Achieving and maintaining a caloric deficit to promote weight loss is often the most challenging aspect of any weight loss strategy. Working with a nutritionist not only helps you formulate a diet to reach your goals, but your nutritionist can give you suggestions to cut calories and feel less deprived.
You do not need to spend the rest of your life weighing and measuring your food, but you should take accurate measurements until you are accustomed with portion sizes. People generally underestimate their portions, which can easily account for hundreds of extra calories each day. Condiments, such as salad dressings, are common areas of your diet where you may find you are adding hundreds of calories to an otherwise healthy meal. When you measure, you are more likely to reduce the amount of condiments you put on food. Additionally, you can find alternatives to your favorite condiments that may have fewer calories, or you might be encouraged to skip the condiments altogether.
Skip Liquid Calories
People who are just starting to change their diet may find the biggest change they can make is switching from beverages that are high in calories to calorie-free alternatives. Not only are you consuming calories that are digested quickly, but the excess sugar frequently makes you hungrier throughout the day. Reducing high-calorie beverages can be especially challenging if you are not fond of drinking water. Start by replacing at least some of your beverages with water or another calorie-free beverage. Eventually you want to limit yourself to one or two beverages a day that contain more than a few calories. For example, you may not want to give up your first cup of coffee with cream and sugar, but you may be more willing to drink calorie-free beverages for the rest of the day. Similarly, not visiting the local coffee shop each day and ordering specialty coffee drinks can quickly save you calories and money.
Think about times during the day or week when you are more likely to mindlessly consume calories. This may be during the workday where you tend to snack on chips at the computer or after work when you eat snacks in front of the television. When you have developed this habit, it is difficult to break because you may pair these stimuli with eating. Avoid eating in front of the computer or TV when possible. When you focus on what you are eating, you will probably consume fewer calories. If you are going to sit in front of the TV, make better choices so it is less detrimental if you overeat. Consuming an entire bag of microwave popcorn with little or no butter will put less of a dent in your calorie limit than a large bag of chips.
Most people who are struggling with their weight can find quick ways to start cutting calories. Making simple changes in your diet can jump-start your weight loss without feeling deprived. Learn more with nutrition counseling.