50 Ways to Cut Calories

Would you like to lose weight?  Then cut calories as well as exercise.  Here are 50 ways to cut calories from St. Louis, Clayton and Brentwood, MO personal trainers, and they fall into eight categories.

  • Control Over Tempting Sensation Habits

1. Control triggers. For some people, certain foods trigger overeating. Be aware of these foods and find ways to avoid them by substituting satisfying, non-triggering foods.

2. Plan for parties. Before attending social events, dinner parties or catered occasions where there will be rich, high-calorie foods, eat a light protein-based snack (i.e., bean salad or yogurt).

3. Find a balance with favorite foods. It’s common to overindulge on favorite foods. Identify yours and commit to enjoying them, but don’t overindulge.

4. Be aware of breakfast starch overload. Many people treat themselves to a special bagel for breakfast, along with cream cheese, coffee and juice. Since a bagel today is equivalent to about five slices of bread, try a breakfast of egg whites, fruit and a quarter bagel instead. And make it a whole grain bagel which will add more fiber and help to slow down blood sugar spiking.

5. Combat protein overload at dinner. Restaurants regularly entice customers with irresistible steak, seafood and chicken specials. Split a meal with a friend to cut the colossal protein calorie overload. Perhaps start the meal with a low-fat salad, and eat plenty of vegetables.

  • Simple Substitutions

6. Switch from a 3-ounce serving of meat to the equivalent of a meat alternative, such as lentils.

7. Switch from a serving of bread to a serving of rice cakes (about five rice cakes).

8. Switch from a 6-ounce glass of orange juice to a cup of cantaloupe.

9. Switch from a 1.5-ounce serving of cheese to an 8-ounce yogurt.

10. Switch from a half-cup of dried fruit to a cup of berries.

  • Wise Choices

11. Choose olive oil–based dressings instead of the creamy types.

12. Choose the grilled fish or chicken over fried options.

13. Choose whole-wheat or rye instead of white bread.

14. Order mixed berries for dessert rather than a slice of cheesecake, or ask for just a small serving.

15. Choose mustard over mayonnaise on sandwiches.

  • Surviving the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

16. Choose only the foods you really enjoy.

17. Fill up on veggies, fruits and salads, and put the dressing on the side.

18. Skip foods with a lot of sauce.

19. Commit in advance to eating just one decent-sized plate, and avoid wearing loose-fitting clothes.

20. Eat slowly, savoring each bite as you (hopefully) engage in conversation with a friend or companion. Enjoy your meal with water rather than soda.

  • Clever Calorie-Cutting Ideas for Home Dining

21. When preparing and cooking multiple meals, freeze what you’re not immediately eating in single-serving containers. Bake casseroles in individual-size dishes.

22. To minimize overeating, serve the main dish on a salad or bread plate. Don’t leave food sitting on the counter.

23. Do not eat anything out of a bag or container. Place the food on a plate or in a bowl so you see precisely how much you’re eating.

24. Follow the “rule of one”: Have only one helping of each food group. The exception to this is vegetables.

25. Look out for added sugars (and their extra calories) in many packaged foods, including frozen dinners, salad dressings, breads and pasta sauce. Buy unsweetened oatmeal, cereal and yogurt, and sweeten them yourself with a tad of sugar or honey.

  • Smart Swaps

26. Make special requests when you go out to eat. For instance, swap out fries for vegetables or, when ordering a burrito, smart-swap cheese for extra tomato and lettuce.

27. Break the mayonnaise habit. Just one tablespoon of mayonnaise can have over 50 calories (depending on the brand).

28. Spice your tea or coffee with cinnamon, which helps stabilize blood sugar and is a good source of vitamin K and iron.

29. Choose the miniature versions of desserts.

30. Order appetizers as your meal.

31. Avoid the oversized food and drink portions that most restaurants serve; stick to regular-sized portions or try the kiddie size if there is one.

32. Smart-swap tomato-based sauces for creamy ones.

33. Choose thin pizza crust instead of deep-dish.  Once again, make it a whole grain crust.

34. Avoid monster 18-ounce margaritas, which add more than 400 calories to a meal.

35. De-fat your café latte. A medium 18-ounce latte made with whole milk has 265 calories. A small 12-ounce latte made with fat-free milk has 125 calories.

