20 Ways to Cut Calories from the Biggest Loser Dietitian

I recently read an article titled 20 Ways to Cut Calories from the Biggest Loser Dietitian

Some tips seem like obvious suggestions, but there were some I want to “weigh” in on. 😉 Below are the tips, and my thoughts are in italics.

Eat more often. That’s right, if you are going too long in between meals, you are probably overly hungry and eating too much. I eat every 3-4 hours. It helps with hunger and also gives you more opportunities to fit in missing nutrients.

Go veg. Try to make two lunches and two dinners each week vegetarian. Meats can be high in calories, especially for the portion sizes that we currently eat. Case in point, 8 oz. of salmon (the size of fillet you would buy or order eating out) is 440 calories. I generally try to eat vegetarian until dinner, so that I only have 5 meals containing meat a week. It is fun to experiment with new vegetarian meals.

Substitute. Take original recipes and use this substitution list to lighten up family favorites. I love this tip. Check out my recipe redo’s for some ideas. Healthy Mac n Cheese, anyone? And send me recipes you want madeover!

Downsize. Use mini-bagels, pre-portioned yogurts, cheese or ice cream bars, order half size entrees or salads at restaurants and choose smaller fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. Look for easy ways to watch portions.

Ditch the sugar. Look for unsweetened or lower sugar fruits, cereals, granola bars, condiments, etc. Or see below and just eat real food that doesn’t need labels. Try to stick to the most natural forms of sugar. I usually only use agave nectar or honey unless something special is needed for a certain recipe.

Go fresh. Eat the whole food instead of the processed version: an apple instead of applesauce, chicken breast instead of the chicken nugget, plain yogurt instead of flavored yogurts. Might sound obvious, but I cannot reinforce this enough – EAT REAL FOOD!

Bake lighter. Anytime you are baking, cut sugar by 1/2 and fat by 1/3 and you will still get good results. I don’t bake much, but thought this tip sounded promising.

Eat for volume. Start your meal with a broth based soup or a large salad. This will fill you up without adding calories. Other tips – pile pretty much anything on a bed of spinach. I serve savory oats over spinach for extra volume and nutrients. If you make the correct portion of pasta, it can seem really small. Pile on the veggies to bulk it up and still have the satisfying pasta.

Get adequate sleep. If you aren’t sleeping 7-8 hours at night, your Leptin hormone level may be lower resulting in weight gain. You’re also awake more hours, which means more hours to eat!

Stay hydrated. That way you won’t mistake hunger for thirst. Drinking more water is the first thing you should if you are feeling off. It literally helps with everything from your skin to your energy levels, to headaches.

Eat at home. Meals eaten at home are much lower in calories, fat and sodium and higher in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. This tip is great for saving money, time and calories. It also makes eating out for special occasions all the more special if you don’t do it every day!

Be assertive. Don’t be afraid to order food the way you want it. Some examples: order meats grilled “dry” (without butter or oil), steamed veggies without butter, ask for whole grain options and order condiments on the side. I need to be better about this. I know if you ask nicely and don’t try to completely change a dish, chefs are usually more than happy to oblige. You are paying them, so you should get what you really want!

Be mindful. Quit nibbling on dinner before you eat it. Don’t take bites out of your kids’ food. Take the long walk around the office avoiding the candy dish.

What tips do you have?


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