Ten Simple Ways to Cut Calories

While each client’s nutritional needs and requirements vary, when a client determines they would like to reduce body weight and improve body composition, along with designing an individual exercise program for them, we begin to make simple nutritional changes that accumulatively may create positive macro changes down the line.  

This week, ten simple ways to cut calories will be highlighted.  Follow one or all ten leading to a lifetime of conscious, mindful nutritional habits.  As always, prior to beginning any exercise or nutritional program, please consult your physician.

Simple Way #1
Portions, portions, portions!  Pay close attention to the portion of each food you consume.  Create a focused, mindful approach to food wherein you are aware of what you input.  This does not mean being obsessive about nutrition—just conscious.  It would amaze many that they are inputting far greater caloric quantities than realized.  Therefore, recognizing appropriate portions is a great way to avoid that slippery slope.

Simple Way #2
Avoid fast food whenever possible.  If you must choose fast food, there are salads and other alternatives that, with reasonable dressing portions, might work in a pinch.  However, there tend to be countless hidden calories in many fast foods. Therefore, carry healthy choices with you for those unexpected occasions.

Simple Way #3
Switch it out!  Switch out the higher caloric content food for the lower calorie alternative.  This is a simple modification that really works and once you become accustomed to this approach, you may find the creativity liberating.  *A great resource is “Eat This, Not That”, by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding.

Simple Way #4
Consider changing how you prepare your food by choosing a healthier oil for sauté’ or the marinade that you utilize for grilling. 

Simple Way #5
Nutritional timing.  Avoid allowing more than five hours to pass without eating. Then, consume high quality protein following your workouts, enjoy healthy, small-portion snacks throughout the day leading to fewer total calories consumed.  When we are starving, poor choices often occur.  Stay fed, satisfied and satiated. 

Simple Way #6
Plan your meals ahead, at least several days per week, so that you know what you are eating in advance.  Taking the time to plan ahead pays big dividends regarding calorie cutting.  Take as much time to plan your meals as you do to plan your business day, workout schedule, or social life.  When you plan there may be fewer caloric pitfalls.

Simple Way #7
Once you have planned your meals,  now prepare your meals for the week in advance, freeze when possible providing you with a meal ready for each occasion.

Simple Way #8
Brown bag it and avoid going out to lunch when possible–saving money and calories.

Simple Way #9
Eliminate it.  Try coffee/tea without creamer/sugar or toast/muffin without added fat, enjoy the hamburger without the bun, have half a sandwich rather than the whole, choose veggies or fruit as your sides, and learn to love water avoiding calorie laden beverages.  This particular suggestion works because the small things matter–over the course of a year that teaspoon of sugar or butter eliminated daily from your diet may add up to ten pounds or more.

Simple Way #10
Avoid grocery shopping when you are hungry—this suggestion is obvious!

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