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).

IMPROVED COMPLIANCE

I recently met a woman who was following, or trying to follow a low fat diet. She was asking me if I thought low fat diets really work. Like most of us, she has been googling diet and fitness with a somewhat confusing result. So here is my two cents.

Low fat diets have been extremely popular. But recently there has been a trend to reduce carbohydrate consumption and increase fats and proteins. This newer diet strategy has shown to be extremely effective in improving overall health, body composition, and performance.

There is definitely confusion regarding low fat diets, because there is still ongoing research that examines the efficacy of low fat/high carbohydrate diets for weight loss. A lot of the confusion stems from the fact that low fat diets work when it comes to weight loss. But keep reading, there is more to this story.

The reason low fat diets work is because anytime you decrease a person’s caloric intake to a level significantly below their energy expenditure they will lose weight. It isn’t rocket science just simple math. The question should not be if low fat diets work but if they work the best?

From my own experience, the answer to that is NO. And trust me, I have been on some crazy low fat diets. Low fat diets usually include high carbohydrates. But lowering your carbohydrate consumption and increasing your fat and protein intake leads to a diet that is more effective at reducing fat, preserving and building lean body mass, and improving health.

I used to be “afraid” of fat. I would never eat anything with over 2 or 3 grams of fat. What a bore! Then as I started to learn more about the effects of high carbs and the math game (calories in v.s calories out), I realized I would not gain weight if I ate more fat here and there. I actually noticed my physique looking better and healthier after tweaking the fat consumption in my diet. When you can eat more than 4 grams of fat, it opens up a world of new and delicious foods!

The math game is most important when you are dealing with dietary numbers (calories in v.s. calories out), so once you have your math under control look for balance. A balanced carbohydrate/protein/fat diet is key to increase your level of satiety (you feel full longer), increase blood sugar control (yielding better weight loss), and improved compliance. Improved compliance is by far the most important aspect of a successful “diet”. The more you stick to your plan, the better your plan will work.

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