Diet Tips: Cutting the Calories

Sometimes dieting can play hell with your emotions and lead to an all out assault on all things bad. However, if you stick with it there are many tweaks you can make to your daily routine which can save hundreds of calories, aiding your weight loss goals.

Overview

To lose weight and burn fat you need to consume fewer calories than what you eat, consistently over a period of time, this is referred to as being in a calorie defecit.

Healthy and consistent weight loss is considered to be losing around one pound per week of fat but this obviously depends on the individual, how much they’re training and their diet.

However, your body adapts to losing weight and hormonal changes which can make burning calories harder. These changes become more significant the leaner you get.

As your body gets smaller you need to regularly check how many calories it needs in order to continue to burning calories and losing weight.

Trying to shed that last bit of stubborn fat can be difficult, especially if you’re a ‘one more bite won’t hurt’ type of person.

One more latte in the morning or that extra dollop of peanut butter, regardless of how satisfying they may be, won’t help you achieve your long-term weight loss goals.

But you also don’t want to be that person who skips breakfast or feels guilty after having a cocktail and goes for extra sessions at the gym to make up for it.

As I said dieting really can play hell with your emotions, finding the right balance that suits your lifestyle is key.

Over the course of a week the calories can add up fast if you’re not careful. It’s about being disciplined, dedicated and focused on your goal.

Cutting Back on Guilty Pleasures

All people have guilty pleasures in terms of food and drink. It might be a takeaway every Saturday night or sitting at your work desk going through bags of Doritos or a couple of beers in the pub after work everyday.

These simple solutions can save you hundreds of calories over the course of a week and if you’re training as hard as you’re thinking about your diet, they will aid your fat loss goals.

Coffee Shop Addictions 

Costa Wikimedia Commons
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

I literally can’t leave the house without having a coffee or two in the morning. Then on the way to work, or on my lunch, I would swing by Costa or Starbucks and buy another one.

My problem here is that when I would visit a coffee shop, it was always a large hazlenut latte or a caramel cappuccino and sometimes a little salted caramel slice to go with it.

  • Costa hazlenut latte – 248 calories (one a day over the course of a week = 1736 calories).
  • Starbucks caramel cappuccino – 217 calories (x7 = 1519 calories).
  • Salted caramel slice – 380 calories (DANGER).

Solution

If you really can’t help yourself try these less calorific alternatives:

  • Costa coconut milk cappuccino – 122 calories (x7 = 854 calories).
  • Starbucks coconut milk latte – 140 calories (x7 = 980 calories).
  • Lets just forget having a salted caramel slice all together shall we.

You can save yourself hundreds of calories by switching drinks and they’re still just as delicious. Result!

For even better results, try and cut these drinks out all together. Not only will you save yourself a fortune, you can imagine how many calories you can save when you look at the calorie statistics above.

I have finally managed to completely cut these drinks from my diet and my body fat percentage continues to fall.

I now have my morning coffee with a drop of coconut milk and for the rest of the day i’ll have black coffee. I drink water throughout the day as well and green tea at night.

Obviously there is a variety of other healthy milk containing fewer calories. You can have soya milk, almond milk etc, I just prefer coconut.

Peanut Butter Problems

Wikimedia Commons
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Peanut butter is another one of my guilty pleasures, I literally can’t get enough of the stuff. There was always a tub in my gym bag, as well as a variety of Reeces products.

Obviously peanut butter has many health benefits, packed with healthy fats and protein and gym-goers everywhere swear by it, me being one of them.

However, when I was dieting last year I failed to hit my fat loss target. One of my snacks was peanut butter on rice cakes.

I would have two rice cakes, each with what I thought was approximately 15g of peanut butter on each, which would only be 198 calories.

Turns out, I was probably having close to 80g per rice cake as I wasn’t weighing my food out back then, meaning I was eating over 1000 calories. No wonder I didn’t hit my fat loss target.

Solution

I still get my peanut butter fix most days but I am much smarter than before. I now weigh the majority of my food out so I can keep track of my calorie consumption.

I always want more as the little 15g serving I have is tiny but as I said, it’s all about finding the right balance and being focused on your goal (mine is to be as lean as possible).

I leave it in the cupboard at home and usually have it for breakfast on a toasted English muffin with some jam and sometimes another tablespoon before training.

Peanut butter and coffee were adding thousands of calories to my diet and definately affecting my weight loss goals last year.

Since starting my diet this year and cutting back on my guilty pleasures, I am the leanest I’ve been in years.

So whatever your guilty pleasures are, the takeaways, the drinking, the crisps, be smart, have them in moderation, check the nutritional information, it will improve results.

Diet Tips

healthy-diet-educational-poster
Credit: Public Domain Pictures

The following tips can save you hundreds of calories:

  • Weigh your food and only cook a specific amount so you’re not tempted to go back for seconds.
  • Instead of drinking pints or having cocktails mixed with syrups and sugary fruit juices, order liqours on the rocks or drinks mixed with tonic water or cranberry juice.
  • Eat protein with every meal, it keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
  • Beware of social events with friends. For example, if you’re going to the cinema eat something before so you’re not tempted by popcorn, hotdogs and nachos.
  • Listen to your body instead of looking at your plate, if you’re full stop eating.
  • Don’t skip breakfast, it will give you energy for the day ahead and help keep your diet in check.
  • Stay away from processed foods, they have more calories, don’t help you feel full or provide you with good nutrition.
  • Eat regular meals, this helps burn calories at a faster rate. For example, try having three daily meals with a couple of healthy snacks in between.
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables, they are low in calories, fat and high in fibre, three essential ingredients for weight loss.

Fat Burning Foods

Chicken
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Burn calories as you eat, certain foods have a high thermogenic effect (the amount of energy expenditure above the resting metabolic rate).

  • Eat more whole grains, your body will burn twice as many calories breaking them down compared to processed foods.
  • Eat low fat diary products (Philadelphia Light, low fat cottage cheese, non-fat Greek yoghurt), they’re all good sources of protein.
  • Eat lean meats, protein has a high thermogenic effect so you will burn more calories digesting it.
  • Eat avacados, the good fats are heart healthy and filling and can reduce the urge to snack on processed foods.
  • Snack on nuts, they’re high in protein, fibre and essential fats and will keep you energised and satisfied.
  • Eat more eggs, a good protein source to help maintain muscle mass when burning fat.
  • Drink whey protein, it supports muscle retention, building and repair. Muscle burns more calories than fat so drinking protein shakes helps support an efficient metabolism.

Remember, it’s about being smart, to lose weight you need to be consistent and live a healthier lifestyle. When you set yourself a goal, think about all the above, these tips will improve results!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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