Cut those calories the easy way with these 5 tips

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Power of One Dietary Change in Losing Weight: 5 Easy Ways to Eat 100 Less Calories Per Day

What do 10 pounds of fat look like? For a rough estimate, imagine 40 sticks of butter or margarine, or 10 1-pound cans of vegetable shortening.

Looks like a lot — yet how many of us add this much weight in a year without realizing it until our pants fit a little tighter or our belt runs out of notches?

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Sometimes, we’re too hard on ourselves when we’re trying to lose weight. We eat some pretty awful-tasting foods, forgo getting together with friends if food is involved or take the joy out of eating through a monotonous and limited diet.

While people have lost hundreds of pounds through some of these methods, it’s often the same 10 pounds over and over again.

It takes an excess of about 3,500 calories to gain a pound. Break that into smaller bites and 100 extra calories a day can put on about 10 pounds a year. The good news is losing 10 pounds can be as easy as eating 100 calories less each day for a year.

One dietary change may be all it takes. Here are some simple changes, involving just one food; each will decrease your daily intake by about 100 calories. The amounts of calories saved are approximate; check nutrition facts labels on specific foods for exact amounts.

As a general rule, experts recommend a slow and steady weight loss of one-half to 2 pounds per week. It’s difficult to obtain adequate nutrients if you consume less than 1,200 calories per day. It’s beneficial for most people to increase their activity level and eat less.

1. Modify Your Milk. Instead of drinking two cups of whole milk, switch to two cups of 1 percent low fat milk or skim milk. The nutrients are comparable.

2. Downsize Your Drink. If you’ve been drinking a 20-ounce container of a regular soft drink, switch to a 12-ounce container size. Or, better yet, drink a cold glass of water, perhaps with a slice of lemon.

3. “Dress, Don’t ‘Drown’ Your Salad.” Cook’s Illustrated magazine advises one-quarter cup of vinaigrette should be enough to dress 2 quarts (8 cups) of loosely packed salad, an amount they suggest for four servings. That means each 2-cup serving of salad greens should have about 1 tablespoon of dressing on it. TIP: Dressing slides off damp salad greens and collects in the bottom of the salad bowl. You’ll get more flavor with less dressing if salad greens are washed and thoroughly dried. Bagged lettuce that is pre-washed and labeled “ready to eat” should be dry enough as is. If you need to wash salad greens, the easiest way to dry them is in a salad spinner. Pack lightly to avoid overcrowding and bruising the greens. After spinning, pat off any remaining moisture with clean paper towels. If you don’t have a spinner, pat greens dry, thoroughly, with clean paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.

4. Size up Your Cereal Bowl. Check the portion size you’re pouring in relation to the size cited on the box; decide if you’re pouring more calories than desired. Try eating from a smaller bowl to aid in portion control.

5. Count Your Cookies. A single medium-sized cookie easily can have about 100 calories. Often we pop two or more into our mouths before we realize it. If you feel you’re not getting enough “crunch” by limiting yourself to one cookie, try eating an apple instead — the calories are similar. These are just a few tips to help you eat 100 less calories per day. Source: A. Henneman, Extension Educator

Here is a wonderful and delicious way to eat cauliflower. You will enjoy it.


(Makes 4 generous servings)

1 cauliflower head

2 tablespoons olive oil, preferably extra-virgin

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 450°F. Remove outer leaves of cauliflower. Cut florets off the stem. Wash and

drain. Combine oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss the cauliflower florets in the oil mixture

Spread cauliflower on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast cauliflower for 15–20 minutes

until the cauliflower starts to soften and begins to brown. Stir cauliflower and return to oven

and continue to roast until cauliflower is tender, about 5–10 minutes longer.

Source: Adapted slightly from University of Maryland Extension. Food Supplement

Nutrition Education Program.