Cutting calories can be a big ol’ pain in the butt, I know. No one wants to cut back on how much they eat but if you want to lose weight and stay sane (i.e., you’re not working out for six hours a day), you don’t have much of a choice!
That being said, it doesn’t have to be hard! If you want cut calories the simplest way is this: look at each meal and deduct/swap ONE thing. For example, let’s look at my typical breakfast. I’m an oatmeal lover and have it pretty much every day of the week, my typical oatmeal consists of:
- 1/3c rolled oats
- 1/2c organic soy milk
- 1/2 water
- 1tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 banana
- 1tbsp peanut butter
This is a packed breakfast containing 386 calories, 51g carbs, 15g fat and 16g of protein. I always eat my most calorie dense meal first thing in the morning because it stops me from overeating for the rest of the day. Some days I’ll eat seasonal fruit or throw in some dried fruit or even a bit of cocoa powder if I want some variety but that list is what I put in every day.
But if we want to cut this baby down a bit, all you would need to do is look at one of the items and ask yourself if you’re willing to cut out/cut down/swap out just one of these items. For this example, I’ve decided to cut out the peanut butter entirely. I add it for the extra protein but even without the p.b. I’m not cutting out too much (just 2g) and just by this simple deduction our stats come down to 326 calories, 45g carbs, 10g fat and 14g of protein! If you’re feeling particularly crazy, you could also cut down the milk to 1/4c instead of a 1/2 or cut back on the flaxseeds and/or chia seeds.
See how easy that is?! My rule of thumb for this is to take out the least important or highest calorie ingredient. So, for me, I don’t take out my flaxseeds or chia seeds because I’m a vegetarian and they both provide me with my essential omega-3’s without needing supplementation. Peanut butter, on the other hand, is just a yummy filler and gives me an extra boost of healthy fats and protein (and possibly added sugar if it’s not an all-natural brand). It’s not essential so I can cut it out or cut it back to 1/2tbsp (or even swap to PB2 – a low calorie powder form of peanut butter).
Easy things to cut out are extra cheese, heavy creams, that extra slice of bread or have your yogurt on it’s own or with berries instead of granola.
Using this process with every meal and snack throughout your day can easily cut anywhere from 50 – 100 calories per meal (or more) which totally adds up to a good 2,800 calories per week and you don’t lose sleep over it at all!
Try it today! For every meal and snack, look before you eat! What can you cut out, cut down or swap out? Do you need to eat the entire granola bar or save half for tomorrow’s snack? Skip the parmesan on your spaghetti and opt out of the garlic bread. These little things do add up!