When trying to lose weight, sometimes the small changes make all the difference. Here are easy ways to cut at least 100 calories from your meals to help you reach your weight loss goal.
Choose one side item.
Many restaurant entrees come with two sides, but one side is often more than enough food. You can cut the calories for the total meal by choosing only one. A side of mac n’ cheese can have upwards of 280 calories, mashed potatoes with gravy have about 200 calories, and wild rice pilaf has 180 calories.
Drizzle, don’t dip.
Save calories by cutting out the extras that go with your favorite foods. A 1-ounce serving of blue cheese sauce for buffalo wings has 150 calories. Cheese sauce for your breadsticks has about 110 calories in ¼ cup, and a single serving of queso for your chips has about 100 calories. If you simply cannot go without it, cut back how much you use by drizzling a little on your food instead of dipping.
Leave off the whipped cream.
When the waffles, latte, or pie you order come with whipped cream, ask the kitchen to leave it off. It may be delicious, but 2 tablespoons of whipped cream can have 100 calories, and many restaurants pile on much more than that. Ordering no-whip can make the difference between a treat and a calorie nightmare.
Cooking your own food is the best way to control your calorie intake, but watch out for bites and nibbles. If you eat a half of a roll when it comes out of the oven (65 calories), then taste an eighth of a cup of the bowtie pasta (25 calories), and follow that up with a tablespoon of chocolate chips before you add them to the cookie dough (70 calories), you will consume 160 extra calories.
Rethink the dinner roll.
Dinner rolls are often an unnecessary part of a meal that already has plenty of calories and carbohydrates (ex: pasta or mashed potatoes). Passing on one small dinner roll with a half tablespoon of butter will save you 179 calories.
Skip the sweet tea.
A 21-ounce serving of sweet tea contains about 180 calories. You can make your own slightly sweet, fruit-flavored tea with unsweetened iced tea and 2 ounces of pomegranate juice for only 38 calories.
Take fewer toppings.
Adding seeds, nuts, and dried fruits is a great way to make salads more nutritious, but it’s easy to go overboard. A small sprinkle will go a long way in adding flavor and keeping calories in check. If you reduce your toppings from 2 tablespoons to 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds (55 calories), walnuts (54 calories), and dried cranberries (35 calories), you will save 144 calories.
Use less olive oil.
Olive oil is healthy for the heart, but each tablespoon contains 120 calories. When it comes to cooking, many recipes use more than you really need. Try cutting back a half to one full tablespoon, and it is likely you will still end up with a delicious dish.