It’s not rocket science; we all know that in order to lose weight, we need to slash calories. Plain and simple you have to burn more calories than you consume. Throw in some physical activity and the dreaded scale will begin to go in the right direction. Here’s a list of easy tweaks to get your body on its way to slimming down.
* Do not eat in front of TV – Based on a research conducted at the University of Massachusetts, you can easily eat up to 288 more calories if you consume your meal sitting in front of the tube. Instead eat at the table, take time to enjoy and savor every bite. After eating, swap the TV for a casual walk.
* Cut salad toppings – Sure a salad is healthy and good for you, but it’s the fatty toppings that ruin it. Rather than loading your salad with cheese crumbles, bacon, croutons and high calorie dressings; opt for lower calorie alternatives like fresh fruit and veggies and use half the dressing. Stay away from creamy based dressings and cheese. Make your own vinaigrette with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
* Use smaller plates – It’s all about portion control and you can slash up to 500 calories by eating 20-25% less on a 10 inch plate versus a 12 inch plate.
* Count your chips – Ok so they say you can’t just eat one, and you don’t have to, but you don’t have to eat the whole bag either! Instead of grabbing the entire bag of chips, eat one serving, about 15 chips, which is about 140 calories; or even better grab one of those 100 calorie snack packs to munch on.
* Serve and sit – Buffet and family style meals with bowls and platters of food on the table is a disaster waiting to happen. You are more likely to go for that 2nd or even 3rd plate of food if it is sitting right in front of you. You can cut hundreds of calories by serving your plate in the kitchen then going to the table. Leave serving bowls and platters of food in the kitchen.
* Don’t clean off your plate – By leaving 25% of food on your plate at every meal, you can easily cut 500 calories. Use the leftovers for lunch the next day. Added bonus: easy on your waist and your wallet.
* Get enough sleep – A research conducted at the University of Chicago showed that lack of sleep can make you snack more throughout the day. Aim for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night and don’t forget to eat a good breakfast within an hour and a half of waking up.
* Just say no to soda – A 12oz can of soda has about 150-180 calories. Drink two or three a day? Well you do the math. Drink water instead and save 300-500 calories. Can’t drink plain water? Try adding lime or lemon for flavor.
* Slow down and eat – It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you’re full. So sit back, relax and take your time eating every meal then stop when you feel full. Listen to your body instead of looking to clean off your plate.
* Read the label – Make sure you always check the serving size and servings per container on the label. A can of soup actually has 2 servings per can. Surprising huh? Save calories and stick to the serving size.
* Drink before you eat – By drinking 2 glasses of water before every meal, you’re likely to eat less because you get full faster. So drink up! Water that is.