The Holiday season from fall through the New Year is a time of celebration. During that time frame many have events, parties, dinners, lunches, special sweets, and treats. So many extras calories are consumed in these few months making it difficult to stick to a plan or remain consistent. However, there are several small things you can do throughout the day on a daily basis to help you cut calories and I am going to share a few of those with you.
1. Watch Beverage Consumption
Beverages can add a huge amount of empty calories to your day. From what we add to our coffee and tea to sodas, juice and alcoholic beverages. Most of these calories are all added sugars that offer absolutely no nutritional value.
Here are a few ways you can save yourself calories in beverages:
Drink plain water – #1 best thing to drink.
Cut half of the sugar you normally would add to your coffee or tea – I’m not saying you can’t have any, but cutting half of what you normally do will go a long way
Water down juice – 1 cup of juice can provide lots of sugars and extra calories to your day. Instead of drinking 1 cup of juice, use 1/4-1/2 cup juice to flavor water or fresh brewed tea over ice with fresh squeezed lemon, lime or other fruit.
Swap sugary sodas for flavored seltzer – Soda is probably one of #1 worst choices you can make in a beverage. It’s all just sugar and the worst sugar for you. If you do one thing on this list, eliminating soda should be the one. Even diet soda is unhealthy for you with the artificial sweeteners added to it. Best choice if you want a bubbly drink is to get used to seltzer water, plain or flavored and add some fresh or frozen fruit to it.
Limit alcohol – alcoholic beverages can really pack on the calories if consumed on a daily basis. Set a weekly limit when it comes to alcohol and stick to those limits.
Doing these few things with your beverages can save you hundreds of calories a week.
Hydration is so important in so many of our bodily functions. Our calorie digestion is highly dependent on our body using fluids. Being hydrated helps in the proper digestion and excretion of the foods we eat. It is also important to stay hydrated because we can mistake the feeling of hunger for thirst. It is possible to consume less overall calories by keeping your body hydrated.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, but also by eating foods that are hydrating such as fruits, vegetables, milk, soups, yogurts and smoothies.
3) Swap out high calorie snacks for lower calorie options
Snacks are one of those things that can really pack on the calories. When looking for snacks many people think chips, baked goods, ice cream, etc. Save these high calorie snacks for the days you are celebrating and in your daily day swap out those snacks for whole natural foods such as fruits and yogurts, raw veggies and hummus, low fat cheese and whole grain crackers. These swaps can save you 100s to 1000s of calories, sugars and fats throughout your week.
4) Eat fiber rich foods
Eating fiber rich foods will aide in the digestion of calories and keep you feeling full for a longer period of time. The fiber helps sustain your appetite ultimately resulting in the consumption of less overall calories.
Swap out your low fiber grains such as white breads, crackers and pasta to add in higher fiber options such as whole grain breads, crackers, pasta, quinoa, oats and beans. Also include lots of fruits and vegetables which have a higher fiber content.
5) Eat more fruits and vegetables
This is not rocket science here! Most of us have been told since we were little to eat your fruits and vegetables and that is with good reason. Fruits and vegetables are lower in calories, high in nutrients, hydrating and fiber rich. It is best to add fruits and/or vegetables to all your meals and snacks to add bulk with less calories and more nutrients. By doing this you are sure to eat less calories throughout your day.
Think color and variety so you don’t get bored. Eat them raw, cooked and juiced, fresh or frozen, choose from seasonal and grab a variety of colors and options.
6) Portion out food
This is probably one of the reasons most of us are consuming too many calories. Not knowing what a portion is and overeating portions throughout your day is a huge problem. You really need to be planning meals not just by variety, but also by portioning out those foods you are eating in each meal and snack. It is important to read labels for portions sizes and stick to just 1-2 servings at the most, especially if the foods you are consuming are high in fats, carbs or sugars.
Get yourself a scale, measuring bowls, spoons and start weighing and measuring the foods you eat. You might be surprised at how many calories you have been consuming by not portioning out your food.
If you can do some of these tips throughout your daily day you will be saving yourself 100s of calories per day and even more each week. Think about how many calories you can save within a year!
• ISSA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer
• AFFA Certified Group Fitness Instructor
• NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
• Specialize in: - Kickboxing - Strength Training - High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)