  • Guiltless Fast Food

36. Pay attention to your personal hunger meter. Stop eating when you feel comfortable, not full.

37. Order small sizes of all food options and enjoy the meal with a seltzer, sparkling water, iced green tea, or water with lemon. Sweet drinks—a go-to with fast-food meals—are a major source of added sugars. The verdict is still out on the health consequences of diet beverages. There is emerging evidence that some sugar substitutes may upset metabolic processes, possibly leading to weight gain.  I say, stay way from diet sodas altogether.  Or any soda for that matter.

38. Stay away from anything that says “double” or “triple.”

39. Steer clear of any meals that say “supersize,” “mega,” “biggie” or “jumbo.”

40. Be aware that some no-fat and low-fat meals have a fair number of calories.

  • Winning Ways to Live

41. Do not keep sugary drinks in the house.

42. Choose a low-calorie meal starter, such as salad or soup, to help prevent overeating later in the meal.

43. Order salad dressings on the side. Often even healthy, “low-calorie” salad dressings can be deceptively high in calories owing to the amount used.

44. Beware of the breadbasket. The bread-and-butter habit can add hundreds of calories to your meal. In fact, one slice of white bread with butter is 116 calories—and the bread may make you hungrier. The carbohydrate in it may trigger insulin production, which increases hunger. Send the breadbasket back, or ask your server not to bring bread to the table in the first place.

45. Be judicious with the chips and salsa when you go out for Mexican food. Practice moderation.

46. Prune your meal. Literally trim the meal you have chosen to eat. For example, if you’re eating a burger, take off the bun to save around 160 calories.

47. Be mindful of your alcohol consumption. There’s nothing wrong with appreciating a drink, but be aware of the calories you’re consuming.

48. Eat more whole fruits, which contain lots of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

49. Eat a little lean protein at most meals. This goes a long way toward making you feel satisfied.

50. Final reminder: If you truly want to lose weight and prevent weight regain, find sustainable ways to cut back on calories. In addition, keep progressing your cardiovascular and resistance training workouts with a St. Louis, Clayton, or Brentwood, MO personal trainer.

For more information on how to cut calories, contact Maurie Cofman, CMES, CES, TBMM-CES, Personal Trainer, Certified Medical Exercise Specialist, Health Coach and Corrective Exercise Specialist in the St. Louis, Brentwood, and Clayton, MO area.

Would you like to lose weight?  Then cut calories as well as exercise.  Here are 50 ways to cut calories from St. Louis, Clayton and Brentwood, MO personal trainers, and they fall into eight categories.

  • Control Over Tempting Sensation Habits

1. Control triggers. For some people, certain foods trigger overeating. Be aware of these foods and find ways to avoid them by substituting satisfying, non-triggering foods.

2. Plan for parties. Before attending social events, dinner parties or catered occasions where there will be rich, high-calorie foods, eat a light protein-based snack (i.e., bean salad or yogurt).

3. Find a balance with favorite foods. It’s common to overindulge on favorite foods. Identify yours and commit to enjoying them, but don’t overindulge.

4. Be aware of breakfast starch overload. Many people treat themselves to a special bagel for breakfast, along with cream cheese, coffee and juice. Since a bagel today is equivalent to about five slices of bread, try a breakfast of egg whites, fruit and a quarter bagel instead. And make it a whole grain bagel which will add more fiber and help to slow down blood sugar spiking.

5. Combat protein overload at dinner. Restaurants regularly entice customers with irresistible steak, seafood and chicken specials. Split a meal with a friend to cut the colossal protein calorie overload. Perhaps start the meal with a low-fat salad, and eat plenty of vegetables.

  • Simple Substitutions

6. Switch from a 3-ounce serving of meat to the equivalent of a meat alternative, such as lentils.

7. Switch from a serving of bread to a serving of rice cakes (about five rice cakes).

8. Switch from a 6-ounce glass of orange juice to a cup of cantaloupe.

9. Switch from a 1.5-ounce serving of cheese to an 8-ounce yogurt.

10. Switch from a half-cup of dried fruit to a cup of berries.

  • Wise Choices

11. Choose olive oil–based dressings instead of the creamy types.

12. Choose the grilled fish or chicken over fried options.

13. Choose whole-wheat or rye instead of white bread.

14. Order mixed berries for dessert rather than a slice of cheesecake, or ask for just a small serving.

15. Choose mustard over mayonnaise on sandwiches.

  • Surviving the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

16. Choose only the foods you really enjoy.

17. Fill up on veggies, fruits and salads, and put the dressing on the side.

18. Skip foods with a lot of sauce.

19. Commit in advance to eating just one decent-sized plate, and avoid wearing loose-fitting clothes.

20. Eat slowly, savoring each bite as you (hopefully) engage in conversation with a friend or companion. Enjoy your meal with water rather than soda.

