Start our day off with a juice cleanseStart your day by consuming 100 fewer calories. "It's a relatively small amount of calories that you'll hardly notice," says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, author of Belly Fat Diet for Dummies. In other words, you won't feel hungry.
1. At breakfast: Go on a juice "cleanse."
If swigging OJ is among your morning rituals, skim your portion in half. Six ounces of juice (of any kind) contains about 100 calories, and if you're drinking from the standard 10- or 12-ounce bottle, you could be downing twice that amount. Better yet: Eat an orange instead (you'll get more fiber, making you feel more satisfied and helping you eat less) or switch to water. To add flavor, mix one ounce of fruit juice into the water or freeze 100-percent fruit juice in ice cube trays and add one or two cubes to the water, says Palinski-Wade. Or, extract flavor from fruits, veggies, or herbs and infuse them in your water with Zing Anything bottles.
2. At breakfast: Make over your milk habit.
Getting a milk mustache? Healthy. Getting a milk mustache with whole milk? Not so healthy. Switch to skim, "but wean down to help with taste adjustment," says Palinski-Wade. The difference between a cup of whole milk and skim milk is about 50 calories; if you drink two cups a day, you will save 100 calories.3. At lunch: Hold the mayo.
Sandwich shops love their mayonnaise. It's great sandwich glue, after all. Yet give this lunchtime staple the boot in lieu of mustard; one tablespoon of mustard versus mayo will net you a 90-calorie savings. Pair that with one less slice of deli meat and presto! You've just nixed 100-plus calories.
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4. At lunch: Build a better sandwich.
You can have your, er, bread, and eat it, too. Just make sure to choose whole-grain bread over those calorie-laden bagels. This easy swap will cut a whopping 100 to 200 calories from your diet. Do this daily, and you will be kissing that bread belly goodbye in no time.5. At snack time: Curb those caffeine calories.
Don't think you have to give up your java addiction. But if you're loading that coffee with creamer and sugar, you're going off the diet deep-end. Rein in those habits by cutting one tablespoon of sugar (worth 60 calories) and one tablespoon of liquid flavored creamer (for another 40 calories spared).
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6. At snack time: Salsa it up.
Give that afternoon chip-and-dip habit a healthy makeover. Swap the dip for a low-calorie salsa, and not only will you save 100 calories, you will also boost the nutritional profile of that snack. Salsa is loaded with lycopene, which has been shown to improve heart health and vitamin D, a powerful antioxidant, says Palinski-Wade.7. At dinner: Don't get oiled.
Give yourself a pat on the back if you're serving up veggies with dinner tonight. But rather than sautéing those veggies in oil, cook them in low-sodium vegetable broth or cooking spray to shave off more than 100 calories. One tablespoon of oil contains roughly 120 calories.8. At dinner: Squash your pasta addiction.
The problem with pasta is not necessarily the noodles but the amount that you eat, making this a diet nightmare. Next time you're in the mood for a little comfort meal, replace spaghetti with spaghetti squash; one cup contains 42 calories compared to 221 calories in a cup of pasta. Top it with marinara sauce just as you would with pasta, says JJ Virgin, CNS, nutrition and fitness expert in Palm Desert, California, and author of The Virgin Diet.
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9. At dinner: Be a veg-head.
Baked potatoes and rice have their place on the dinner table, but if you're worried about that waistline, lay off these carbs. "At all meals, keep starchy carbs to zero to two servings and get the majority of your carbs from non-starchy veggies," says Virgin. Just replace that rice or potato with an extra helping of veggies. You will easily save 100 calories and get more nutritional bang for each bite.10. At a restaurant: Toss it off.
Restaurants love to dress up their salads. Trouble is, those little accompaniments often come at a high caloric price. A quarter cup of candied nuts, for instance, can cost you 200 calories while the same amount of dried fruit can add about 100 calories to your day. "Most people use salad as an excuse to have dessert," says Virgin. Ask for yours sans candied nuts and dried fruit or pick a different salad altogether.
11. At a restaurant: Cheers to your health.
Nobody's saying you should be a tee-totaler (there are some health benefits to certain alcoholic beverages), but get smarter about your drink choices. First, remember that every shot of alcohol contains about 100 (empty!) calories. If you mix that with six ounces of fruit juice, you're now sipping 190 calories. Instead, order a four-ounce glass of wine, which contains about 80 calories, and you've now lopped over 100 calories from your evening out.12. At a restaurant: Beware the breadbasket.
It's tough to resist the basket of bread that magically appears on restaurant tables. Yet indulge too heavily, and you will pay the price. "One small dinner roll or slice of toast contains about 100 calories-and that's before you add the butter," says Palinski-Wade. Instead, take one less roll or slice of bread than you normally would to nix those 100 calories. Don't want to be tempted? Ask your waiter to hold the basket.
How you shave off calories throughout the day? Let me know in the comments!
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