When it comes to making big changes to the way we eat, it can seem daunting and overwhelming trying to figure out where to begin, especially when it comes to reducing or burning calories. Although not everyone needs to count their calories or drastically slash their diet, a large number of people could definitely work towards reducing their food intake.
The average American consumes 3,770 calories a day, while the recommended amount is 2000-2500 calories. Cutting out 500 unnecessary calories from foods that are high in processed ingredients such as sugar, salt, and trans fat can make a big difference in your diet, especially if you do in a safe and healthy way.
1. Use Clever Substitutes
Learn how to make small healthy substitutions that make a big difference. Swap out mustard for mayo, whole wheat for refined flour, burrito bowl for the burrito, or evaporated milk for cream. These little changes can add up, and it won’t drastically change the taste of your food.
2. Eat With Your Non-Dominant Hand
Switching up which hand you use to eat with can help make you more conscious of your eating behaviors. Studies show that eating with your non-dominant hand can help you consume less food, as it take away the automaticity of mindlessly eating.
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3. Pick A Small Plate
The size of your plate matters when it comes to how much you eat. Studies show that eating off of a small plate helps you lower your portion sizes. Participants who ate off of smaller plates cut 22 to 29 percent of their daily calories with an average of 527 calories a day.
4. Chew Your Food
Scarfing down your food quickly is a surefire way to go overboard and overeat. Instead, chew your food slowly. One study found that people who chew their food more — at least 40 times to be exact — end up consuming less calories than people who chew their food quickly.
That’s right – what better way to burn calories than with some old-fashioned exercise. Even if you only have 20 minutes, you can take a walk, which can burn up to 70 calories. Or, if you’re short on time, you can also opt for high-intensity interval training, where it is possible to burn 500 calories in just 25 minutes.
6. Cut Back On Dessert
The first thing to go should be anything laden with fat and sugar. In one study, researchers looked at post-menopausal women and found that cutting out dessert was the most effective long-term at maintaining weight loss. Some desserts can even have over 1,000 calories, so doing this can make a big difference.
7. Give Yourself Time Before Seconds
It can be tempting to reach for another portion, but allow your body some time to receive the signals that it’s full. It takes your brain 20 minutes to react to chemicals released when you put food or drink into your stomach and they continue to rise, so give yourself at least 20 to 30 minutes before loading up your plate again.
Making all these little tweaks can help you cut down on calories daily without feeling like you’re restricting yourself or making unhealthy choices.