One of the key aspects to successful weight loss is controlling calorie intake. The real results of ‘dieting’ come when you reduce calories but increase variety to improve vitamin and mineral intake. Check out my 12 Aspects of Successful Weight Loss to understand why calorie counting alone won’t give you the results you desire.
There are two ways to lose weight – burn more calories or eat fewer of them. It sounds so simple, so why is it so difficult to lose weight?
Part of the problem is making the right choices. With my top 10, easy to follow tips for trimming calories painlessly, there are no more excuses…
1. Switch to lower calorie versions of the foods you normally eat
Switch from whole milk to oat milk and rice milk. This will save you more than 50 calories and 6g of fat per day if you use ½ a pint a day. Over the course of the year this simple change could save you 5lbs of body fat.
2. Snack smart
That means planning what you eat between meals. Don’t leave it to chance and end up having whatever is in the nearest vending machine! Bring your own snacks with you wherever you are off to. Opt for low fat, low calorie snacks like fruit and seed bars, a piece of fresh fruit, rye crackers, oat cakes, veggie sticks, avocado with fresh lemon, etc.
3. Eat breakfast
It might sound strange to say ‘eat to lose weight’, but research indicates that eating breakfast can prevent excessive eating throughout the day. It’s also a great way to kick-start that metabolism and start burning calories!
For some low calorie and healthy breakfast inspiration, you can see some of my delicious recipes on the Plate Up app. Choosing low calorie options is so easy as all the recipes on the app show the number of calories. Just choose your favourite recipes and automatically add ingredients to your basket, then checkout with your preferred supermarket. It can all be done in just a few taps! To download the app and start your 14-day free trial, click here.
4. Watch how you cook
Cut back on, or cut out completely, fried foods and use the minimum of oil when you griddle, sauté or stir-fry. You don’t have to say goodbye to your favourites – simply cook them in the oven instead of in fat! Boiling, steaming and grilling are also low-fat ways to cook.
5. Choose leaner cuts of meat
Limit your intake of processed meats like bacon, sausages and sausage-type luncheon meats like pepperoni or salami to cut calories. Choose the leanest cuts of meat that you can afford and always remove the skin from poultry. Choose white meat whenever possible.
6. Have a smarter starter
Begin each meal with a large salad or a bowl of veggie-packed soup to fill you up and prevent overeating at the dinner table.
7. Reduce your portion sizes
Try cutting down by a third. The chances are you don’t need the extra calories and you don’t need to feel quite so full. It will help to try to eat more slowly so that you will begin to feel full as you eat too. This will take a bit of getting used to but you will get used to it! Obviously, the number of calories you save depends on what you are eating, but over time this could save you pounds. Take a look at this blog to learn more about Portion Distortion!
8. You really DON’T have to finish what’s on your plate
Cancel your membership to the clean plate club, especially when you are eating out or having takeaways. You don’t have to waste half your meal – doggie bags are the perfect way to enjoy two fair-sized meals instead of one pig-out portion!
9. Be food aware
Start reading food labels. Sometimes it can be difficult to know which foods are laden with calories and it’s easy to get caught out by clever marketing and sexy packaging. Read articles on food and nutrition in the newspapers, magazines, on the net and on my blog.
10. Watch what you drink
You’d be amazed how much drinks can add to your daily intake of calories. Take a typical day – a glass of orange juice for breakfast (72 calories in 200ml), a coffee with sugar at break time (20 calories), a can of coke through the afternoon (129 calories) and a couple of glasses of wine with dinner (approx 200 calories). Not exactly excessive but the grand total is 420 calories! Watch the serving sizes when drinking juice or milk and try to stick to water as much as possible. If you have to drink tea and coffee try to gradually give up the sugar or better still, opt for herbal teas.
To get easy access to all of my low-calorie and nutritious recipes, download the Plate Up app and start your 14-day free trial here.