30 Ways To Cut Calories This Week
There are two approaches to eating. It’s either starve-yourself-to-death or binge-on-whatever-you-want. At least, that’s what it seems when listening to people talk about diets. But both extremes are recipes for disaster. You don’t have to choose between the two extremes. There is a sweet spot in the middle of the spectrum where you can eat just enough and enjoy it. Plus, you can achieve your weight-loss goals.
Many times, it’s the simple things that help the most. Diet fads come and go, but these tips stand the test of time – and waistline! They are my go-to when giving advice to friends and family.
And now, it’s time to celebrate! Here are 30 smart tips that will help you cut calories this week without starving:
1. Think about your drink.
Water gives your metabolism a kick-start, and helps keep your body clean. My favorite morning beverage is water with lemon and ginger. Sipping water throughout the day with a squeeze of lemon or lime can keep you satisfied.
2. Just Breathe
Did you know that breathing deeply can lower blood sugar levels? While you’re slowly inhaling and exhaling, repeat a short poem to yourself to help stay focused. I love saying aloud this poem by ee cummings:
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
3. Cut every recipe in half.
If you cook from recipes, automatically reduce it. Although you may want leftovers, you’re also likely to eat the leftovers too soon.
4. Absolutely no soda or sugary beverages. Ever.
One of the most effective ways to slash calories is to completely cut soda. One 20 oz. bottle of Coke has a whopping 240 calories. For a great alternative, try a fresh iced tea with a dash of stevia.
5. Drink a large glass of water before every meal.
Getting water into your system is the perfect way to slash your appetite in half. If you fill up on a glass of water at least 30 minutes before your meal, you’re virtually guaranteed to eat less.
6. Think about your food before you eat it.
In one study, participants who visualized their food before eating ate less. Before digging in, pause with your eyes closed to picture the food, imagine its flavor.
21. Stop Stalking Your Fridge
The fridge can be the doorway to doom, and you don’t want enter that danger zone! Put a note on the fridge door to eliminate the unconscious habit of repeatedly opening it.
7. Cut up your food into little pieces.
Psychology research shows that cutting up food makes it seem as if you’re eating more. As a result, you’ll actually eat less. This is a great way to play tricks on your mind.
8. Chew gum while cleaning the dishes.
Chewing a piece of gum will stop you from nibbling on the leftovers.
9. Get rid of the temptation.
Don’t keep chocolate, snack crackers, or other sugary fatty snacks in your home. Give them to your neighbor. Put them in the trash. Get them out. No one is perfect; the best way to not cheat is to not give yourself the chance.
10. Respond to your sugar craving with hard candy.
A simple ten-calorie piece of candy can help stave off hunger pangs and keep your calorie count lower.
11. Say a prayer before a meal.
It doesn’t need to be anything complicated, formulaic, or even religious. Simply inhale — express appreciation for the meal — and exhale with the same sense of gratitude. Rather than leap in to your meal, pause, be thoughtful, and purposeful. It will help you eat less.
12. Eat off of a blue plate.
Believe it or not, the color blue is an optical appetite suppressant. For a variety of reasons — not the least being that there are very few blue foods — the body responds to the color blue by limiting the appetite.
13. Go to bed earlier.
Yes, bedtime have does have an impact on eating. Research shows that the most detrimental snacking happens late at night. Also, lack of sleep causes stress, and is linked to greater weight gain. You can fight stress and eat less by getting to bed earlier.
14. Track Yourself
Write down everything you eat during the day. The simple act of recording your food intake helps to limit how much you eat. For access to my exclusive online food journal, click here.
15. Get a Case Of The “If’s”
Researches report that people who wrote “if-then” statements were more successful in achieving their goals. For example, “If I get hungry late at night, then I’ll brush my teeth and get in bed.”
16. Get Caught In The Pages
Reading an exciting story will distract you from thoughts of food.
17. Discover Your Mantra
If you’re tempted to break your healthy resolutions, sometimes all you need to stay on track is a repeating sound advice to yourself. Some of my favorite mantras to repeat aloud are:
“Progress, not perfection!”
“I can do hard things.”
“Slow and steady wins the race.”
“I may not be where I want to be, but I’m better than yesterday.”
18. Play With A Puzzle
You’re less likely to dwell on your hunger when your brain is figuring out how to solve a the pieces in a jigsaw puzzle.
19. Learn To Love Green
Green tea fights cancer, burns fat, and is a powerful antioxidant. Brew a cup as soon as you wake up — studies have shown an increase in energy expenditure and 12 percent higher fat oxidation.
20. Check Your Goals
Write a list of all the specific reasons why you want to cut calories or lose weight. Grab a piece of paper and pen and start by asking yourself for 10 specific reasons why you want to lose weight: physical reasons, psychological reasons, spiritual reasons — whatever comes to mind. Write them down, and look at what you’ve written. It will inspire you! Stick them to your mirror so you can be reminded of them often.
21. Give Yourself Some TLC
Going to the spa, having a massage, or rubbing some lotion on your body can soothe yourself and calm your appetite.
22. Tie Your Walking Shoes
Set a timer for 15 minutes and hit the road walking! Walking at a 15-minute mile pace can burn between 240-360 calories in an hour. In general, the more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn. If you weigh more than 150 pounds, for example, you may burn even more then 360 calories. Caloric expenditure is also effected by how you walk: If you pump your arms or actively push off with your toes, for example, you’ll burn more.
23. Wake Up Your Metabolism
Breakfast is the meal for eat-less champions. When you eat within one hour of waking up, you rev your metabolism for the day to come. Adding protein to your morning routine with a simple protein shake or veggie omelette will prevent overeating calories later in the day.
24. Simmer Some Onions
Make some simple soup! Try the recipe below and heat for minute or two for a warm treat throughout the day to help you from binging on high calorie foods.
Warm Simple Soup:
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 stalks celery
2 large carrots
8 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
2 quarts water
Chop all vegetables into 1-inch chunks. Heat oil in a soup pot. Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic and bay leaves. Boil for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
25. Do a One Minute Challenge
It’s time for one minute of Burpees! See how many you can do in 60 seconds and try to improve each day. Trust me…when you do this challenge, you’ll be too focused on finishing the challenge to think about snacking. Click here for directions on how to do a burpee.
26. Power Off
Your hunger hormones spike when you’re overwhelmed, so turn off your phone for 1 minute. When you power back on, you’ll find yourself feeling more calm, which will and lessen your risk of binging.
27. Enjoy The Sunshine
Enjoying 10 minutes in the sun can decrease your stress level and give you a surge of energy. Stress causes your cortisol levels to raise, which creates a resistance to leptin (your satiety hormone).
28. Give Thanks
Take out a piece of paper and write a thank you note to someone who positively influenced your life. Showing gratitude will counteract negative emotions and leave you feeling happier and help keep your mind out of the fridge.
29. Light Up
Studies show that when you light a peppermint candle, it tricks your body into thinking that you’ve eaten.
30. And finally — Reward yourself at the end of the day.
It sounds silly, but even the simplest reward can help motivate you to push through to the end of the day. Decide on a reward — a small one — and enjoy it if you meet your goals. My suggestion? A small piece of dark chocolate.
When considering the topic of cutting calories, think broadly. It’s easy to get caught up in the details of dos, and don’ts and tips and tricks. Remember, there is a bigger picture. When we look up from the minutiae and see the scenery, we can enjoy the journey. We then usher in the passion that revitalizes our energy, joy, and enthusiasm for life.