*Steaming instead of sautéing. (100 calories)
*Seasoned with herbs instead of drowned in butter. (50 calories)
*Swap out asparagus for broccoli. (100 calories)
Eat two servings of vegetables cooked the healthy way and you will have cut 500 calories and provided your body with a load of vitamins and minerals.
Think Thin Crust
Pizza is an easy way to get in lots of vegetables. It can also be an easy way to cut 500 calories. Trade your three meat thick crust pizza for a thin crust veggie pizza for a calorie savings of up 290 calories a slice! Not to mention all the saturated fat that you will be cutting out. Your arteries and your waistline will thank you.