Simple Ways to Cut More Calories
Trying to slim down? They say one pound of fat loss is equal to a 3,500 calorie deficit, with healthy weight loss being ½ to 1 pound per week. For most people, striving for a daily calorie deficit of 250-350 can help achieve this. This does not mean cutting out meals entirely to achieve the deficit! Making simple, healthy changes to your lifestyle can help cut calories safely. I’m talking about small adjustments to your diet combined with physical activity!
Here are some simple calorie-cutting tricks to keep in mind when preparing food:
- Instead of topping vegetables with melted butter or salt, try tossing them with lemon juice, fresh salsa, or a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
- Be mindful of how much oil you use for cooking and making salad dressing. You probably don’t need as much as you’re using.
- In the mood for something sweet? Put down that spoon and step away from the chocolate-chip-cookie-dough ice cream. Fat-free sorbet topped with some fruit can be just as tasty and oh-so refreshing!
- Do you find you constantly snack during the day? Bring plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to munch on at work so you’re not tempted to run to Tim Horton’s and grab a muffin. FYI – did you know that their whole grain muffins contain nearly 400 calories and an average of 15 grams of fat?
- If you’re a coffee drinker like I am, try putting milk in your coffee instead of cream. Worried about the taste? I find flavoured soy milk is often quite delicious!
- Drink a big glass of water before meals to prevent over-eating.
- Eat slowly! It takes your brain about 20 minutes to register that your stomach is full. Eating quickly means you may be more likely to go for second helpings.
Of course, incorporating physical activity into your day is also going to help with weight loss (or weight maintenance) and contribute added health benefits. Even light to moderate physical activity, such as walking or gardening, can benefit your health. “I don’t have time” is no longer a valid excuse! There are plenty of simple ways to get moving:
- If you drive to work, park at the far end of the parking lot for a longer walk.
- You’ve probably heard this one a million times, but I’ll say it again – take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator!
- If you sit at a desk all day, take breaks. For every hour or two you spend at your computer, take a 5 minute break to walk around and stretch.
- Use a washroom at the other end of the building to add some extra walking.
- Catch up with some around-the-house work.
- Forget paying the kid next door to shovel your driveway! Snow shovelling can be a great workout, as long as you don’t have any back problems or other health issues.
In order for successful lifestyle change to occur the change needs to be for YOU – not for your kids, or your spouse, or your friends. Intrinsic motivation is key! Want to get started, but not feeling completely inspired? This is an excellent video that will help motivate you to get moving: 23 1/2 Hours.
If you are serious about losing weight, speak to your family doctor or other healthcare professional, such as a registered dietician, to determine the best weight loss plan for you.
To read more entries by Laura, visit her personal blog called Inspiring Healthy Living.