The science is simple: Eating fewer calories makes you drop pounds. But depriving yourself by skimping on meals and banishing snacks only makes you hungry and pissed off. Plus, you are more likely to binge in the end anyway.
The real solution lies in cutting out just a few little extra items from each meal (truly, your taste buds won't even realize their absence) as well as making some food swaps so you sacrifice one fat-bomb ingredient and replace it with a more flavorful option. Incorporate a few of these ideas into your day and you'll soon feel lighter and-as a bonus-healthier. Need to drop five pounds in a week? Your diet starts here.
1) Skip the croutons, halve the Parmesan dressing, and say no to extra cheese on top of your Caesar salad.
2) Order or whip up an egg-white scramble with two pieces of turkey bacon rather than a whole-egg omelette with two pieces of pork bacon.
3) Use 4 tablespoons of hummus instead of 2 tablespoons of regular mayonnaise on your sandwich. Or go with mustard, which is practically calorie-free (just 3 in each little packet!). Read about more foods that melt away flab.
4) Eat your French-or Italian-bread sandwich/hero open-faced so you consume only one slice of bread.
5) Opt for a 1-cup serving of no-butter microwave popcorn rather than munching on a bag of potato chips.
6) Instead of one croissant, eat two pieces of whole-wheat toast with a smidge of butter or cream cheese on each slice.
7) Dunk 10 tortilla chips in salsa, not guacamole. Nix these habits that are giving you belly pudge.
8) Nosh on a handful of pretzels at the bar during happy hour rather than the same amount of nuts.
9) Share a small order of spicy wings on the bone instead of breaded chicken wings. Read the best weight-loss tips we've ever heard about.
10) When you cook at home, use a spray like Pam to coat the pan (spritz for one full second) instead of using a tablespoon of olive oil. Yep, oil olive isn't the only "healthy food" that is making you fat. Check out this list.
Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.