Calorie counting can be a time-consuming and cumbersome way to lose weight, but caloric intake is an important consideration when you are trying to become healthier. If you are looking for ways to cut your calories without keeping a notebook with every bite you take listed, there are a few great ways to get started toward a healthier you!
Cut The Sugar
Many people immediately think of cutting fats when they think of weight loss and calories, but western diets are actually overloaded with sugar and refined carbohydrates, which tends to increase weight gain over time. Removing added sugars from your diet is an easy way to immediately decrease the amount of calories you are taking in at each meal – for instance, a typical 12 oz. can of soda contains somewhere around 35 grams of carbohydrates (mostly refined sugars) which makes up about 12% of your daily carbohydrate intake and 7% of your daily caloric intake. Checking labels on processed foods for corn syrup and other added sugars, plus avoiding more processed carbohydrates like white breads and pastas while replacing them with whole wheat options, will immediately remove many unnecessary calories from your diet.
Cut The Portion Size
The human stomach stretches to contain whatever is placed there, even if the contents are unnecessary for further nutrition. One way to prevent over-consumption of calories is to watch portion sizes, but frequently, merely measuring out recommended portions of food is not enough to change the habit of overeating. Becoming mindful of your body’s hunger signals is an important step to managing portion sizes: you should eat when you are truly hungry, and should not when you are not.
One way to begin practicing hunger mindfulness is to stop before any impulse to eat and ask, “Am I hungry? How do I know I am hungry? Is my stomach rumbling? Do I feel weak? Do I want to eat what I am reaching for, or am I eating because there’s nothing else to do?” After a few weeks of mindfulness about your eating habits, you may start to notice patterns of behavior that cause you to eat larger portions than necessary; it takes time to build the habit, but cutting portion sizes is another excellent way to cut calories.
Increase The Water
Not only is water necessary for a well-functioning digestive system, it also can prevent overeating and reduce your calorie intake! Your body cannot easily tell the difference between hunger and thirst, and so while you might think that your craving for ice cream indicates hunger, it may actually be your body signaling that you need something to drink. Merely starting the habit of drinking a glass of water before sitting down for a meal can help cut 75 calories from your food consumption at each meal.
While calorie counting is an important tool for effective weight loss and should not be dismissed because it takes a lot of time, there are some easy ways that you can start today to cut calories without carrying around a notebook!