8 Smart Ways To Cut Calories

Looking to get back on track with your fitness after the festive binge? Don’t worry, with just a few smart moves you can cut down your calorie intake – that too without depriving yourself or compromising on taste and flavor.

If you are trying to knock off some weight, cutting between 500 to 1,000 calories a day from your regular diet can in turn help you lose 1-2 pounds (0.45-0.9 kg) a week. So here goes!

1. Tank Up On Protein
Protein keeps you feeling full longer, so ensure breakfast has some healthy protein like an egg or a bowl of daal. This way, you can ward off any the cravings later in the day and reduce your overall calorie intake.

2. Have More Fiber
Higher dietary fiber intake also helps reduce appetite by as much as 5%. So opt for multigrain or seed breads, steel-cut oats, and sprinkle some nuts and seeds on your poha, upma, and porridge. Find out more here.

3. Cut Your Portion Size
By serving yourself smaller portions – of what you like and what’s good for you – and eating more often, you rev up your metabolism and burn more calories than you consume. Here’s how you can go about it.

4. Skip The Sauces and Pickles
Condiments can really pack in the calories without your realizing it. Consider this before you decide to make a “healthy” sandwich or roll:

  • A 15-gm serving of mayonnaise has 108 calories.
  • Ketchup has 20 calories per serving, including 4.1 gm of sugar.
  • Indian store-bought pickles have around 40+ calories per 30 gram serving and are also high in sodium.

Shelve the store-bought pickles, ketchup, mayo and go natural instead, using home-made chutneys and condiments. Use jeera powder, chilli flakes, lemon, vinegar, and fresh coriander, curry, and basil leaves for that zing.

5. Avoid Empty Calories
Make each calorie count. Foods with “empty” calories like sugary sodas, candy, or even ice cream need to be off the cards. When you do indulge, ensure you balance your intake of other calorie-rich foods for the rest of the day.

6. Read Food Labels
All the cooking pastes, mixes, and preserves you buy have a detailed list of ingredients, often with a breakup of where the calories are coming from. Choose brands that contain less sugar, sodium, and fat and are lower in calories overall.

7. Install A Meal Planning App
Meal planning and calorie counting apps make it so much simpler to check your daily calorie intake even when you are eating out or ordering in.

Most apps will give you a detailed split up of where the calories are coming from too, which is perfect if you are trying to eat fewer carbs, less sugar, or experimenting with a keto lifestyle.

8. Consult a Nutritionist
You could also get a meal plan drawn up by an experienced nutritionist, keeping your preferences, lifestyle, and goals in mind. This solution is ideal if you lead a busy life, find apps fiddly, or have questions that you need answered before you decide on a diet plan.