Losing weight by cutting out too many calories may negativity impact your metabolism. Instead, find ways to “save” calories that will help you reach your weekly weight loss goals. Here are 5 strategies you may want to try this week.
1. Switch from a bagel to a bagel thin at your local bagel shop.
Bagels are nothing more than refined carbs – and about 300 calories or more – stuffed into a convenient, handheld oval. Most have as many carbohydrates as four slices of bread, sending your blood sugar soaring and you feeling less than energized. Switch to a bagel thin; most have around 100 calories, so you still have room for protein-balancing toppings like peanut butter or a scrambled egg. If your local bagel shop doesn’t sell bagel thins, cut your bagel in thirds and discard the middle third.
2. Hold the whip and switch to nonfat milk in your caramel Frappuccino.
At Starbucks, a grande Caramel Frappuccino made with whole milk and whipped cream will set you back 410 calories and 15 grams of fat. Switch to skim milk and nix the whipped cream, and your drink will only have 250 calories and 0 grams of fat. To save another 70 calories, downsize to a tall (small): research shows that the first few bites and sips of a food are the most satisfying, so you won’t miss the 4 ounces.
3. Sub in cauliflower for half the starch in recipes like mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese.
To cut down on the caloric impact of your favorite comfort foods, use mashed cauliflower to displace the high-calorie ingredients (like refined pasta and potatoes). Per cup, pasta has about 210 calories; potatoes have 136 calories; and cauliflower only has 26. Since cauliflower has a relatively mild flavor, it will blend right in with creamy mashed potatoes and cheesy pasta.
4. Instead of ordering an appetizer and an entree, order two appetizers.
Restaurant dishes are supersized, sometimes packing four times the recommended serving size. This, of course, leads to supersized calorie counts: some dishes have as many calories as you need in a day. To save more than 500 calories, order two appetizers, one subbing in for the entree. Appetizers are, of course, smaller – but they’re often comprised of lean protein, without being weighed down by hefty sides like mashed potatoes. This also saves room for a cocktail or a glass of wine!
5. Fast Food Fix
Skip the fried onion rings and replace them with a small order of French fries, which contains 250 fewer calories.
What are some strategies you use to “slim down” your meals?