(NUI) – After a heavy meal, have you ever felt like you’re carrying the weight of the world around your midriff? Who hasn’t. It’s moments like this that we tell ourselves we need to go on a diet.
But which diet? There are all kinds out there – Weight Watchers, Dr. Atkins’s diet, Jenny Craig’s diet and many others. While each takes a slightly different approach to weight loss, they all agree that cutting calories and exercising regularly are essential steps to success.
It sounds simple. Cut calories and exercise. Yet so many Americans seem unable to make the simple dieting changes that will set them on the right track to a slimmer healthier person.
Much of it is just common sense. Here are 10 easy ways to cut calories painlessly:
- Substitute lower calorie, lower fat foods for what you’re currently eating.
- Replace ’empty calorie’ foods and snacks with nutrient-dense foods. For example, rather than white bread, switch to whole grain bread that’s packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Cut back on fried foods such as those you get at fast-food restaurants. At home, cook your food in the oven instead of in fat.
- Substitute leaner cuts of meat. Choose choice or select grades of beef.
- Begin each meal with a large salad or a bowl of vegetable-packed soup.
- Eat smaller portions.
- When you’re eating out, don’t feel obligated to eat everything that’s put before you. Ask to have leftovers put in a doggie bag so you can have them later at home.
- List areas of your diet that need improvement. For example, if you feel that you drink too much soda, reduce your intake by one-third.
- Be sure to have breakfast. Studies show this tends to prevent excessive eating during the day.
- Find out why you want to eat so much. Maybe it’s because you’re angry or lonely. If that’s the case, call a friend and talk it out. Above all, eat only when you’re hungry.