When trying to lose weight, small changes to cut calories can make a big impact. There is a constant flood of information on how to lose weight and an ongoing pressure to look better. Consistent exercise is crucial when it comes to staying healthy. However, sometimes a busy schedule does not allow trips to the gym, in which case diet becomes an important factor for managing weight. The following is a list of tips regarding common foods that can assist in cutting daily calories without much sacrifice:
Switch To Nut-Based Milk
Switching dairy milk for an alternative such as almond or hazelnut milk is one of the easiest ways to reduce daily calories. Dairy milk is rarely drunk by itself. It is widely used in many dishes and also in tea and coffee and on breakfast cereal each morning. This is why changing dairy milk for a nut-based alternative will barely be noticed by the palate, but will significantly reduce daily calories. Dairy milk is high in saturated fats, and one glass contains roughly 150 calories. Whereas almond or hazelnut milk have about 70 calories per glass. Additionally, nut-based milk actually contains more of the recommended daily calcium dose than dairy milk.
Cook With Healthier Oils
Oil has integrated into so many cooking methods that cooking without it is difficult. Coconut, olive and vegetable oils have high calorie counts at around 120 calories per tablespoon. Typically, more than one tablespoon is used in most recipes. One way to reduce calorie intake is by switching to non-stick sprays. They provide a thin layer across the entire surface of the pan, rather than pouring out more than is needed. This results in using much less oil in dishes and thus consuming fewer calories in the process.
Eat Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is widely enjoyed by many and is often the most popular choice for a sweet treat. Unfortunately, it is also very high in sugar which makes it high in calories. However, cutting chocolate out entirely is not necessary. There are healthy options available. For example, dark chocolate has more cocoa and less sugar, which results in it having fewer calories. Whereas white chocolate is made entirely of cocoa butter and sugar, with no cocoa at all. This makes it very fattening. Dark chocolate is the healthier option not only because it has a lower calorie count, but it is also rich in antioxidants, high in fiber and minerals such as magnesium and iron.
Watch Out For Salad Dressing
Eating salad packed with vegetables is always the healthier option. However, what many people do not realize is that salad dressings are typically very high in calories. For example, French salad dressing is mainly sugar, oil, and mustard, and depending on the brand, can have as many as 150 calories per serving. Additionally, alternative dressings like caesar or ranch are rich in dairy, mayonnaise and other sources of saturated fats. Using a homemade balsamic vinaigrette for salads is a great alternative to reduce calories while adding tons of flavor.
Quit Drinking Sugary Drinks
Many people do not consider drinks to be high in calories because it is not solid food. However, drinks with high sugar content, such as apple juice, lemonade, and soda, are incredibly unhealthy. For example, a can of cola contains 150 calories and 40 grams of sugar and a drink box of apple juice contains 25 grams. The healthier option is to drink water and to flavor it with fruits like strawberries, lemon juice or raspberries. If one is craving a sweeter beverage, homemade lemonade is a great option. Use freshly squeezed lemons, organic honey, and water. This way, one can stay away from consuming refined sugars while controlling the amount of sugar that goes into the drink, and thus reduce the volume of calories.
Reduce Alcohol Intake
Alcoholic beverages are another rich source of calories. The beverages with the highest calorie counts are beer, coolers, and cider. Depending on the brand, the calorie count can typically reach more than 150 calories per drink. However, cutting out alcoholic beverages is not always easy. Some people like to consume alcohol as a way to relax and enjoy their time off. To reduce calorie intake, it is not necessary to cut alcoholic beverages out entirely. Reducing calories is as easy as making an informed choice of which alcoholic beverage you choose to drink. For example, a shot of gin has only around 50 calories and can be mixed with soda water and lime. Vodka has even fewer calories per shot, at only 30. If wine is preferred, the drier red or white wines are the healthier options as they are lower in sugar, resulting in fewer calories.
Chewing food more slowly when eating can assist in consuming fewer calories. This is because it takes roughly 20 minutes for the human brain to acknowledge that the stomach is full. Eating quickly may result in finishing an entire meal or two in under 20 minutes without realizing that one has eaten too much. By chewing food more patiently, the body allows the brain more time to register that it is full, resulting in not eating more than needed in a single sitting.