Cut Calories – Tips To Tweak Your Menu

The littlest swaps or tweaks can make a big difference. There are all sorts of ways to cut calories here and there, but here are some of my favorite food swaps you can make to cut 150 calories from your menu.

1. Use mustard instead of mayo on sandwiches. There are so many different kinds of mustards that can add incredible flavor to any sandwich.

2. Buy 6-inch low-carb, whole-wheat tortillas instead of the 10-inch flour ones. Not only will you lose calories, but you’ll also get four times the fiber!

 3. Avoid soda and juice and drink water instead (or unsweetened tea). One can of regular soda contains about 140 calories  Surprisingly a glass of juice contains almost as many calories, and like soda contains mostly sugar.

4. If you need a potato fix, try a baked potato instead of french fries. Potatoes are not the enemy, but don’t go crazy with butter and sour cream.

5. Keep 100-calorie popcorn snack packs on hand to eat instead of a bag of chips from the vending machine.

6. Skip the grande Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks and opt for a small latte with skim milk instead.  Save that coffee dessert for a cheat day.

7. Trade in a normal bagel for a toasted whole-wheat English muffin.

8. Load your pasta with veggies to cut calories but not bulk. Instead of two cups of pasta, try one cup of whole-wheat pasta and one cup of cooked veggies. (Remember to cook whole-wheat pasta longer for the best taste).

Move the Chains

“Move the chains”. That is the term my husband and I use to keep moving forward. We both love to watch football, so we decided to choose a football analogy to help us always feel like we are moving forward to reach our goals, whether it is a little accomplishment or a big one. We realize that in order to reach our goals, we don’t have to do everything all at once. It was life changing for us to approach things this way, because it took a lot of the pressure off. If we only work a little bit toward our goal one day, it is okay. On crazy days, we don’t beat ourselves up anymore because we didn’t get as much done as we wanted – We may have not scored a touch down, but did we move the chains?

When you want to lose weight, do you try to score a touchdown from the start — radically changing your diet and behaviors? For many people that approach is just too difficult to stick with for long.

How about inching closer to your goal with doable, less drastic changes? Over time, even small steps can add up big — and become a way of life.

What can I change today? You can begin shaving calories right away. Start here with these not-on-a-diet steps:

Slow down and savor. Speeding through meals can lead to overeating. Pay attention to every bite and make the decision to eat slower, especially when you are starving.

Downsize your dish. Use a smaller plate or bowl to help keep portion sizes in check. Sounds simple — but, it can work.

Leave a few bites behind. Remind yourself that it’s OK to not clean your plate. Consciously leave two or three bites on your plate every meal.

Turn up your veggie volume. These low-calorie, nutritional wonders can fill you up fast. Eat all your veggies first. By the time you get to a more calorie dense entree, you won’t be as hungry. Enjoy your favorite veggies. But, try new varieties, too. Why not make it one new type each week?

Lighten up your latte. Order your favorite coffee drink with fat-free milk and sugar-free syrup. Remember though, fat-free does not mean calorie free.

Burn calories, too! Of course, any successful weight-loss plan includes exercise. And, you can apply the small changes approach to physical activity, as well. Maybe that means you walk from the far end of the parking lot today — and around the block tomorrow.

These small steps can create real momentum and real habits. Once you see that you can make changes, you’ll be more likely to keep going with your healthful ways.
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