You want to start losing weight in 2016, right? Everyone does. I do. There is a six-pack waiting for me. Too bad I keep choosing the one in the fridge over the one I want for my body. Wanting to lose weight puts a lot of stress on us, so we need to make a new commitment.
While it is inspiring–at first–to say you want to lose weight, overtime it can become a real bummer. I am already tired of kale smoothies. I decided to rethink my New Year’s resolution, and you can too. Don’t say you will lose weight in a month or two. Commit to making small changes to improve your body and your mind to achieve your health goals. For me, I just want to look half as good as my vegan, CrossFit-champ mother who is nearly twice my age. So, I made a few swaps. Check out these 5 swaps you can do now to save you more than 500 calories today.
Benefits of Cutting Calories
Cutting calories will provide your body and your mind with many benefits. The benefits will pay off big time, now and in the future. When you cut calories, it does the following:
- Promotes a healthy weight
- Lowers your risk of age-related diseases and conditions
- May extend your lifespan
- Eliminates unhealthy sugars
- Kick-starts your body’s energy and attention-span
Who wouldn’t want that?
5 Swaps to Save More than 500 Calories Today for Losing Weight
Crash-dieting is one of the biggest busters of New Year’s resolutions and health goals. Don’t take pills, cut out meals or eat cereal for most of the day. Make a few switches to save the calories.
Iced coffee instead of a sugary blend
Do not choose the blended coffee drink with caramel drizzle, whip cream, and sugar in the morning. This is one of my first loves. I discovered this scandalous beauty in high school. Now I switch it up with iced coffee instead. I order a caramel iced coffee and put a splash of milk in it.
- Calories in 24-oz blended Frappuccino®: 510 calories
- Calories in 24-oz sweetened iced coffee with milk:170 calories
- Total calories saved: 340
Nuts, not granola bars
Look at the ingredients in the granola bars you eat during the day. First of all, no granola. The list is long, the sugars are high, and the calories are a real bummer. Make your own mix instead of tearing open a sweet-and-salty bar for losing weight.
- Calories in two sweet-and-salty granola bars: 340
- Calories in 1/4 cup of almonds and walnuts: 170
- Total calories saved: 170
If you choose nuts, you will feel fuller too. Double win!
Thin-crust instead of deep dish
When the pizza order comes around, choose a veggie-loaded, thin-crust pizza. Skip the greasy, deep-dish pie donned in meats and cheeses. I don’t eat meat, so this one was a little easier for me. It can be for you, too. If you still crave a little protein, start with replacing the greasy meats with chicken. Wean yourself slowly.
- Calories in two thin-crust supreme pizza slices: 340
- Calories in two deep-dish pizza slices with meats: 610
- Total calories saved: 270
Flavored seltzer or iced tea, not soda
Soda is one of the biggest calorie and sugar offenders. Swap out your sugary soda for a bottle of flavored sparkling water or iced tea. I felt like a real adult last week when I opened a bottle of berry seltzer water instead of a bottle of Pinot.
Toss in berries, lemon or fresh mint if you still crave a little more in your drink. Don’t restrict yourself to plain iced tea. Try a green tea, black tea, or fruit tea to please your palate.
- Calories in one 20-oz. bottle of Pepsi: 250
- Calories in flavored seltzer or unsweetened iced tea: 0
- Total calories saved: 250
Yogurt with fresh fruit, not a big bowl of ice cream
It is hard to give up sweets, especially if you enjoy ice cream after dinner. You don’t have to abandon your sweet treat completely. Choose a Greek yogurt instead and toss in some fresh fruit. When you buy Greek yogurt, do not buy pre-sweetened yogurt. Make your own creation and control you sugar at the same time.
- Calories in 1 cup of Neapolitan ice cream: 260 calories
- Calories in 1 cup plain Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries: 130
- Total calories saved: 130
More ways to slash calories and lose weight
If you need a little more help during the day, keep these tips in mind:
- Chew slower, about 20 times per bite.
- Park further away in the parking lot.
- Drink more water.
- Pay close attention to serving sizes.
- Choose foods with shorter ingredients lists.
- Keep a food journal on your smartphone or in your daily planner.
- Limit empty calories.
- Talk to yourself before you make a decision.
You can make big changes with small steps. Don’t stress about your decisions; just make smarter ones. Look at the ingredients and the nutritional data. Stick to ingredients you recognize, and be aware that we eat more than the listed serving size. Most of the time, we consume more than a serving. Talk to yourself when you are making decisions about your foods and drinks. It really works. Remind yourself about your goals and health needs.