10 Simple Ways to Cut 500 Calories from Your Diet Every Day
Anyone who has tried to shed pounds knows that unless you’re blessed with fast metabolism, losing weight is far from easy. Miracle diets and weight loss pills won’t make it easier because, really, there’s only one way you can you can lose weight—by creating a caloric deficit. You need to burn more calories than you consume to shed those extra pounds.
But this doesn’t mean you need to starve yourself or spend hours working out at the gym every day. We’ve done the math for you: 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat. This means you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you consume to lose 1 pound. It may seem unnerving, but rapidly losing weight is as simple as cutting out 500 unnecessary calories a day from your diet. It’s a healthy and sustainable way to achieve long-term weight loss, and by cutting 500 calories a day from your diet you’ll lose about 1 pound a week.
How to Cut 500 Calories from Your Diet Every Day
Here are some healthy swaps and tips you can make to reduce your caloric intake by at least 100 calories per serving. Combine five swaps every day and you’re already omitting 500 extra calories from your diet. The more calories you cut the more weight you lose.
Check out these simple but effective methods to cut 500 calories from your diet every day
1. Ditch one high-calorie treat every day
Whether it’s your morning doughnut, fries at lunch or ice-cream after dinner, letting go of one high-calorie treat a day will help you save 250 to 350 calories. If you experience a craving for that food, substitute with a healthier option. For instance, swap doughnuts with sliced fruit, fries with baked sweet potato wedges, and ice-cream with Greek yogurt. You can indulge in your favorite treat once a week
2. Opt for black coffee.
A cup of coffee with 2% milk and no added sugar contains 125 calories. A cup of black coffee, on the other hand, contains only 2. Make your own coffee at home. If you swap two cups of sweetened coffee with black coffee, you’re saving at least 245 calories a day.
3. Chew slower.
You’ve heard this one before, and if you’re not chewing your food slower by now you should start now. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to receive the signal that it’s full. Chewing each bite twice as much as you normally do means you’ll eat less until you feel full.
Research shows that by chewing slowly and more deliberately you can cut 100 to 120 calories from each meal. This eliminates nearly 400 calories a day from your diet. By chewing slower, you’ll also train your body to eat smaller meals.
4. Rely on home-cooked meals.
According to a 2014 study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, people who ate home-cooked meals consumed roughly 140 fewer calories than those who normally ordered in or dined out. Meal planning is a great way to make sure you don’t eat out too often. Make your own healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner meals, and you’ll be cutting at least 400 calories from your diet every day.
5. Don’t eat in front of the TV.
Most of us are guilty of this. Studies show that eating in front of the TV makes you consume around 300 more calories than you would if you ate your meal at the table. Ideally, you should eat at the table and focus on each bite. Eating slowly and mindfully ensures that you consume what you need, and it saves you at least 200-250 calories per meal.
6. Let go of sodas.
If you haven’t given up soda by now, we’ve got some bad news for you. The fizzy drinks, loaded with high-fructose corn syrup and other unfavorable ingredients, contain around 200 to 250 calories per bottle. Research shows that even diet sodas can lead to weight gain. By getting rid of two sodas a day you can cut 400 calories from your diet.
Your soda habit is costing you more than just calories—sugary sodas are also bad for your teeth and pose many other health risks. Avoid sugary beverages and artificial sweeteners as much as you can. Opt for sparkling water, herbal tea, or lemon water instead.
7. Replace your refined carbs with veggies
If carbs like pasta and rice make up the biggest part of your meal, you need to consider replacing them with vegetables. For instance, regular pasta is full of fat and carbohydrates you can do without. One four-ounce bowl of cooked plain spaghetti contains almost 400 calories. Add to that a rich creamy sauce and you have a high-calorie meal that’s doing you no favors. Fortunately, you can replace carbs with veggie alternatives that taste almost as good and contain significantly fewer calories.
Replace white rice with cauliflower rice and pasta with zucchini noodles. Two zucchinis contain only 66 calories, almost no fat, and enough nutrition to fulfill your hunger.
8. Watch out for salad toppings
You may be eating only salads to lose weight, but if you’re not wary you may do your diet more harm than good. Salads are generally healthy, but some toppings can make them as calorie-packed as cheeseburgers or lasagna. Full-fat dressings and vinaigrettes, bacon, avocado, nuts, and croutons can add lots of calories.
Save 100 to 200 calories by adding just one or two toppings to lower-calories vegetables. Halve the quantity of toppings you normally use to cut some more calories.
9. Move more. A lot more.
According to the Mayo Clinic, people who fidget during the day burn roughly 350 more calories than those who sit still at a sedentary job. Whether it’s tapping your feet or doing yoga poses at your desk, it’s important to stay active. Take frequent breaks from your work to walk or head out for a stroll during your lunch hour to torch some more calories.
10. Chew gum and drink even more water.
Why? Because chewing gum acts as an appetite suppressant. Research shows people who chew for an hour before a meal eat roughly 70 fewer calories. Chew gum before every meal and you’re looking at triple savings by dinner. Similarly, drinking one to two glasses of water before meals can cut your daily food intake by 205 calories.
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