Savvy womens Magazine


Six Easy Ways to Reduce Calories Every Day

To lose weight it is essential to burn more calories than you consume. That is much easier said than done, of course. Fad diets, pills, and gizmos are all the hype of infomercials and internet ads, but their benefits are weak at best.

 by Laura Munion

To lose a pound of weight you need to burn 3500 calories. It is best to do this gradually. With the following tips below you can potentially shave 2400
calories from your intake a week.

That's not quite a pound, but in two weeks it adds up to over a pound. In a month it adds up to roughly two and a half pounds. It certainly isn't a get thin quick scheme, but it is a gradual change in diet that can help you maintain your weight loss.

If you increase your activity level as well as trying the tips below you can easily shed two pounds a week; doctors and dieticians recommend not trying to shed more than two pounds a week for health reasons.

Tip #1: Green tea

Even if you don't like tea, you can still reap the benefits of this calorie burning drink. Green tea extract is available in the vitamin section of most pharmacies and grocery stores. If you enjoy drinking tea then you'll like the facts about green tea's calorie burning properties.

Studies have shown that drinking six to seven cups, or taking the recommended number of capsules, of green tea can burn 70 calories a day.  You don't have to cut any foods to get this benefit.

Just take the capsules as recommended or drink the tea. Green tea is also full of antioxidants that help fight heart disease and the signs of aging.

Tip #2: Don't lick that spoon!

If you make a sandwich or prepare any kind of meal or snack that you spread a condiment or topping on don't lick the spoon. Just a teaspoon's worth of a condiment or food can add substantial amounts of calories over a week's time.

Some examples are:

  • 1 tsp of peanut butter has 33 calories

  • 1 tsp of maple syrup has 16 calories

  • 1 tsp of chocolate syrup has 17 calories

  • 1 tsp of caramel topping has 20 calories

If you lick the spoon after each snack or meal you make, using a low estimate of once a day, in seven days you could add 147 calories a week.

Tip #3: Half and half

If you love regular pop and don't want to trade it in for diet, try mixing half diet and half regular pop. The taste is much better than a diet soda, and you get only half the calories of regular pop. For an eight ounce serving that can save you 50-55 calories.

Tip #4: Milk

If you switch from regular to skim milk you can save 55 calories per serving. If you prefer the taste of whole milk to skim you can try two percent or one percent instead. It'll still shave about 30 calories a serving.

Reduced fat cheeses also have lower calories than their full fat counter parts. Try different blends of cheeses or brands until you find a compromise you're willing to stick to.

Recent studies also suggest that having three servings of low fat dairy products a day can help reduce weight. This is without any dieting or increase in exercise.

Tip #5: Sprays vs. Oils

If you have to eat fried foods try using a non-fat cooking spray. A tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories, while a nonfat spray has only 1-5 calories.

Tip #6: Measure portions

If you measure out a portion of chips, pretzels, or any other snack you're less likely to eat as much. If you just eat out of the container you might look down and be surprised to realize you've eaten half the bag.

This is especially easy to do with salty snacks. You can save hundreds of calories a week by measuring your portions. For instance, a portion may only be 20 chips. It's hard to eat only twenty chips when you are eating them by the handful from the bag.

If you put the chips in a small bowl you'll see how few there are as you eat them. That way you're more likely to eat more slowly and savor the taste.

Another tip, although it doesn't cut calories, is to drink water everyday. The recommended amount is 64 ounces; that's eight cups. If you decide to drink green tea as recommended above that takes care of six or seven of your servings of water for a day.

Drinking water actually helps reduce water retention. If you aren't getting enough fluids your body will hold onto its reserve because it is prepping for dehydration. If you drink enough water everyday your body will release its excess fluids.

Calories saved by following these tips:
Tip #1- 70/day
Tip #2- 21/day
Tip #3- 50/day
Tip #4- 30-55/day
Tip #6- 115/day
Weekly total- 2107 calories

While you may not use every tip every day, this gives you a rough idea of how many calories you might be able to cut.  If you do cut 2100 calories a week, you'll be able to lose two pounds a month.

Exercise you'd need to work off calories of common foods (based on a 150 lb. woman):
Hot dog- 45 minutes of walking
Hot fudge sundae- 58 minutes of walking
12 oz. of beer- 31 minutes of walking
6 chicken nuggets- 60 minutes of walking

About the Author:
Laura Munion is a freelance writer from central Ohio. She is also an advocate for autism awareness and has twin daughters with autism.

If you would like to contact Laura, please use our Contact Us page.