  • Clever Calorie-Cutting Ideas for Home Dining

21. When preparing and cooking multiple meals, freeze what you’re not immediately eating in single-serving containers. Bake casseroles in individual-size dishes.

22. To minimize overeating, serve the main dish on a salad or bread plate. Don’t leave food sitting on the counter.

23. Do not eat anything out of a bag or container. Place the food on a plate or in a bowl so you see precisely how much you’re eating.

24. Follow the “rule of one”: Have only one helping of each food group. The exception to this is vegetables.

25. Look out for added sugars (and their extra calories) in many packaged foods, including frozen dinners, salad dressings, breads and pasta sauce. Buy unsweetened oatmeal, cereal and yogurt, and sweeten them yourself with a tad of sugar or honey.

  • Smart Swaps

26. Make special requests when you go out to eat. For instance, swap out fries for vegetables or, when ordering a burrito, smart-swap cheese for extra tomato and lettuce.

27. Break the mayonnaise habit. Just one tablespoon of mayonnaise can have over 50 calories (depending on the brand).

28. Spice your tea or coffee with cinnamon, which helps stabilize blood sugar and is a good source of vitamin K and iron.

29. Choose the miniature versions of desserts.

30. Order appetizers as your meal.

31. Avoid the oversized food and drink portions that most restaurants serve; stick to regular-sized portions or try the kiddie size if there is one.

32. Smart-swap tomato-based sauces for creamy ones.

33. Choose thin pizza crust instead of deep-dish.  Once again, make it a whole grain crust.

34. Avoid monster 18-ounce margaritas, which add more than 400 calories to a meal.

35. De-fat your café latte. A medium 18-ounce latte made with whole milk has 265 calories. A small 12-ounce latte made with fat-free milk has 125 calories.

  • Guiltless Fast Food

36. Pay attention to your personal hunger meter. Stop eating when you feel comfortable, not full.

37. Order small sizes of all food options and enjoy the meal with a seltzer, sparkling water, iced green tea, or water with lemon. Sweet drinks—a go-to with fast-food meals—are a major source of added sugars. The verdict is still out on the health consequences of diet beverages. There is emerging evidence that some sugar substitutes may upset metabolic processes, possibly leading to weight gain.  I say, stay way from diet sodas altogether.  Or any soda for that matter.

38. Stay away from anything that says “double” or “triple.”

39. Steer clear of any meals that say “supersize,” “mega,” “biggie” or “jumbo.”

40. Be aware that some no-fat and low-fat meals have a fair number of calories.

  • Winning Ways to Live

41. Do not keep sugary drinks in the house.

42. Choose a low-calorie meal starter, such as salad or soup, to help prevent overeating later in the meal.

43. Order salad dressings on the side. Often even healthy, “low-calorie” salad dressings can be deceptively high in calories owing to the amount used.

44. Beware of the breadbasket. The bread-and-butter habit can add hundreds of calories to your meal. In fact, one slice of white bread with butter is 116 calories—and the bread may make you hungrier. The carbohydrate in it may trigger insulin production, which increases hunger. Send the breadbasket back, or ask your server not to bring bread to the table in the first place.

45. Be judicious with the chips and salsa when you go out for Mexican food. Practice moderation.

46. Prune your meal. Literally trim the meal you have chosen to eat. For example, if you’re eating a burger, take off the bun to save around 160 calories.

47. Be mindful of your alcohol consumption. There’s nothing wrong with appreciating a drink, but be aware of the calories you’re consuming.

48. Eat more whole fruits, which contain lots of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

49. Eat a little lean protein at most meals. This goes a long way toward making you feel satisfied.

50. Final reminder: If you truly want to lose weight and prevent weight regain, find sustainable ways to cut back on calories. In addition, keep progressing your cardiovascular and resistance training workouts with a St. Louis, Clayton, or Brentwood, MO personal trainer.

For more information on how to cut calories, contact Maurie Cofman, CMES, CES, TBMM-CES, Personal Trainer, Certified Medical Exercise Specialist, Health Coach and Corrective Exercise Specialist in the St. Louis, Brentwood, and Clayton, MO area.