Weight Loss Tip: 25 Ways To Cut 500 Calories A Day

    1. Count your chips (and crackers). No, you can’t eat your snacks from a large bag or box because it’s way too tempting to eat until the bag is empty. (Remember Oprah’s blue corn–tortilla chip confession?)
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    1. Serve and sit. Family-style meals, with platters and bowls of food on the table, invite people to go back for seconds and thirds. Cut hundreds of calories by filling plates before bringing them to the table; leave serving dishes in the kitchen, too. A chip-bender to the bottom of a 9-ounce bag is 1,260 calories sans the dip. So stick to 1 serving, about 15 chips—that’s 140 calories—or pick up some 100-calorie snack packs and save 1,120 calories.
    1. Skinny up cocktails. Syrups, sour mix, sugary fruit juices, and creamy additions turn drinks into desserts: an indulgent Mudslide can have more than 800 calories. Order drinks mixed with club soda, tonic water, cranberry juice, or a squeeze of citrus; or try distilled liquors on the rocks. You’ll save up to 800 calories.
    1. Eat less pasta. One cup of pasta is just 220 calories. But typical dinner portions at restaurants can be as much as 480% larger than that 1 cup, according to New York University research. That’s 1,056 calories. Even if you eat 2 whole cups of noodles, you’ll still save 616 calories.
    1. Limit dinner guests. Eating with seven or more other guests can make you eat 96% more food, says John Winn, PhD, author of Mind What You Eat. That’s like doubling your dinner! Dine with fewer guests to save 500 or more calories.
    1. Don’t clean your plate. Leave 25% of your food on the plate at every meal, says weight-loss expert Jim Bale, PhD, author of The Step-by-Step Diet. Save what’s remaining as leftovers for a yummy lunch the next day. If you normally eat 2,000 calories or more each day, you’ll cut 500 calories.
    1. Make mine a mini. Check out menus for small versions of great desserts, so you can dodge calo­ries and end your meal on a sweet note. P.F. Chang’s Great Wall of Chocolate (designed for one diner!) is 1,440 calories.The Mini Great Wall? A chocolatey yet svelte 150 calories. You’ll save 1,290-calories.
    1. Nix that smoothie a day. A large 32-ounce smoothie can have 800 or more calories. That really adds up if you’re having on-the-go breakfast several times a week. Instead, try a filling lower-calorie starter of oatmeal with brown sugar and banana slices, and a cup of black coffee. You’ll save 518 calories.
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    1. Beware the healthy-food trap. People let their guard down when the menu is full of healthy fare, underestimating calories by as much as 35%, research by the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab shows.You’re also more likely to order drinks, sides, and desserts with up to 131% more calories when you have a healthy entrée. Skip caloric sides—a cookie, chips—to save 500-plus calories.

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