13 Easy Ways to Cut Calories
You’ve probably heard the saying, “you are what you eat”. And we couldn’t agree anymore. This also includes how much you eat. Eat like a king for every meal, and you’re sure to gain weight. Eat like a pauper and you’re sure to lose weight. Nailing your caloric intake is something that takes time to perfect. In a world full of high sugar and high-fat foods, cutting your calories seems to be impossible. Passing up on that bag of chips at the office or drinks after work can take an extraordinary amount of willpower. We’ve put together 13 easy ways you can use to cut calories!
1. Plan your meals
Planning your meals allows you to carve out your calories ahead of time. Trying planning your meals for the week on Sunday so that when Wednesday rolls around, you already know what you’re going to eat and when. Planning your meals also allows you to prep them ahead of time and gather all the ingredients you need beforehand.
2. Drink more water
Did you know that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? That’s right. In addition, over 1/3 of Americans are considered overweight. Coincidence? We don’t think so. In fact, a study was conducted by Tammy Chang, MD, MPH, MS that discovered the link between hydration and BMI. The results of the study found that adults inadequately hydrated had higher BMIs and high odds of being obese. You can read the full study here.
3. Consume more protein
If you haven’t heard before, protein is a key nutrient linked to many health benefits. It can reduce hunger, speed up your metabolism, and repair broken down muscle tissue. So how does protein relate to cutting calories? Protein helps to increase your hormone levels of GLP-1, peptide YY, cholecystokinin while reducing your levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. For your next snack, try swapping the carbs for protein. Greek yogurt, beef jerky, or nuts are all great sources of high-quality proteins.
Not sure how much protein you need? Read our post here to find out exactly how much protein you should consume.
4. Fast for a day
Yes, fasting for a day will obviously help you cut calories. But that’s not the point we’re going for. Fasting for a day is equally a mental exercise as it is a physical one. Learning to fight through hunger pains now will help you even when not fasting. In today’s world, we truly are addicted to food. We plan our lives around what we are going to eat and when. Many many years ago, this wasn’t the case. Instead of planning around food, humans were forced to find their food. There is a reason why obesity rates are at record highs. The ease of access to food and the marketing put behind it has encouraged us to eat more than we ever have, and it’s showing.
5. Get more sleep
Similar to the way protein helps regulate hormones, sleep does the same. Cortisol is a huge culprit when it comes to weight gain. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can be triggered in many different ways. From financial uncertainty to relationship problems, cortisol affects everyone. Sleep helps to regulate it. Getting fewer than 6 hours of sleep per night can be detrimental to your cortisol levels. Sleep isn’t the only thing you can do to help lower your cortisol levels. Here are a few others:
- Take a bath
- Go for a walk
6. Swap the beef for chicken
Beef, while great tasting, contains more fat than we need. And because fat is the most caloric dense macronutrient, swapping to chicken (an extremely lean meat) can help you cut out a few hundred calories per meal.
7. Swap soda for tea
Everyone enjoys soda, and with all of the low to no sugar options, it makes drinking less soda difficult. But these low to no calorie soda are full of artificial sweeteners that can have many negative consequences. Instead, we recommend switching the soda to tea. If needed, you can sweeten the tea with a natural alternative such as honey. There are many different types of tea that can aid with several different issues such as sleep, stress, and more. You can find some of our favorites here:
8. Get to sleep earlier
We mentioned before that getting more sleep is crucial to your success in cutting calories and to that same note, getting to sleep earlier can also help. Do you find yourself hungry late at night and oftentimes make your way to the pantry in search for something to snack on before bed? This can be detrimental to your fat loss journey. Try getting to sleep a few hours earlier than normal to avoid this mistake.
9. Drink less alcohol
The occasional beer or glass of wine is fine. But slamming back cocktails during a late night can crush your hopes of losing fat. Each sugary cocktail you drink can contain upwards of 200-300 calories. That can QUICKLY add up after a few. Switch to something with less sugar such as a spiked spritzer or light beer. These usually contain only 100 calories per, helping you consume less calories.
10. Don’t drink sugary coffee creamer
I’ll admit, I drink way more coffee than I should. But coffee doesn’t have to be bad for you. Cut the sugar and go for something more natural like 1% milk. Sugary creamers can contain 30-40 calories per tablespoon. Switch to low-fat milk and that number gets cut to only 10 calories! Multiply that by a few cups per day and that could add up to a couple of hundred calories per week!
11. No more fried foods
Fried foods are linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Need another option? Open the grill lid, make your favorite marinade, and turn up the heat . Many types of meat can easily be grilled and taste quite delicious making it a great alternative to frying, not to mention much healthier.
12. Fill up on low-calorie foods
Foods like green beans, spinach, and celery are all very low calorie. Try eating them first before your big meal. You will become satiated and eat less helping you cut calories!
13. Eat slower
Many of us scarf down our meals when we’re hungry. A study by BMJ Open found that people who ate at a normal speed were 29% less likely to be obese than those who ate at a faster speed. Those who ate slowly had a 42% less chance of being obese compared to those who ate quickly. Slow it down on your next meal.
These are just a few tips to help you cut calories throughout the day. Let us know your favorites below!