You know the rule: fewer calories in plus more calories out equals weight loss. You’re on a mission to cut calories in order to reach your weight loss goals, but how many do you have to cut to see results?
There are two ways for you to reduce your calories: eat less or burn more. You’re already burning plenty of calories if you’re exercising right, or going to boot camp, but what about when it comes to what you’re eating? We’ve talked about calories before and how if you’re not eating the right things you’re exercise routine won’t matter, but how are you supposed to cut back?
As you guys might know, we don’t believe in diets, we believe in lifestyle changes. So we’re offering you long-term solutions to your calorie-cutting problem. If you’re tired of the same old dieting advice to cut calories, here are seven creative ways to trim those extra calories and see the results you desire.
While you may think of prunes as food for babies or the elderly, they can be a highly effective weight-loss tool. Because of their high fiber reputation you may fear unpleasant side effects from eating dried plums, but put these fears aside. It’s the high fiber content (five grams in six prunes) that fills you up and keeps you feeling fuller for longer so you don’t eat as many calories. Try eating five to six ounces of prunes a day and see the results unfold.
Pair Fiber with Protein
Fiber’s one thing, but add a source of protein and you’ve got yourself a powerful weight-loss combination. Because protein takes longer to digest, it provides lasting energy so you’re not craving a snack as soon as your meal’s over. Eggs, Greek yogurt, turkey breast, grilled chicken, low-fat cheese, and nuts are great sources of protein.
By adding more protein to your diet you also allow for more muscle to build, because of the way protein helps build up your muscles. So, instead of burning muscle when you work out, you’ll be building it up and burning off fat instead. This is our goal at Fit Body Boot Camp, to build up muscle so you can burn away the fat.
Use Your Other Hand
This may sound crazy, but give it a try. By using your non-dominant hand to hold your fork or spoon, you’ll slow down, make each bite count, and stay mindful of your hunger cues so you won’t be as susceptible to overeating. This is an especially good idea for people who feel that they eat too quickly.
When you slow down while eating you allow your body to send the signals about how full your stomach is. Eating too fast means that even if your stomach is full you won’t realize it right away. Slow down, allow your body to let you know when it’s done, otherwise you’ll overfill your stomach and feel sick or even cause yourself to gain weight.
Make a Few Substitutions
Still enjoy your favorite foods by implementing a few creative changes in the way they’re prepared. Find a few food substitutions you can live with without feeling deprived and make them a habit. Rather than using vegetable oil or butter when cooking, use cooking spray or olive oil when baking. If the recipe calls for oil, substitute it with applesauce. Use skim milk rather than two percent, choose grilled options instead of fried, enjoy frozen yogurt rather than ice cream, and snack on popcorn (low salt and preferably no butter) instead of chips. Greek yogurt is a great replacement for sour cream as well! There are plenty of healthy alternatives to curb whatever craving you have, you just have to figure out what works for you.
Reinvent the Sandwich
Sandwiches can make simple, yummy, and nutritious meals when done the right way. Cut calories and still enjoy sandwiches by eating them open-faced with just one slice of bread. Leave off the cheese and you’ll easily trim 60 to 100 calories. Slather Greek yogurt, hummus, mustard, or mashed avocado on your bread in place of mayonnaise and include plenty of lean protein and all the fresh veggies you want. Try to fill your sandwiches with good fats and carbs rather than bad ones (and you can learn more about the difference here) and you’ll find yourself enjoying your same delicious meals with more positive effects on your body.
Use a Smaller Plate
Fool your mind into thinking you’re indulging by filling an 8- to 10-inch plate rather than your usual 12-inch dinner plate. After making this simple swap, you’ll be surprised at how many fewer calories you can eat while still feeling satisfied. Sometimes a simple mind trick is all your body needs. By eating fulfilling foods, like the ones high in protein and fiber that fill you up, and using a smaller plate your body will think you’ve eaten more than you have and be satisfied sooner.
Preplan Your Meals
It’s a proven fact people overeat when they’re not paying attention, like when sitting in front of the television. Ever noticed that at social gatherings you tend to eat more because you’re distracted by the conversation with friends? It’s the same concept. When you’re not paying attention to how much you’re eating you don’t realize how much you’ve consumed until it’s too late.
That’s why preplanning your meals is such a good idea. If you sit down in front of the TV while eating you won’t pay attention to how much your consuming, and even if you’re eating something healthy, too much food is bad for you. So, preplan your meals, make sure you don’t grab any snacks when you sit down for your evening shows, and you’ll find yourself losing weight more easily.