You may be eating like an athlete, a caveman or a Barbie girl, but either way, calories count. No matter the mechanism of your diet, controlled calories are the key to long-term success. If you feel like your environment is booby trapped, you are not alone. We have been navigating the same situations you are facing, so allow us to share some easy ways to cut calories and make lean living easy.
At the restaurant
Order two high quality appetizers instead of a salad and an entree. Believe it or not, you may be saving over 1000 calories. A small salad, a side of meatballs, some grilled shrimp skewers, or a cup of soup and you are set. Focus on items rich in protein and vegetables and stay away from dips and fried foods.
Eating at home
Start your dinner with a creamy vegetable soup. Broccoli and cauliflower are an excellent choice, but you can also blend minestrone or clear chicken veggie soup. Creamy soups take lots of space and help you feel full quickly. Most of our clients save up to 500 calories with this approach.
At the office
Check out Brian Wansink’s book Mindless Eating for some stunning research on office food behavior. Your workspace can easily add inches to your waist! Bring alternatives to office snacks, such as fresh fruit, raw nuts and yogurts. By reaching for those you can stay away from the evil doughnuts and bagels that lurk in the coffee room.
At the coffee shop
You may want to reconsider your choice of coffee drink. Most chains offer nutrition information – if you see that your drink provides over 100 calories, it may be a good idea to switch to coffee and creamer. Explore the tastes of different natural sweeteners, such as stevia and lo-han to add sweetness. Do you still eat at the coffee shop? Don’t! ( unless you are in a zombie apocalypse type situation)
Drinking with friends
Bar times are fun times and you should definitely enjoy yourself, but not at the expense of your health and looks! Always start your happy hour with a glass of water or soda water. Then you can move to a small beer or a glass of wine. Alternate between an order of your favorite drink and a glass of soda water or plain ice water. This will cut your alcohol at least in half, not to mention your bar tap and your jeans size!
A 5 lb tub of salted nuts or a bag of chips and dip is no choice for someone looking to get or stay lean. Reconsider your TV snacks and opt for a small amount of raw nuts, individual bags of puffed popcorn (usually 90-140 calories each) or some chopped veggies and Greek yogurt or guacamole dip. How many calories are you saving? Depending on the thrill of the movie, it could be thousands. And what about ice cream? Go for a pop sickle or an individual cup of ice cream that allows you to keep portions controlled! You bet it’s worth it!