Cutting out excess calories from your diet is important when trying to lose weight, but it's much easier said than done. According to Health Magazine, if you cut 500 calories a day, you'll be dropping a pound a week! Check out Health's 25 tips to cutting 500 cals a day below.
Tap your foot.
(Photo: Happily Grey)
Your skinnier friends are probably fidgeters, who burn up to 350 calories a day just by tapping their feet or being restless. Try it for a few days. Walk around while you’re on the phone, or tap out a tune with your hands or feet (in the privacy of your own office, of course).
Step away from the nuts.
Especially if they’re in a big bowl. The bigger the serving bowl, the more you’ll eat, Cornell University researchers say. Nuts have heart-healthy fats, but they’re also high in calories: 1 handful (about 1 ounce) of oil-roasted mixed nuts has 175 calories; 3 handfuls have 525. Cut out nuts altogether and save more than 500 calories. Can’t resist ’em? Eat pistachios: 2 handfuls are just 159 calories, and the shelling will slow down your munching.
Don’t eat in front of the TV.
You’ll eat up to 288 calories more, according to research from the University of Massachusetts. Instead, eat at the table, and trade one hour of TV for a casual walk. Together, that’s 527 calories burned.
Limit salad toppings.
A big salad might seem healthy, but all those goodies on top can make it more calorie-laden than lasagna or fettuccine Alfredo. Cheese crumbles, caramelized nuts, bacon, avocado, dried fruit, croutons, and vinaigrettes can add lots of calories. Save 500 or more calories by having just one topping, adding flavorful but lower-cal veggies (roasted bell peppers, grilled onions, or mushrooms), and using half the dressing.
Use smaller plates.
Swap your 12-inch plate for a 10-inch one. You’ll eat 20 to 25 percent less — and save up to 500 calories. You won’t feel any less full, either, researchers say.
Skip the whip.
Or at least size it down. Dessert-like coffee creations can contain as many as 670 calories, with large sizes and options like whipped cream, whole milk, and syrups. Craving whipped cream? Try it on a shot of espresso for a total of just 30 calories. You save 640 calories!
>> Read more: Get the Skinny on Your Favorite Coffee House Drinks
Count your chips.
No, you can’t eat your snacks from a large bag or box because it’s waaaay too tempting to eat until the bag is empty. (Remember Oprah’s blue corn–tortilla chip confession?) A chip-bender to the bottom of a 9-ounce bag is 1,260 calories sans the dip. So stick to 1 serving, about 15 chips — that’s 140 calories — or pick up some 100-calorie snack packs and save 1,120 calories.
Serve and sit.
Family-style meals, with platters and bowls of food on the table, invite people to go back for seconds and thirds. Cut hundreds of calories by filling plates before bringing them to the table; leave serving dishes in the kitchen, too.
Eat less pasta.
One cup of pasta is just 220 calories. But typical dinner portions at restaurants can be as much as 480 percent larger than that 1 cup, according to New York University research. That’s 1,056 calories. Even if you eat 2 whole cups of noodles, you’ll still save 616 calories.
Skinny up cocktails.
Syrups, sour mix, sugary fruit juices, and creamy additions turn drinks into desserts: an indulgent Mudslide can have more than 800 calories. Order drinks mixed with club soda, tonic water, cranberry juice, or a squeeze of citrus; or try distilled liquors on the rocks. You’ll save up to 800 calories.
>> Recipe: Skinny Margarita
Limit dinner guests.
Eating with seven or more other guests can make you eat 96% more food, says Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Mindless Eating. That’s like doubling your dinner! Dine with fewer guests to save 500 or more calories.
Don’t clean your plate.
Leave 25 percent of your food on the plate at every meal, says weight-loss expert James O. Hill, PhD, author of The Step Diet. Save what's remaining as leftovers for a yummy lunch the next day. If you normally eat 2,000 calories or more each day, you’ll cut 500 calories.
To see 13 more ways to cut 500 calories a day, click here to read the original story from Health Magazine.
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