Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cheating Out Calories – 5 Easy Changes for Big Results

If you are looking for a few simple substitutes you can make on a daily basis to cut calories and trim up your waistline, here are my top five ways to easily cut 200-2000 calories a day!

Beverages! So many people consume a significant amount of calories in beverages alone. For some, simply switching drinks will greatly reduce overall calorie-intake and help shed unwanted calories with such a minimal sacrifice.
For example, let’s say you drink a glass of orange juice with breakfast, a coffee with cream, a vanilla latte in the afternoon, a coke or bottle of juice in the afternoon and a glass of wine or 2, plus a glass of milk in there somewhere, this is easily 1000 calories or more!!
I recommend drinking water or seltzer with breakfast and lunch, and having an orange over a glass of orange juice (at least you get substance and it’s less calories!). Switch from whole or 2% milk to skim, and use milk in your coffee instead of cream (this will actually make a significant difference over time).
To make my wine last longer I add a little soda water, or alternate between sips of soda water and sips of wine.
Of coarse you can easily switch to diet drinks with zero calories, however, these drinks contain aspartame and sweeteners that slow your metabolism and actually make you crave more sugary foods – causing you to overdo it later.

Skip the ‘treat and coffee’ or switch to a granola bar (unless you are at your ideal weight than enjoy to your hearts content). But if you are serious about losing weight, stay away from the cookies, donuts, muffins and other treats they place at the local Starbucks and alike. These ‘little snacks’ – easily pack in more than a meals worth of calories without filling you up. The sugar is likely to make you crash and become hungry later. I often NEED to have something with my afternoon coffee, so I’ve recently started eating chocolate peanut granola bars by quaker, just enough chocolate and ‘treat-ish feel’ for a third the calories.

Substitute your morning bagel or muffin for an English muffin or regular sliced bread. Bagels and muffins are dense and easily range between 250 and 550 calories, not including the butter, cream cheese or whatever you put on them. If you do choose a bagel, I recommend cutting it into three rather than two halves. They are so thick, this can easily be done. Also, try switching from butter or cream cheese to a lighter version, or fruit spread.

SALADS!! These are one of the biggest mistakes people make. They think they are doing themselves a favor by having a salad, but these salads often have more calories than a full-on cheeseburger and fries. It is all about what you put in the salad. Adding loads of ingredients such as meat, cheese, nuts, raisins, eggs, dried fruit, olives and dressing is a dangerous idea if you are trying to shed pounds. Monitor what you put into it, just a little lean meat such as ham or turkey and skip all the cheese, nuts etc.
Try to keep it a true ‘garden salad’ (lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, celery, broccoli) with a serving of protein if it’s your meal (an egg white or two, or some lean meat) and a light sprinkle of oil and vinegar for taste.

Sauces and Soups: Unless it’s a special occasion, I recommend avoiding all heavy or cream based soups and sauces such as alfredo, cream of broccoli, clam chowder etc. A white sauce or soup usually means it is shooting your calorie count for the day right off the charts (as tasty as it is). I recommend opting for broth-based soups and red sauces, like marinara.

These are very small and easily attainable changes that add up to big results. This is by no way a diet; it’s a simple lifestyle change that can help you in a significant way.

It may be that a few simple tricks is all you need!


  1. great advice amanda!! sounds like my daily new menu every day!!! feels good knowing I AM DOING IT WELL!!!!