Thursday, September 27, 2012

How to Cut Mega Calories

Right now I'm pretty much looking for any way to cut calories so I can fit into this dress for my anniversary date. The following is a list of easy ways to cut calories without noticing. 

1. Instead of buying yogurt parfaits (which I tend to do a lot), make your own at home. The parfaits you buy at a particular fast food chain we all know use yogurt that is loaded with fat and sugar. In addition, the fruit is of the frozen variety that tends to contain added sugar and the granola, although delicious, is terrible for you. If you make your own at home, you can use low-fat or even fat-free Greek yogurt (this adds protein and makes you feel full longer) and real fruit. Don't think you have to avoid frozen fruit! Frozen fruit is a great way to stock up on the fruit you love even if its out of season, and frozen fruit stays fresh longer, obviously. Just be sure to select the bag of frozen fruit that says "no sugar added". 
To make your own fruit and yogurt parfait, 1 cup of fat-free Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup of strawberries or blueberries, and 1/4 cup of Kashi Go Lean Cereal for a great breakfast or snack that is only going to set you back about 151 calories. If you're not into the Kashi cereals, try chopping up a handful of almonds in the blender. This adds a great nutty flavor! 

2. Split meals with friends or a significant other- I love going out to eat and trying new foods, but for diet purposes this isn't always ideal. To solve this problem, I split an entree with whoever I am with and order either a salad, or a side of steamed vegetables. 

3. When ordering eggs, ask for them to be cooked dry- This basically means hold the butter. I used to work for Jack in the Box. When you order eggs from JIB, they get cooked on the grill in this super greasy "butter flavored vegetable shortening" joke! They will make them without the butter upon request. The grilled chicken strips are also grilled in this fake and fattening mess so if you love grilled chicken strips from Jack in the Box, be sure to have them hold the "butter" on those as well. 

4. Use three ounces of sliced chicken breast in your morning omelet instead of sausage or bacon (which both contain an enormous amount of sodium). I love making what I like to call a fajita omelet. I fill my omelet with chicken breast, chopped green and red bell pepper, and a sprinkle of low-fat shredded cheddar cheese. I season the eggs with black pepper, cumin, and a little bit of cayenne pepper and top my omelet with chunky salsa! Its so yummy, packed with veggies and protein, and keeps me full until I get home in the afternoon. 

5. Start ordering your usual coffee chain beverage with non-fat milk, Splenda, and no whipped cream. 

6. Order Canadian bacon in place of the sausage on your next breakfast sandwich. 

7. Slice your bagel into thirds length-wise, and save the middle part for later. This gives you the allusion that you're eating an entire bagel while saving yourself about 120 calories. 

8. Eat half a grapefruit for a snack. Its high water content keeps you full and prevents you from overeating during your next meal. I personally do not care for grapefruit, but GOOD NEWS...watermelon has the same effect. 

9. Replace your bag of peanut M&M's for a mixture of 1 tablespoon of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of unsalted peanuts. 

10. Dip carrots, bell pepper strips, or cucumber slices in your guacamole instead of tortilla chips. This also works great with hummus! 

11. Make you snack a small meal- try two mini babybel light cheese wedges, 2 large whole grain crackers, and fresh fruit. 

12. Have a tablespoon of Nutella on a small apple instead of a Snickers bar. 

13. Use a teaspoon of dry roasted sunflower seeds in your salad instead of croutons. 

14. Choose a 6" turkey sub instead of the tuna next time you visit Subway. 

15. Spread a wedge of Laughing Cow light cheese on your sandwich instead of using a slice of cheese. 

16. Order the broccoli cheese soup instead of the baked potato soup at Chili's. 

17. Order FRESO at Taco Bell. 

18. Choose a small cheeseburger instead of the veggie burger at Burger King. 

19. Order sauces on the side at the Chinese restaurant and stick to stir-fried entrees, like beef and broccoli, instead of deep fried dishes, like orange chicken. 

20. Ask for grilled instead of fried. 

21. Order the roasted garlic cream sauce instead of the Alfredo sauce at Macaroni Grill. 

22. At seafood restaurants, order extra lemon with your crab or lobster instead of butter. 

23. Use zucchini or spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti noodles. This is surprisingly delicious! 

24. To prevent late night binges, divide your normal nightly meal in half. Consume the first half at dinner time, and save the second half for when you would normally eat your snack. 

25. Re-portion the foods you are eating. Fruits and veggies should take up half of your plate, carbs (such as potatoes or pasta) should take up a quarter of your plate, and protein should take up the last quarter. 

26. Instead of sauteing veggies in olive oil, saute them in fat-free chicken broth and drizzle them with olive oil after they're cooked. 

27. Make cauliflower and cheese instead of mac n' cheese. 

28. Replace your pizza crust with a cauliflower pizza crust (I don't even like cauliflower but I love this pizza crust). See the recipe posted previously. Choose toppings like low-fat cheese, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, onion, etc. 

29. Replace the sour cream on your baked potato for non-fat plain Greek yogurt. It tastes the same and you will be adding more protein while cutting calories and fat. 

30. Thicken soups with a cup of pureed white beans instead of cream. 


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