Keeping track of your daily calorie intake is an important part of your weight loss regime. As a rule of thumb, you’ll need to burn more calories than you consume in order to lose weight.
Cutting calories sustainably often requires some tweaks in dietary habits – mainly choosing the healthier options and reducing portion sizes.
To get you started, here are 9 helpful tips on how you can reduce your calorie intake, while still being able to feel full after each meal.
Simple substitutions like swapping out whole milk for skim milk, having a bowl of fruit for dessert instead of ice cream, using low-fat yoghurt instead of santan in your curry can make a huge difference.
It helps to stay away from fried foods too as these are rich in saturated fats.
Choose poached, grilled, steamed or broiled cooking methods for your meats.
When dining out, pick healthy side dishes such as side salad and go for plain water over sweetened beverages.
If you usually like to clean your plate every meal, a good way to portion control is by using a smaller plate.
At the beginning of each meal, it helps if you take slightly less than what you think you’ll eat.
If you’re still hungry, get a second helping of fruits or vegetables.
When snacking, it may be tempting to eat your chips out of the bag or biscuits out of the box.
But this will lead you to eat more than you intend to, especially if you are distracted with playing video games or watching TV.
Pour one portion into your bowl at a time and store the rest away.
Fast food and beverage chains are known for charging only a marginal amount for you to upgrade your meals to larger portions.
Before you take up the offer, think of the additional calories you really don’t need.
Cutting out one high calorie treat a day is a good start to reduce your overall daily calorie intake.
If you’ve developed a habit of having a dessert every day for tea or after dinner, it’s time to cut these things out.
Set a daily calorie intake limit for yourself according to your weight and age.
Conserve your calories for more nutritious meals.
It’s easy to underestimate the amount of food you’re eating, especially if you’re distracted.
Practice mindful eating by retaining from watching TV, reading, or using your mobile phone or computer while eating.
Sweet drinks carry more calories than most people realize.
For example, a flavoured latte or a can of cola can contain more than 200 calories per drink!
Even boxed fruit juices are loaded with sugar and high in calories.
These calories can add up if you have a few a day and can easily put your weight loss efforts to waste.
To stay hydrated, drink plenty of plain water.
If you need you regular caffeine kick, opt for black coffee or tea.
Sauces like gravy, ketchup and mayonnaise can increase the calorie content of your meals.
Even salad dressings can be high in calories.
Don’t add gravy, dressing, or sauce onto your dishes before you eat, as you may end up adding too much.
Instead, dip a piece of your food into the sauce/gravy/dressing before you take a bite.
To cut calories without eating less and feeling hungry alt the time, swap out your usual high calorie foods with lots of fruits and vegetables that are high in fibre and rich in vitamins and minerals.