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How to Cut 500 Calories Per Day

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If we cut out 500 calories every day from our diets, that’s one pound every week. That’s 52 pounds per year. It’s easy to do with these simple tricks. I promise.

I decided that after January first, I was going to make some changes in my life and I was going to start with what I ate. I decided that I was going to keep a food journal and track what I ate. I was just going to eat what I normally ate, keep track of everything and see what happened. After three days, I realized I was going over two thousand calories every day, so I decided I needed to cut 500 calories out of my diet every day, seven days a week. For the most part, it’s working. For the most part. Here are a few things I did.


One snack I ate every day was an apple and some nuts. Well, a handful of nuts is 175 calories. Not too bad, but most of us eat more than one handful of nuts. At least I do. Did you know that three handfuls of roasted mixed nuts has 575 calories? I still eat nuts, but have switched to pistachios. Two handfuls of pistachios is 160 calories and having to sit and shell them all slows down how fast I shovel them in.


One thing I also was guilty of was eating in front of the TV. How can you not when every other commercial is for food? According to research from the University of Massachusetts, when we eat in front of the TV, we eat 300 more calories than we would have if we had eaten at the table? Eating at the table makes eating its own event so you’re more aware of what you’re putting in your mouth, rather than just mindlessly eating. Turn the TV off and the hour you would have wasted watching Maury or the last half of some terrible movie, use it to take a walk. Between the two you’ll cut about 530 calories.


Salads are inherently a healthy choice. It’s all the junk we put on top of them that makes them unhealthy. If you enjoy salad toppings, stick to mixed, chopped veggies like roasted peppers, onions and mushrooms. Balsamic is fine. A truckload of balsamic is not, so use dressing sparingly. When I know I’m bringing a salad to work, I pack a mix of spinach, romaine and spring greens like endive, a baked and chopped chicken breast, fresh diced tomato and diced green pepper with some scallions. I put that in a Tupperware container and in a small cup, I put exactly one serving of balsamic. When I want to eat my salad, I pour the balsamic on the salad, pop the top back on and shake it around. That little bit goes a long way, and by cutting out the eggs, nuts, bacon, fruit and fatty dressing, it cuts more than 500 calories. Not a fan of balsamic? You can still use your dressing, but use half.


Remember the Clean Plate Club? You actually don’t want to be a member. Especially if you don’t like something. If something doesn’t taste good, why waste your calories on it? I go into what I call “kid mode” and if something doesn’t taste good, I don’t eat it. If you’re out to eat and something that came with your entree that isn’t good, ask for a bread plate, scrape the offending item off your plate and take it away just to prevent temptation. When your food comes at a restaurant, ask for half of it to be boxed up right away so you aren’t tempted to eat it all. And this one may require a small investment, but swap out your plates. Many dinner plates are 10 or 11 inches and a normal portion doesn’t look like a lot of food, so you’re more inclined to fill it up. Keep your plates at around eight inches. That way one serving size looks like a lot of food.


Speaking of portion size, instead of setting the table, getting everyone around the table and bringing the food to the table, try this: Keep the food in the kitchen. Let everyone dish up what they want, then sit at the table. If we have to get up and get more food, we’re less likely to have seconds and thirds and saving calories in the process.


Since I have started cutting 500 calories every day, I have lost six pounds. Of course, you still need to get moving to help things along. Click HERE for some fun wintertime outside calorie burners.

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