Say goodbye to clingy calories

Apply these simple daily tips to reduce your calories fast.

Maintaining a healthy weight is a concern for most people. No matter the age, good weight management is important. One problem people face in trying to lose weight is that it seems unattainable. We cycle into on-again, off-again meal planning, rigorous exercise routines and using or avoiding our bathroom scales.

Research suggests that for many of us, trying to totally overhaul our diet or start an ambitious exercise program means we’re less likely to stick with it. That’s not to say that some people don’t have success with this approach, but for others, something simple, yet attainable might be a good place to begin.

We’ve all heard the old adage that, eating an extra 100 calories a day can cause you to gain 10 pounds a year, whereas eating 100 calories less than usual may result in a loss of 10 pounds. Along with increasing your physical activity, here are some tips you can start implementing today to help you reduce your calorie intake.

Michigan State University Extension suggests these ways to identify clingy calories:

  • Oil(s). One tablespoon of oil has 120 calories. For stove top or crockpot cooking, use low-salt chicken broth to keep vegetables, meats or chicken from sticking, instead of oil or butter. Another option is to use cooking spray. In some cases leave out the oil completely. For example, pork chops, meats and other foods, when cooked properly make their own grease and do not need grease added. Applesauce makes a great substitute for oil in bake goods. Oil can be completely omitted from pancakes, especially if you use a non-stick pan.
  • Sugary drinks are not thirst quenchers! 150 calories can be guzzled in a few sips! To purely hydrate, drink water or zero-calorie beverages. Obvious drinks to avoid are sodas, sweet teas, sugary sports drinks, fancy creamed coffees like Frappuccino’s, some smoothies, lemonades, fruit juices and chocolate milk. Switching to diet drinks, water or regular coffee can save you 100’s of calories a day.
  • Don’t distort the portion. With supersized French fries, bottomless sodas and a general explosion of portion sizes, it’s hard to know how much to eat. According to the National Institutes of Health, 20 years ago a typical muffin was 1.5 ounces and 210 calories. Today it’s four ounces and 500 calories. Eat a three ounce bagel instead of a four ounce bagel and save at least 100 calories!
  • The frills add up so monitor them. Remember the rules on salad dressings; your basic vinaigrette’s have fewer calories than your buttermilk, ranch and cream dressings. Cutting cheese from your subs, salads and pasta dishes will help eliminate up to 100 calories. Skipping the bread basket while waiting for dinner is another way to say goodbye to those clingy calories.

Cutting calories is one way to help you manage your weight. Using these tips will help you stay in control and feel like you’re making some worthy progress. Ask your health care provider for other helpful resources for weight management and control.

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