Cutting Calories is Easier With These Food Tips and
Cutting calories is an essential part of any weight-loss
program — after all, it’s not difficult to out-eat even the most rigorous
workout program. The lower calorie count isn’t the only problem. When you’re
accustomed to snacking regularly and eating until you’re full, constant restraint
can cause significant mental stress. With these food tips, you can feel
indulgent without killing your calorie budget.
Load Up on Spinach
Feeling satisfied can be a challenge when you’re trying to
lose weight. Bulk is half the battle; the more food you eat, the fuller you
feel. The trouble is, bigger portions often lead to more calories. Spinach, at
just 7 calories per cup, is a great solution. Instead of eating three scrambled
eggs for a calorie count of 210, switch things up. Saute 4 cups of spinach,
move it to the side of the pan, and add in two eggs and two egg whites. When
the eggs are nearly cooked, mix them with the spinach. The result fills a large
dinner plate and comes in at less than 200 calories. For extra color, flavor,
and volume, toss in a diced tomato, sliced mushrooms, chopped zucchini or bell
peppers. You’ll walk away from the table feeling stuffed, and your daily
calorie goal won’t suffer.
Buy a Watermelon
If calorie restriction leaves you craving sugar and sweet
desserts, reach for watermelon instead. A cup of diced watermelon contains
approximately 47 calories, almost the same as a single Oreo cookie. The high
water content leaves you feeling full, and the natural sugars can satisfy a
The trick to turning the watermelon into a weight-loss tool,
however, is finding the right serving size and cutting style. When you’re
feeling deprived of your favorite snacking habits and large portions, a single
wedge isn’t going to cut it. Remove a thick slice from the watermelon, and cut
away the rind until a large circle of fruit remains. Make a series of parallel
cuts across the circle, forming many long, thin slices. Then, make a single
perpendicular cut to halve the slices. These small, thin pieces take longer to
eat, and the extra crunch increases satisfaction. For the biggest impact, leave
300 calories in your daily budget for a 6-cup serving; it will give you the
same pleasantly full feeling a more indulgent snack would, which can help
dramatically with the mental aspect of calorie restriction.
Reach for Halo Top
When you’re accustomed to ultra-sugary desserts, fruit
doesn’t always cut it. Over time, your restraint can ebb away, leaving you more
prone to binges that wipe out all of your hard work in one fell swoop. On days
when you can’t stop thinking about destroying an entire box of doughnuts, do
yourself a favor and reach for Halo Top ice cream instead. Unlike other
“diet” frozen desserts (e.g., Arctic Zero), Halo Top has the same
intense sweetness of traditional ice cream, thanks to its calorie-free
sugar alcohol sweeteners. It’s also high in protein, with 20 grams per pint, so
you stay fuller for longer. Best of all, an entire pint will set you back just
240 to 360 calories, depending on the flavor. Compare that to Haagen Dazs
or Ben & Jerry’s, which usually contain 1,000 calories or more per pint.
While it’s not an everyday treat, Halo Top can be a calorie-cutting life saver.
If you’re missing chips, crackers, and other salty,
high-calorie snacks, pickles can help you get through. One whole pickle
contains approximately 15 calories and a satisfying salty punch, so you can eat
them without breaking the calorie bank. If you’re concerned about salt, cover
sliced cucumbers with white vinegar and pop them in the fridge for guilt-free
snacking. One full cucumber contains fewer than 50 calories, and the vinegar
adds a pleasantly sour punch without the sodium.
Soda is a pressing concern for many calorie-cutters. Diet
soda is an option, but for some people, the sweet taste without the calories
leads to intense hunger later in the day. Sparkling water is a great solution.
The bubbles fill you up, which can take the edge off of cravings or hunger. The
carbonation provides the same refreshing feeling as soda, and since the water
contains no calories or artificial sweeteners, you can drink as much as you
want. One tip: go easy if you plan to wear something form-fitting, as the
bubbles can cause bloating.
Cutting calories is rarely easy, but it’s a crucial step on
the road to weight loss. With the right snacks and smart food tricks, you can
lower your daily totals without feeling hungry or deprived.