We all know that our bodies don’t operate like perfectly oiled machines. So numbers can only be guidelines. And within those guidelines there are individual variations depending on tons of different factors.
Having said that there is one not so magical number - 3500. That is approximately how many calories in deficit you need to be to lose a pound. So if you want to lose a pound a week, then you need to cut 500 calories per day - which can of course be done through adding in exercise or cutting food intake.
500 doesn’t sound like much, but it totally is, and it’s hard to cut those calories - otherwise we would all be skinny, right?
So what are some ways to slash calories?
Ditch the buns! When you have a burger for dinner, don’t have it on a bun - instead wrap up your burger with a couple big pieces of Romaine lettuce and save about 100 calories.
Speaking of burgers, switch to very lean meat. A 4 ounce serving of 93% ground beef has 170 calories where the same size of 80% ground beef has 288 calories! Save another 100 calories!
Milk is tremendously good for you but 8 ounces of whole milk has 148 calories and 2% has 124 calories - switch to fat free (skim) milk which has 83 calories and you don’t lose ANY of the vitamin or protein benefits.
Choose your breakfast wisely! Cereals tend to be full of sugar and have low protein content. Plus you add in calories when you add in milk. Choose oatmeal - ½ cup has only 150 calories but 6 grams of protein. One hard boiled egg has only 75 calories, but 6 grams of protein guaranteed to make you feel fuller longer and save on calories.
Speaking of breakfast, drink a large glass of water with lemon squeezed into it instead of orange juice and instantly save 120 calories.
Switch from regular fat filled bacon to turkey bacon and save 20 calories per slice and radically slash the fat.
Drowning your potato in toppings? ½ cup of sour cream has 223 calories! Get the same creamy texture by topping with Greek yogurt at a measly 65 calories for ½ cup!
Exchange fat filled mayonnaise which has 50 calories for 1 tablespoon with mustard which has only 10 calories for a tablespoon and will add a punch of flavor instead of fat to your sandwich!
Are you a cheese lover like me? Using cheese made with skim milk instead of whole milk can save 215 calories per 1 cup! And in recipes you can’t even tell the difference!
Trying to eat more salad? Well, you aren’t helping yourself if you are drowning your salad in high fat dressing! A creamy dressing contains a huge amount of fat and tons of calories - 60-100 per 1 tablespoon!! Switch to light dressings or better yet, squeeze some fresh lemon and vinegar on your salads and save hundreds of calories a week!
These are only a few ways you can drastically cut your calories. What are some of your favorite ways to get rid of unwanted calories without a lot of sacrifice?