Kick the Can: One of the simplest ways to cut calories is to limit products that have added sugar. These simple carbs are essentially void of nutrients and can cause you to be perpetually hungry (which means you’re likely to overeat).
The most effective tactic is targeting beverages: sugary coffees, iced teas, and soda. These liquid calories are in a class of their own: An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that energy obtained from drinking fluids has been shown to be less satisfying than calories from solid foods.
which causes us to drink more (and a greater number of calories) before we feel satisfied. Just to see how poorly your favorite stacks up among the pack, check out our exclusive report: popular sodas ranked by nutrition.
Brown Bag It
Preparing your own lunch means you put the calorie-cutting power in your own hands—not in the hands of the restaurateurs who have no stake in your weight-loss journey. Prepare any of these healthy lunches under 400 calories, and you’ll save 600 calories a meal compared to if you ate at a standard sit-down restaurant, whose midday meal can average more than 1,100 calories.
Free Yourself From Your Desk
A lunch break should be just that a break! Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that children who eat while distracted (like while watching T.V.) can consume 218 calories more in one sitting than they would otherwise.
Experts explain that keeping your mind busy while eating can prevent certain satiety cues from instructing your brain that you’ve had your fill.
Make Your Meals ‘Gram-Worthy
You won’t just get more likes on your Instagram photo. Making your food look picture-perfect can encourage you to load your plate up with more colorful, fresh veggies. What’s more, it may even make your food taste better!
A study published in the journal Health Psychology found that when participants spent time preparing the food they make, they found it to be significantly more satisfying than those who had the food prepared for them, even if the food was considered “healthy.”
Destress With Bubbles: A Bath, Not Soda
Eating well is essential to weight loss, but a good diet alone may not be enough to counteract all the harmful effects stress has on our bodies. A new study published in Molecular Psychiatry suggested that being stressed could even override the benefits of making better food choices! When you’re constantly pulling your hair out, the stress hormone cortisol builds up in your body. And that’s bad news for your belly.
Cortisol forces your body to store fat and revs your hunger for high-calorie foods, meaning that you may start craving a donut even if your stomach is actually full. While improving your diet is important, you’ll be more successful if you take a second to relax (and yes, taking a bubble bath counts!).16
Clear Food from Your Workspace
Ever heard of the seafood diet? You see food and immediately eat it! To curb your junk food consumption, start by ridding your workspace and kitchen counters of your dietary kryptonite. Keeping these vices visible will set yourself up for failure by triggering a trait dubbed by Oxford researchers as “visual hunger:” an evolutionary trait that increases levels of hunger hormones when we see food. Instead, hide your stash in opaque containers or in the back of your cabinet.
Be Happy Without Happy Hours Every Day
Look, we’ll be the first to tell you we love wine especially red wine, which actually offers antioxidants and is considered relatively healthy when consumed in moderation (no more than two glasses a day). But if you’re looking to lose weight, one of our best tips is to put down the glass.
Because alcohol is fairly caloric and provides relatively few nutritional benefits, drinking shouldn’t be an everyday event. For example, two pints of beer a day can add nearly 2,000 calories to your weekly intake—so cutting it out can help you lose over two pounds a month. For those few times that you do choose to indulge, though, do so wisely with the help of choosing healthy alcoholic drinks.
Take Half to Go
We have no issue with eating out once in a while, but heed this advice: ask your waiter to box up half the meal before it reaches the table. A Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study discovered that the average meal at your local American, Chinese, or Italian restaurant contains a whopping 1,500 calories, so following this tip can save you a cool 750 calories. Plus, you’ll get a free lunch for tomorrow!
Always Sub Fries for A Side Salad
We’re singing, “bye, bye, miss American fries!” You can even stick with your weekly burger order from your favorite pub, just sub out the spuds for a salad. Doing so can save over 150 calories while filling you up with fiber-rich veggies that are great for improving digestive health.
Here’s a simple tip to avoid eating unhealthy foods: serve yourself. According to USC researchers, the simple act of having to plate your own grub, instead of having a server or friend dish out a helping for you, can curb an unhealthy indulgence.
So next time you’re celebrating a coworker’s birthday, serve (and cut!) your own slice of cake. 🙂 🙂