While you’ve been busy with life, you realize you’ve gained a few pounds. Perhaps it’s been additional stress or an unexpected change in your routine. Unfortunately, putting on weight seems to take little effort while losing it can be a struggle. It’s easy to lose track of your eating habits.
Although getting rid of pounds can seem challenging, sometimes all it takes are a few adjustments to your caloric intake. Here are six easy tricks to cut out those extra calories without much effort.
1. Stick with Water
A cold soda or beer might sound good after a long day, but you might regret the empty calories later. If you want to stay hydrated, nothing is better for you than water. It doesn’t hurt to indulge in a tasty beverage occasionally, but having water as your standard drink will save several calories over time. If you think water is too dull, try tea or coffee, but leave out the sugar and cream. You also might try unflavored carbonated water.
2. Eat Your Meal in Courses
Most of us don’t think anything about piling the food on one plate and digging in. However, eating your entire meal in one sitting could lead to eating at a faster pace, which doesn’t give our stomach a chance to feel full. Instead, pretend you’re at a four-star restaurant and enjoy your meal in smaller courses. Start with a nutritious salad, wait a few minutes, and then enjoy your main entrée. Leave room for dessert if you can afford the calories. Eating your meal in courses might result in consuming a little less.
3. Leave Plating for the Kitchen
It’s easier to overdo it when there’s a platter of pot roast or lasagna on the table. Whether you’re serving a huge family or yourself, consider placing individual portions on the plate in the kitchen before sitting down to eat in another room. This tactic will help you control your consumption; it’s even more effective than eating from a smaller plate or bowl.
4. Opt for an Early Bedtime
There is no doubt that some people are legitimate night owls. However, staying up late increases your likelihood of snacking on unhealthy foods before bed. This is especially the case if you’re tired. If possible, try going to bed early, and do it consistently every night. It’ll curb your cravings for late-night snacking. If you’re starving, however, go for something healthy and wait a while before going to bed.
5. Savor the Substitutes
Replacing high-calories ingredients with low-calorie alternatives here and there can make a difference in your cooking over time. For instance, if you love baking banana bread, consider using applesauce in the recipe instead of shortening or oil. You’ll have a healthier treat and won’t even miss the extra fat. If you love salads, don’t think this food choice is automatically low-calorie. Go heavier on the vegetables and lighter on the cheese, croutons, and dressing.
6. Stay Seated at the Table
It can be tempting to hunker down on the couch with your plate and start streaming your favorite TV show. However, where you eat can influence how much you eat. That’s because you’re more likely to be tuned in to the eating process when you’re at the table. On the other hand, shoveling food into your mouth while watching TV might mean that your brain doesn’t even process what you’re eating. Moreover, you might not even remember what you ate, and your stomach will still think it needs food.
Cutting calories might seem more like a chore than a step to better eating. However, if you’re savvy about trimming a few calories here and there, you’ll see the results before you know it.