It seems like everywhere you turn there is a new advertisement for the latest weight-loss pill or exercise machine. For some reason, we like to make weight loss much more complicated than it needs to be. Most likely, this is just a defense mechanism that we use to avoid doing the nitty-gritty work that’s boring but necessary in order to lose weight.
When it comes right down to it, losing weight (specifically fat loss) really comes down to decreasing your caloric intake and increasing your exercise. As a matter of fact, simply doing one of these things can lead to significant weight loss, and in this article I’d like to give you some simple tips for decreasing your calories.
Here are seven quick and simple tips for decreasing your calories and boosting your weight-loss results.
1. Cut back on the pop / sodas. If you’re like most people in the US, you probably consume a few sodas each and every day. Depending on what part of the country you are from, you may call them sodas, pop, colas, or simply “cokes” regardless of brand name. No matter what you call them, these tasty beverages are full of sugar or high fructose corn syrup and do not provide any real nutritional value. So many people add them to their daily meals without giving it a second thought, but eliminating these carbonated beverages is a simple way of dramatically cutting back your calories each and every day.
2. Snack smart. Eat some fruit instead of junk food during work breaks. Are you spending lots of time in front of the vending machine each day? Why don’t you pack yourself a couple of apples or some other kind of fruit to eat instead? All of those candy bars, potato chips, and peanut butter crackers really do add up. Substituting some fruit can really help bring down your total caloric intake for the day. Late night snacks aren’t taboo, but avoid simple carbohydrates and watch the calories before bed. Protein shakes are a fantastic option for after dinner snacks!
3. Drink more water or unsweetened beverages instead of fruit juices. We’ve already talked about sodas, but you should also seriously consider reducing (if not eliminating) the amount of fruit juice you drink every day. Most people feel that juice is really healthy, so you might be wondering why I’m recommending this. Well, you first have to realize that the fruit juice you buy at the store is not nearly as healthy as eating fresh fruits and vegetables. All the fiber has been removed, so all you’re getting a really potent dose of sugar with a couple of milligrams of vitamin C. Drinking water or unsweetened beverages instead can be extremely helpful because you have probably been taking in a lot more calories than you thought with fruit juices.
4. Watch the condiments! For example, how about the mayonnaise on your sandwiches? A little mayonnaise here and there is no big deal, but when you’re serious about losing weight every little bit helps. Mayonnaise can be surprisingly fattening, especially if you choose the regular kind instead of the “reduced fat” version.
5. Eat a little less dessert! Ideally, you should eliminate dessert altogther – eat it once a week on a “treat” day, if you like. I know, this one doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but it’s really important. Dessert is a “all about me” meal. We eat it for no other reason that it tastes good. Rarely do we need any more calories after consuming a meal. Most desserts aren’t exactly incredible sources of nutrients – at least not of the sort you can’t get from another source with much less calories. And if you can’t eliminate those sweets completely then at the very least reduce your portions.
6.Keep a journal and document everything you eat. Many people hit a wall in their weight loss programs and cannot understand why. Oftentimes, it’s the little snacks or calorie-ridden afternoon lattes that are killing your program. If you document everything, than nothing falls “between the cracks.”
7. Get knowledgeable about the calorie counts of foods. Two of the biggest problems people have when achieving their weight loss goals are first; they don’t know how many calories they should be consuming daily, and two; they have no idea of the caloric value of the foods they are eating. There are a zillion resources online to perform your research at, and you should look into this.
No need to look up every single food you’ve ever eaten, but you should get an idea of the caloric values of the foods you eat regularly. You might be surprised at how many more calories you are consuming than you thought!
These are not revolutionary ways to lower your caloric intake, but they do work. Put them to the test and see what you think!
Have you got any good strategies that we missed? Share your comments below! We’d really appreciate it… as will our readers!