Whether you have 10 lbs to lose or 100 lbs to lose you need to make changes. It really does come down to diet and exercise but it doesn’t have to be daunting. I’ve added some ways to cut calories without starving. Want extra help on your weight loss/ get healthy journey? Join our Fitish Moms Facebook group (you don’t have to be a mom to join)
Don’t Drink Your Calories
Drinking cokes, sweet tea, beer, and wine, it is all adding unneeded calories. One can of coke is 150 calories. If you have 4 cokes a day that is an extra 600 calories which it half of your daily calorie intake if you are striving for 1200 calories a day. Learn to drink non-calorie sodas, unsweetened tea, and water. It will take some getting used to but you can do it. I was addicted to Southern ‘sweet tea’ and now I only drink unsweetened with lemon.
Use Smaller Plates
This is completely psychological. Studies have shown that when we use smaller plates we eat 30% less. We serve our self less, we eat less and we don’t feel like we are missing out on anything.
Vegetables have less calories than food like meat, cheeses, breads, and desserts, they are also much healthier. I try to make my plate 2/3 vegetables. I’m eating just as much as I was before, I’m full, and I’m eating less calories. You get the minerals and vitamins your body needs.
Water, Water, and More Water
Drinking water can help you control your calorie intake since water has no calories and easily substituted instead of drinking high calorie beverages. It is also great for your skin and helps energize your muscles.
Eat Soup or Salad before Your Dinner
Eating a broth based soup or a salad with light dressing can significantly cut your calories. When you fill up on the soup and/ or salad you will eat less of your entree. I do this a lot when I go out to eat.
Related –> 5 Busy Mom Workout Tips for the Beginner
Relax and Enjoy Your Meals
The French have it right, relax when you eat. When you rush you eat more and it slows down digestion. Eat slowly and you’ll see that you are actually filling up and don’t have to eat as much to fill full.
Measure Your Fat
This is common sense, the fat you eat is the fat you wear. Sure that candy bar sounds good but it is high in fat so you should skip it and grab a piece of fruit instead. When you measure your fat you will actually see how much fat is in everything and can make better choices. I love the My Fitness Pal app to help me keep track of my food.
What? But you just said to make better choices and yes you should but I also don’t believe in never enjoying yourself. No, don’t have dessert every day and when you do have dessert just have a small portion. I like to share a piece of cake with friends.
Skip the Bread
You don’t need the bread brought out before your meal at a restaurant. It won’t kill you not to eat it, I promise. It is added calories you don’t need. I rarely eat bread unless it is wholegrain and usually when I make a sandwich for a picnic.
Related –>Applesauce Banana Bread
Focus on Your Task at Hand
Ever find yourself mindlessly eating snacks while you are working or reading? That is added calories you don’t need. Eat at meal time and when it is meal time focus only on eating.
Eat Half of Your Meal at Restaurants
Restaurants, especially in the USA serve REALLY big portions. Pack half up for later as soon as your meal is served so you won’t be tempted to overindulge. My daughter and I like to split dinner and split a salad. We are never hungry for more.
Enjoy Low Calorie Alcohol
You probably should skip alcohol if you are trying to lose a lot of weight but we are Fitish around here and like to enjoy drinks on the weekends. I love IPA beers but they pack a lot of calories so I have a light beer. Make sure to skip the fruity drinks, they are packed with sugar! Cabernet wine has low sugar as well as liquor (without adding the juices). It is all in what you get used to.
Remember how I said no snacking while working or reading, etc? That doesn’t mean no snacks at all. I have a mid-morning snack and another in the afternoon but it is a designated time meant only for eating. Skip the chips and candy bars. Switch them out with boiled eggs, low fat yogurt, low fat cheese, or popcorn.
Skip the Cheese
Unless it is low fat and lower calorie that is. One slice of cheddar cheese on a burger is an extra 113 calories! That is easy to leave off because all of those little extra calories here and there really add up.
Swap out Your Sides
I love french fries as much as the next girl but no, just no. Eat vegetables or if you must have fries then go for sweet potato fries instead. That isn’t to say I won’t reach over and grab a few fries off of someone’s plate when we are out to eat…
Grill Instead of Fry
As much as fried food tastes good skip it. Grilled food is delicious and your body will thank you.
There are plenty of foods that you can eat so you will not starve. Even if you aren’t a big fan of healthier foods you will get used to it and you will start to feel better.
Mediterranean-Inspired Quinoa Salad
Quinoa has become a staple in my diet. It is a plant-based protein and digests easily. I’ve been eating mostly plant-based for a while. I do still eat fish, eggs, and chicken but not nearly as much as I used to and I never eat pork (unless it is on a pizza) and it is a rarity if I eat red meat. That is why I wanted to share my Mediterranean-Inspired Quinoa Salad. That way if you wanted to add in more protein you can. The quinoa salad is one of my favorite lunches.
This quick and easy side dish pairs the bold Mediterranean flavors of lime, Feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and fresh parsley against the subtle backdrop of quinoa. Thanks to the naturally salty flavors of the olive brine and Feta cheese, this dish doesn’t need any added sodium to help balance the flavors. However, for best results, you’ll want to make this dish in advance to give the flavors a chance to blend.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: approximately 20 minutes
1 c. quinoa, uncooked
2 limes, zest and juice
4 oz. Feta cheese, crumbed
2 oz. Kalamata olives, chopped, with brine
¼ c. fresh parsley, stems removed and chopped
Optional: Black pepper, to taste
Tip: For an added layer of flavor, toast the quinoa over medium heat before cooking.
If you make this let me know how you like it! Have any other plant-based favorites? I’m always up to new recommendations. Drop me a line and let me know what your favorite are!