10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Diet (and calorie count)

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1.       Drink water.  Water is good for you.  Water doesn’t have calories.  And water fills you up which can help you eat less.

2.       Lighten something up.  Switch out your full-fat cheese slices with 2% slices.  Use skim milk instead of 2% or whole.  Use Neufatchel Cheese instead of full-fat cream cheese.  Reduce the amount of sugar in desserts.  Little changes can add up fast.

3.       Decrease the size.  Instead of eating a full-size candy bar, have a fun size for substantially fewer calories.  Just eat slow and make sure you savor every bite.

4.       Have dessert WITH your meal instead of later.  If you eat dessert with your meal, you’ll probably eat less because you’re full from dinner.  If you eat it later, you won’t be as full and you’re more likely to eat more.

5.       Add fruits or vegetables whenever you can.  Put fruit in your cereal or oatmeal.  Add fruit to your vanilla ice cream.  Put veggies on your sandwich.  Add veggies and fruit to your smoothie (lots of times you can’t even taste them – especially the veggies).  All those extras will add up.

6.       Treat your calorie allowance like a budget.  With your budget, you first have to pay the necessities like rent, utilities, cell phone, insurance, etc.  You use whatever’s left for the fun stuff – like eating out or going to a movie.  Your calorie budget should be the same.  Use the bulk of your calories for the good stuff like fruits, vegetables, protein and grains.  If there’s any left, use that for sweets and salty snacks.

7.       Limit yourself to one plate of food.  When you’ve finished that one plate of food, you’re done.  Gradually you could even start decreasing the size of the plate.

8.       Keep it simple.  Casseroles tend to be higher in calories plus less satisfying because everything is combined into one dish.  It can help to focus on more individual foods like a marinated chicken breast, a big salad and a piece of bread or a serving of pasta.  Your plate looks fuller, it takes longer to eat, and you feel more satisfied when you’re done.

9.       Eat at set times.  When you eat whenever, you might also eat whatever.  If you have set meal times, you might find that you eat more thoughtfully (and healthier) instead of just grabbing whatever’s handy.

10.     Eat using a formula.  Sometimes what gets us in trouble is having too many choices.  If you eat using a formula, you don’t have as many decisions to make and that can keep you from eating too much or the wrong things.  For example, for breakfast every day have a bowl of cereal or oatmeal.  For lunch, have a sandwich, a few chips and a piece of fruit; or a big salad with sliced chicken.    You can vary the type of sandwich or what’s in the salad but the basics are always the same.

What else do you do to eat better and reduce your calories?

Comments

  1. Dianne in the desert says:

    Another great tactic is to think ahead of time to which time of the day affords you the greatest opportunity to burn off the calories that are eaten. For my husband and I, that means eating our most calorie-laden meal at mid-day and eating a lighter meal at night when we pretty much just hang around the house. The average calories per day remain the same, but there is less opportunity to allow those calories to turn into fat.

    The use of the old fashioned calorie counter really helpts, but we are following a high protein/low starch and sugar approach, so I got the guide out that is used with Atkins Diet. The use of these guides makes menu planning and meal prep a bit more of an adventure and we actually get more variety in our meals, too. 8-)

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