14 November 2011

Quick Tips for Cutting Calories

Everyone knows that when it comes to weight loss it’s very much all about the math.  Calories in, calories out.  Of course what those calories consist of can also make a difference.  For example, a 100 snack pack may only be 100 calories, but the artificial sweeteners in it cause you to crave more sweet things.  It’s like an anti diet diet option.  Here are a few ways that I’ve used to help cut out calories and craving inducing sweets.

  1. Drink water not soda.   – This seems obvious.  You might be thinking, but I only drink diet soda where there isn’t a calorie to be found!  That is better than regular soda, but it still has loads of artificial sweeteners that cause you cause to crave more sweets and has serious tooth rotting side effects.  I typically buy carbonated water and put some lemon and lime wedges in it.  Now on the odd occasion where I drink soda I don’t even like the taste.
  2. Drink your tea straight up.  – This could sound really wrong to a lot of people out there and I understand.  The calories in that dollop of milk might be worth it to you.  I don’t miss it.  I do like to keep fruit and other flavored teas on hand.  Some of them can be quite sweet and with zero calories it tea can be a good way to satisfy your sweet tooth while not causing it to crave more sweets.
  3. Weights and measures.  – When I’m being good I weigh and measure everything.  A bowl of cereal isn’t a serving, a cup, or 30 grams of most cereals over here is.  If you fill that bowl up you’re probably getting loads of extra calories that you don’t really need and would be happy without.  I do find this to be a bit more challenging over here as it seems to require more math than it does in the US.
  4. Eat time-consuming food.  – It’s pretty much common knowledge that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to receive the ‘I’m full’ message from your stomach.  I can down several candy bars in a few minutes.  I’m not bragging, more admitting.  However, it can take me half an hour to get through a pomegranate and I’m so exhausted from it that I never eat a second one. 
  5. Trick your eyes. – Have you ever been to a restaurant that served a multi course meal?  I don’t mean a starter, main and dessert, but one that has 8 or more small courses?  During the first two courses you think ‘this will never fill me, I shall stop at McDonalds later!”  However, despite the small portions by the time you get half way through your full.  I think this is because they give you two bites on huge plates and it looks like nothing, but then the courses are spaced out far enough to give your stomach time to tell your brain to stop.  I often use a small plate, like a side plate, for dinner.  It makes me feel like I’m getting a plate full of food without the full plate of calories. 
Does anyone have any calorie cutting tricks that help them? 

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