Cutting calories is a time-tested weight-loss method, but this doesn’t mean that you have to go on a strict diet to drop pounds. Oftentimes, it’s the little changes —like the ones listed here— that add up to big results.
Drink one glass of water. And one less glass of soda or energy drink. These beverages have roughly 150 calories per serving, and many Americans drink several servings each day. Opting for water, even just once a day, can easily trim more than 100 calories from your daily count.
Water down your juice. Although it does offer some nutrients, fruit juice also contains lots of calories. Two or more glasses per day easily add up to a few hundred calories. To cut this number in half while still satisfying your sweet tooth, try mixing half a serving of juice with calorie-free club soda or selzer.
Switch to skim.Two cups of whole milk per day equals roughly 300 calories, according to CaloriesCount.org. Switching to skim brings this total down to about 180, saving more than 120 calories.
Say “goodbye” to energy bars. Energy bars are often marketed as health food, but are typically high in calories. Potentially cut 100 calories or more by opting for a handful of healthy trail mix instead.
Find a better chocolate fix. Sometimes, you just need some chocolate. However, a 280-calorie Snickers bar doesn’t come guilt-free. Substitute a cup of hot chocolate to save roughly 100 calories.
Count your condiments. Just two tablespoons of ranch dressing contains about 150 calories, and restaurants tend to use much more than this. To cut calories, ask for dressing on the side, and don't forget to consider calories when portioning out all of your condiments, from ketchup and salad dressing to mayo and mustard.
Simplify your coffee order. If you can't start each morning without a Starbucks grande caramel brulee latte, you might be consuming 300 calories (according to Starbucks.com) before you even reach the office. Skip the frills and opt for a plain iced coffee or coffee with skim milk and sugarsubstitute, and cut up to 200 calories without sacrificing the caffeine boost.
Snack smarter. You don't have to give up your favorite foods to cut calories, but a few smart swaps can add up fast. Trade in your favorite potato chips (about 150 calories per serving) for a cup of air-popped popcorn (30 calories) and save more than 100 calories.
Save with sweet treats. Everyone likes a cold treat on a hot day, but not all frozen confections are created the same. The average chocolate-covered ice cream bar contains about 220 calories, whereas a half-cup of chocolate frozen yogurt has about 115. Read nutrition labels and practice portion control, and you can still have dessert on a calorie budget.
Be a better bartender. Whether you're out with friends or mixing your own drinks at home, you can easily save 100 calories in just a drink or two by making some smart substitutions. Order your liquor on the rocks or with soda water rather than mixed with juice or soda, and opt for light or low-calorie beer over regular.