Counting cals but the scale won’t budge? You might be eating more than you think. Here are 5 simple ways to cut calories. No math required!
1. Put your fork down between bites
Try this simple trick, and you’ll notice yourself feeling satisfied a lot quicker – and probably with food still left on your plate. Putting your utensils down between each bite allows you to slow down when you’re eating. Fact: it takes around 15-20 minutes for your brain to realize your body is full. So if you’re inhaling an entire plate of food in 5 minutes, you’re more than likely overeating. Most of us are used to letting our stomachs tell us we’re stuffed. Eat slower and let your brain tell you!
2. Lose the electronics
It’s a fact – distracted people eat more. So if you’re someone who likes to text, email, or watch television while eating, you’re not doing yourself any favors when it comes to portion control. So I’m telling you to power down! Put the phones away, turn the TV off and concentrate on the meal (and the person across from you, of course). Focus on the taste and smell of the food. Think about the work that went into preparing it. Take time to truly taste and enjoy each bite. Want to know more? This tactic is commonly known as mindful eating.
3. Slice and dice
What would you rather have: three mouthfuls of peanut butter or 10 teaspoons? I’d definitely choose 10 teaspoons. Not only are you getting to enjoy the food more, but you’re actually cutting calories. When preparing meals and snacks, try slicing your food into smaller pieces. That way you can have less food with more taste. You might even notice yourself feeling full quicker when you’re taking more bites!
4. Cut back – not out
I love ice cream. I mean, really love it. I’d eat it every night if I could! And in fact, that’s exactly what I used to do. Just like brushing my teeth before bed, ice cream after dinner was basically a ritual. Of course I knew ice cream wasn’t “good for me,” but I didn’t know just how much fat and calories it really had. But like I said – I love ice cream. So what was I going to do? Never eat it again? Absolutely not. It was time to cut back. I started with skipping dessert one or two nights a week. That slowly turned into “only on the weekends,” which has now evolved to “every once in a while.” I don’t feel deprived at all. Now I have the choice to eliminate those 300 calories completely, or put them towards healthier choices like fruits, veggies and healthy fats.
5. Don’t let yourself get too hungry
Guilty as charged. This is the best way to set yourself up for over eating (and probably choosing the wrong foods). Why? Science. The longer you go without food, the more your blood sugar levels plummet. And this is when we grab whatever’s available to get some fuel. Try eating 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day to curb hunger. Or, keep healthy snacks on hand to hold you over until mealtime. I find that drinking a glass of whatever or noshing on an apple kicks that overwhelming Chipotle craving pretty quickly!