It can be tough to whittle down the number of calories you eat in a day, especially if you?re not following a specific meal plan. Though you may be doing your best to stay within a certain caloric range every day, there are still some tricks you can use to reduce that total calorie just a little more. Make these steps into habits and you?ll save yourself hundreds of calories a day for the long haul, which can add up to weight loss.
Learn How Many You Actually Need
Some people think that everyone needs about 2,000 calories per day because that?s what nutrition labels use to calculate percentage of daily values. This is completely untrue. The amount of calories you should be eating is dependent on your age, weight, and level of activity. Certainly, someone who runs five miles per day will need to consume more calories than someone who doesn?t exercise at all. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has great advice for balancing calories and calculating your needs for weight loss.
Switch Your Milk
One Cup of nonfat milk has just 83 calories, while whole milk has a whopping 148. If you have three cups of nonfat milk per day, you?ll wind up saving yourself 195 calories every day. Even better switch to almond milk and you can reduce the calories even further. Some almond milks are only 40 calories per serving.
Pay Attention to Portion Sizes
Whether you?re eating at home or dining out, always check your portion sizes. Try a mobile app for help with visual portion sizes, so you can estimate on the go. At home, keep measuring tools handy so you?re more likely to use them. Package foods in excess of the proper portion to eat for another meal.
Use Smaller Plates and Cups
You?ve probably heard this before, but that?s because it really works. People who use smaller dinner plates tend to consume fewer calories because they eat almost 25% less food. Certainly most of us won?t be rushing out to buy all new dishes just to cut some calories, so how can you make this advice work for you? Measure how much your dishes hold. For cups, fill them with liquid, then pour that into a measuring cup. For plates, measure individual portions and put them on the plate, so you can see what it looks like on your own dishes.
At Home, Serve Food in the Kitchen.
Bringing big bowls and platters of food to the dinner table makes it all to easy to overindulge. You won?t give yourself as much time to feel full after finishing your first helping, either. When a second helping is within arm?s reach, you?ll feel more compelled to have just a little more. Keep the food in the kitchen and bring prepared plates to the table to eat. You?ll consume fewer calories.
Nix the Empty Calories in your Diet.
As much as it hurts to give up enjoying a favorite food or drink just to save calories, scaling way back or getting rid of the empty calories all together are an important step in better health. Soda and beer drinkers can see their weight affected dramatically and rather quickly by eliminating them. If replace just one can of regular cola per day with one glass of water, you?ll cut enough calories to lose as much 15 lbs. in one year.
Making drastic changes to your diet can be too hard to stick with. You don?t have to learn a new vocabulary, buy any machines, or change your whole lifestyle to reduce your caloric intake. Just form these simple habits that will add up to big calorie savings.