Empty calories, bigger portions, fats, and sugars can creep into your diet when you’re not paying attention. Even if you’re eating healthy foods, there are some bad habits which may lead to ingesting more calories than you should.
We asked Harvard Medical School’s associate director of nutrition, the author of the book “Break Through Your Set Point: How to Finally Lose the Weight you Want and Keep It Off,” Dr. George L. Blackburn, for tips on how to cut 500 calories from your diet. Next
Leave bites behind at every meal
This step, Blackburn says, is a “painless way to walk away from your meal feeling satisfied without really feeling like you are cutting back.”
“It’s effective because every bite counts, and when you leave some behind at each meal, at the end of the day you have cut potentially a few hundred calories here and there vs. trying to cut back all at one sitting.” Next
Aim for a balance of protein/carbohydrates/fat at meals and snacks
Mindlessly munching on “low-calorie” foods can add up, so avoid reaching for foods simply because they are touted as being low calorie, Blackburn says.
“Aim to get a balance of carbohydrate, protein, and fats at your meals and snacks. Protein and fat will help you feel fuller than eating carbohydrates alone, so combining, say, a piece of fruit with nuts provides the perfect combination of satiety-producing complex carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Next
Don’t try to cut back on calories by skipping meals
Blackburn says simply: “This tactic doesn’t work.”
“Generally after skipping meals you leave yourself over hungry and you are more apt to fall prey to consuming larger quantities of food at your next meal. It’s much more difficult to not only control your portions after skipping a meal, but controlling your food choices. When your body is craving fuel you are much less likely to reach for healthy, balanced options, but instead to reach for something that’s fast and fatty and can really hit the spot.” Next
Check in using a food tracking app
“Simply seeing how many calories a food provides can prompt you to eat less,” Blackburn says.
“Label reading is step number one, but if you have access to an online tracker or mobile app, you can easily see your calorie bank filling up over the course of the day. Tracking what you eat, as you eat it, as the day goes on helps you stay in control of your calorie bank. It helps you determine if that extra bag of chips with the sub is really worth it and it helps you minimize the likelihood that you will over consume beyond what your body truly needs.” Next
Incorporate high volume foods like fruits, vegetables, soups, salads and water. “This strategy helps because when you fill up on foods with a high volume (higher water and fiber content) you feel fuller, generally on fewer calories,” Blackburn says. “Pile the plate high with veggies for lots of volume, not a lot of calories.” Back to the beginning
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