For so many people, it seems like a lot of our calorie intake for the day happens just like that, it’s so easy to mindlessly, and sometimes innocently, consume extra calories. When we came across these tips in Women’s Health Magazine, we had to share.
For us, at least, having simple tips like this top-of-mind can make all the difference in the world: they will help us munch intelligently, considering if we really need croutons on our salad or meat on our pizza – the answer is probably that we don’t actually need those additions to be satisfied, and considering that just saved us some calories! That’s the most important thing about this list, by the way, and why it has a better chance of helping you reduce your calorie intake – it’s not telling you not to eat pizza or brownies, in fact, they’re both on the list (if you’re not eating them everyday!) – but it will help you make smart decisions when indulging to cut out the needless additional calories.
At Lunch or Dinner:
- Leave the Swiss cheese out of your sandwich.
- Slather your bread with mustard rather than mayo and save 80 calories per tablespoon.
- Pass up croutons at the salad bar.
- Use up to 10 pumps of ranch dressing spray instead of pouring 2 tablespoons from a bottle.
- Devour a slice of Pizza Hut cheese pan pizza instead of the meat lover’s variety.
- Take your iced tea unsweetened.
- Reach for a Snapple raspberry white tea instead of a Snapple raspberry iced tea.
- Stuff chicken salad into a whole-wheat pita instead of between slices of multigrain bread.
- Make your burger turkey, not beef.
- Slurp minestrone soup instead of cream of anything.
- Go bunless—shed your hamburger roll.
- Use south-of-the-border savvy: Have a quesadilla made with two 6-inch corn, not flour, tortillas.
At Happy Hour:
- Nurse a single glass of wine instead of downing 2 beers.
- Ask for your rum and cokes in a highball glass. Bartenders pour an average of 20 percent less liquid into taller tumblers, so you’ll swig less per round.
- Drizzle extra hot sauce, not blue cheese or ranch dressing, on your wings.
- Ordering a cocktail? Make it on the rocks instead of frozen. Slushy fruit drinks tend to be made with bottled mixers that contain added sugar and syrups.
- Blending your own? Have a daiquiri, not a piña colada.
- Pop the cap off of an MGD 64 instead of a bottle of Killian’s Irish Red.
- Sip a glass of water between drinks—pacing yourself can help you cut back by a glass or more.
- Dip your nachos in salsa rather than guacamole.
- For automatic portion control, sip wine from a Champagne flute, not an oversize goblet.
- Stop eating when you hit the crust. The edges and bottoms of baked goods are especially caloric because they absorb the butter used to grease the pan.
- Fill your bowl with sorbet instead of ice cream—you can have an extra 1/2 cup of the former and still slash calories.
- Next time a cocoa craving hits, ditch the dish of chocolate ice cream (about 3/4 cup) for a Fudgsicle.
- Have sugar-free Jell-O instead of pudding. Better your nighttime treat jigglethan your thighs.
- Go ahead and have that piece of birthday cake—just scrape off the chocolate frosting first.
- Eat 5 meringue cookies instead of 2 chocolate chip ones.
- Pass on the à la mode and savor that brownie au naturel.
- Can the cone. Have your ice cream in a bowl.
- Top your dessert with 1/2 cup of fresh berries instead of 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup.
When you’re cooking:
- Substitute nonfat Greek yogurt for a serving of sour cream.
- Use chicken broth (low-sodium is best) instead of oil to sauté meat and veggies.
- Making homemade mac ‘n cheese? Cut 2 tablespoons of butter from the recipe.
- Replace the oil or butter in cakes with Sunsweet Lighter Bake prune-and-apple mixture or any brand of unsweetened applesauce.
- Next time you make meatballs, meatloaf, or burgers, go half-and-half with ground beef and turkey.
- When preparing packaged foods that call for butter or oil, like rice and stuffing, use a broth instead.
- Swap low-fat cottage cheese for whole-milk ricotta when you make lasagna or stuffed shells.