On average, American adults gain a pound of unwanted weight per year. The main causes? Overeating, lack of physical activity and poor food choices. In reality, eating just 10 calories more than you burn every day will cause you to gain 1 pound per year. Ten calories is equivalent to just one potato chip!
This goes to show how the little choices we make can add up to have a big impact over time. Want to reverse the weight gain trend? Try any of these tips to save 100 calories per day. Want to lose a pound a week? Do five of these tricks per day.
1. Eat whole fruit rather than drinking juice. Not only will you save calories by eating whole fruit, you’ll fill up on all the fiber! Check out these calorie comparisons:
•Medium orange (60 calories) vs. 12 oz orange juice (160 calories)
•20 grapes (70 calories) vs. 8 oz grape juice (170 calories)
•Medium apple (70 calories) vs. 12 oz apple juice (170 calories)
2. Lighten up the condiments. Choosing light or fat-free versions of condiments such as mayonnaise, half-and-half, butter/margarine, sour cream, cheese, salad dressing and cream cheese is an easy way to cut 100 calories! You’ll also be reducing the percentage of calories from fat you’re consuming, which is healthier for your heart. To cut 100 calories you’ll need to:
•Swap 2 servings of regular condiments to light versions, or
•Swap 1 serving of regular condiments to fat-free versions
3. Substitute 1 cup of fresh vegetables for one 1-ounce bag of chips at lunch. Again, the extra fiber and water weight of the vegetables will help keep you fuller than will the chips. Try veggies such as carrots, celery, broccoli, sugar snap peas, purple cabbage strips, and bell peppers, which all taste great raw. You can even dip them in a little fat-free ranch, hummus or salsa and still save nearly 100 calories!
4. Choose organic low-fat versions of dairy products. If you’re not already, make the switch to organic low fat or fat-free dairy products like 1% organic milk, yogurt, Greek yogurt, cheese, and ice cream. You’ll cut out calories and artery-clogging saturated fat, but still get the same amount of calcium, vitamin D and protein.
5. Swap out the butter or oil in baked goods. Try substituting fat-free plain yogurt or unsweetened applesauce half the oil in dessert breads, muffins, and cakes. For advice from the chef, check out http://www.foodfit.com/cooking/askChef.asp?aeid=322.
6. Mind your meat. Try these tricks to lighten up your meat and save 100 calories or more:
•Remove skin from poultry
•Choose 96% lean ground beef instead of 80% lean ground beef (180 vs. 280 calories in 4 ounces)
•Grill, roast or bake instead of frying meat
•Remove all visible fat from steaks
•Choose Canadian bacon over regular bacon (50 vs. 150 calories per ounce)
•o flexitarian! Choose tempeh or beans instead of meat.
7. Lighten up your pizza. Any of these substitutions will save you close to 100 calories on a large slice of pizza:
•Choose vegetable toppings over pepperoni or sausage
•Pick thin crust over regular
•Ask for ½ the cheese
8. Choose non-creamy alternatives of soup, sauces and dressing
•Soup: Choose lighter broth-based soups like minestrone, French onion, and chicken noodle over denser cream-based choices like chowder and bisque
•Sauce: Choose tomato based pasta sauce like marinara over creamy sauce like Alfredo
•Dressing: Choose oil-based dressings like Italian and Asian sesame over creamy dressing like Bleu cheese, ranch, and thousand island. Order the dressing on the side and lightly dip your fork in it before each bite to save even more calories.
9. Order once, enjoy twice! Ask for a to-go box when dining out. It can be helpful to ask for a to-go box at the start of your meal and package the food you want to save before you start eating. Out of sight, out of mind!
10. Just one LESS bite… Just a few fewer bites of dense desserts will save you 100 calories or more. So offer to share with a friend!