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10 simple ways to reduce calories to lose weight

Updated on April 5, 2012

Its easier than you think

How many of us have made New Years resolutions is to lose weight. How many uf us are sticking with it almost 3 months later? With about one third of Americans considered obese, add in those considered overweight too and that number rises to 68%, I can see why so many resolve to lose weight. We are fat!

Those who have tried the recent fad pill or weight loss diet may see results in the short term but never change their habits and gain the weight they lost quickly and usually add a few more pounds as well. By slightly modifying your diet you can see dramatic results over time. These strategies are simple and effective in dropping a few hundred calories which will in turn result in a significant weight loss over time!

Got Milk

Skim milk has all of the calcium, protein, and other nutrients as whole milk, oh and it has 70 less calories per serving with none of the fat! Switching to skim milk is one of the easiest ways to change your diet and assuming two cups of milk a day would save you 900 - 1000 calories a week, 4000 calories a month and 48,000 calories a year. Based on a pound is 3,500 calories that simple reduction a year just by switching to a lower calorie alternative can lose 10 pounds or more! In addition to fewer calories in my markets skim milk is less expensive as whole milk.

Big bowl one serving

Cereal: but it fills the bowl

Just because your bowl is capable of large amounts of food take a look at the label on your cereal and accurately measure an actual serving. Compare that to what you would have poured and you might be surprised you are having two or more servings. Cutting out excess servings can cut about 200 calories from your meal. 150 calories from the extra serving and about 50 calories from the extra milk added. After all the calculations your monthly calorie saving would be over 6000 or nearly 2 pounds. Over the course of an entire year that would be nearly 73,000 calories. That's an extremely easy way to lose 20 pounds! Its as easy as a little portion control. Again by doing this small step to lose weight you will also save money in the long run. You will get more meals out of your box of cereal. The best of both worlds!

Too much Salad dressing

If you were to switch from a regular salad dressing to a light dressing you could shave up to 130 calories per 2 tablespoons. If you wanted to reduce your calories even more dilute your favorite dressing with a little extra vinegar by pouring it right in the dressing bottle and shaking it up. Most restaurants and people will have a large salad and use about 4 tablespoons of dressing. One way when eating out is to ask for the dressing on the side and add your own. If you were to do this simple step to try and drop pounds 3 times a week you would lose about a pound a week and over the course of a year lose over 13 pounds in a year!

Spread it on

Butter or your favorite spread is loaded with calories and easily overused when putting it on your toast, potatoes, veggies, and other foods. By using about one tablespoon less each day you can eliminate up to 100 calories per tablespoon. Similar to the salad dressing you would lose almost a pound a week and over 10 pounds in the year by using this simple and easy strategy to cut calories from your diet.

Cut the soda

Of all the methods for cutting calories this one might be the hardest for some. A regular can of soda is generally 150 calories and is loaded with sugar and other ingredients that are less than desirable. If the carbonation or fizz is something you want there are many naturally flavored seltzer waters to choose from that are not loaded with calories or sweeteners. As always plain ol’ water is another alternative to quench your thirst and rehydrate you as well. Cutting the soda out you will easily lose over 15 pounds in twelve months, or a little more than 1 pound a month!

Slice your bread

Using two slices of bread is a standard for most people when creating their favorite sandwich. By loading all your ingredients onto one piece not only cuts calories easily but your starch intake will also be minimized. This creative and simple approach will save you about 100 calories per slice of bread a day you would cut over 3000 calories a month making that a 10 pound loss at the end of the year!

Start light

Starting your dinner with some raw or cooked vegetables, a low calorie salad, or a high fiber broth based veggie soup can help you stave off hunger when the main course is served. The healthy appetizer will make you less hungry and ideally you would eat less of the main course by about 20 percent. A typical dinner meal might top off at 1000 calories so saving 200 calories would be an easy 20 pounds a year weight loss.

Happy Hour

When going to happy hour and ordering the special margarita or fruity concoction can be anywhere from 200 to 600 calories. Drinking a glass of wine, a mixed drink with just a splash for color, or a light beer is an easy alternative to cut at least 100 calories from those other drinks. Depending on how much you drink assuming 4 drinks a week would make you at least 7 pounds lighter in a year.

Spray it on

Heart healthy oils like olive oil and canola oil are loaded with calories which can easily cause you significant weight gain when using too much while cooking your favorite meal. Using a reusable oil mister or a low calorie cooking spray will instead of pouring straight from the bottle can cut your by at least 100 calories a day. Over the year you will have lost over 10 pounds using this simple method to cut calories and lose weight. By purchasing a reusable oil mister as opposed to the nonstick spray can you will help save the environment by packaging waste.

Late night snacking

Need I say more? Eating snacks in the evening whether it is nuts, crackers, chips, or any other snack will satisfy your craving for the moment. Eating a late night snack can easily be 250 calories a day. If you can’t cut the snacking one tip would be to get a small bowl rather than eat from its container. If your willpower is stronger than your urge to snack you will easily lose over two pounds a month and 26 pounds a year!


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    • profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thanks SuffolkJason! There are so many simple ways that people might not realize, I will expand on this later.

    • SuffolkJason profile image


      9 years ago from Ipswich, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom

      Lots of interesting ideas here!


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