Cutting Calories

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Calories can be cruel. Sweat through a 30-minute workout and you can burn 200 calories. Take three gulps of a foamy frappuccino and you’re right back where you started. The tips below will help you find ways you can cut 100 or more calories. They’ll add up fast and you won’t miss a thing that is until your love handles are gone.

Cut 100 calories … at breakfast

  • Ditch the Pop-Tart for a slice of high-fibre toast with strawberry jam.
  • Gotta have carbs? Split a bagel with a co-worker.
  • Drink your two cups of coffee black. Or order a single espresso instead of your usual latté.
  • Swap OJ for the real deal—one fresh orange.
  • Trade a side of regular sausage for turkey.
  • Top your waffles with Reddi-wip instead of syrup (or use sugar-free).
  • Skip the whip on any Caribou Coffee 16-ounce drink.
  • Eat your granola from a 4-ounce mug, not an 8-ounce bowl.
  • Lose the Yoplait Thick & Creamy and have a Yoplait Fibre 1.
  • Order pancakes, but hold the butter.
  • Scramble together four egg whites instead of two whole eggs.
  • Substitute non-fat cream cheese for regular on your bagel.

Cut 100 calories … during dessert

  • Stop eating when you hit the crust. The edges and bottoms of baked goods are especially caloric because they absorb the butter used to grease the pan.
  • Fill your bowl with sorbet instead of ice cream—you can have an extra 1/2 cup of the former and still slash calories.
  • Next time a cocoa craving hits, ditch the dish of chocolate ice cream (about 3/4 cup) for a Fudgsicle.
  • Have sugar-free Jell-O instead of pudding. Better your night time treat jiggle than your thighs.
  • Go ahead and have that piece of birthday cake—just scrape off the chocolate frosting first.
  • Eat five meringue cookies instead of two chocolate chip ones.
  • Pass on the à la mode and savour that brownie au natural.
  • Can the cone. Have your ice cream in a bowl.
  • Top your dessert with 1/2 cup of fresh berries instead of 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup.

Cut 100 calories … at lunch

  • Leave the Swiss cheese out of your sandwich.
  • Slather your bread with mustard rather than mayo and save 80 calories per tablespoon.
  • Pass up croutons at the salad bar.
  • Use up to 10 pumps of ranch dressing spray instead of pouring 2 tablespoons from a bottle.
  • Devour a slice of Pizza Hut cheese pan pizza instead of the meat lover’s variety.
  • Take your iced tea unsweetened.
  • Reach for a Snapple raspberry white tea instead of a Snapple raspberry iced tea.
  • Stuff chicken salad into a whole-wheat pita instead of between slices of multigrain bread.
  • Make your burger turkey, not beef.
  • Slurp minestrone soup instead of cream of anything.
  • Go bun less—shed your hamburger roll.
  • Use south-of-the-border savvy: Have a quesadilla made with two 6-inch corn, not flour, tortillas.
  • Two or more pizza slices? Blot off the grease with a napkin.

Cut 100 calories … in the kitchen

  • Substitute non-fat Greek yogurt for a serving of sour cream.
  • Use chicken broth (low-sodium is best) instead of oil to sauté meat and veggies.
  • Making homemade Mac ‘n cheese? Cut 2 tablespoons of butter from the recipe.
  • Replace the oil or butter in cakes with Sun sweet Lighter Bake prune-and-apple mixture or any brand of unsweetened applesauce.
  • Next time you make meatballs, meatloaf, or burgers, go half-and-half with ground beef and turkey.
  • When preparing packaged foods that call for butter or oil, like rice and stuffing, use a broth instead.
  • Swap low-fat cottage cheese for whole-milk ricotta when you make lasagne or stuffed shells.
  • Use tuna packed in water, not oil.

Cut 100 calories … at happy hour

  • Nurse a single glass of wine instead of downing two beers.
  • Ask for your rum and cokes in a highball glass. Bartenders pour an average of 20 percent less liquid into taller tumblers, so you’ll swig less per round.
  • Drizzle extra hot sauce, not blue cheese or ranch dressing, on your wings.
  • Ordering a cocktail? Make it on the rocks instead of frozen. Slushy fruit drinks tend to be made with bottled mixers that contain added sugar and syrups.
  • Blending your own? Have a daiquiri, not a piña colada.
  • Sip a glass of water between drinks—pacing yourself can help you cut back by a glass or more.
  • Dip your nachos in salsa rather than guacamole.
  • For automatic portion control, sip wine from a Champagne flute, not an oversize goblet.
  • Mix your vodka with Red Bull Sugar free, not cranberry juice.

Cut 100 calories … at the drive-thru

  • Pass up a Wendy’s baked potato with sour cream and chives and chow down on value fries instead. Amazing but true.
  • Have a McDonald’s cheeseburger instead of a Quarter Pounder with cheese.
  • Downsize your drink: Trade a large fountain soda (with ice) for a medium.
  • Go for grill marks. Order a flame-broiled chicken sandwich rather than one that’s breaded (and usually fried in oil).
  • Treat yourself to an ice-cream cone at McDonald’s instead of Dairy Queen.
  • Crunch on one Taco Bell regular taco instead of a Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco. And all the hot sauce you want.
  • Slurp a cup of Panera Bread’s low-fat chicken noodle soup instead of the cream of chicken with wild rice.
  • Make your daily pick-me-up at Starbucks a skinny vanilla latté, not a regular.
  • Skip the two packets of BBQ sauce—eat your burger and fries plain.

Cut 100 calories … on your snack break

  • Drink sparkling water instead of soda.
  • Move your stash of Hershey’s Kisses at least 6 feet away from your desk—you’ll dip in half as often.
  • Drain the heavy syrup from your can of fruit cocktail and then rinse the fruit with water before digging in.
  • Have 1/2 cup of fresh grapes instead of that little snack box of raisins.
  • Lay off the Lay’s Classic potato chips and have a handful of Rold Gold pretzels.
  • Munch on a bag of Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop Kettle Korn, not Movie Theater Butter flavour.
  • Chase down the ice-cream truck for a Good Humour vanilla sandwich, not a King Cone.
  • Satisfy a crunch craving with baby carrots, not potato chips.

Cut 100 calories … when you’re not cooking

  • Request the lemon chicken with white rice, not fried.
  • Skip the crunchy noodles with your bowl of wonton soup.
  • Ask for an order of Szechuan Shrimp instead of your usual General Tso’s.
  • Choose the pasta with 1/2 cup of marinara instead of 1/2 cup of Alfredo sauce.
  • Indulge your inner carnivore with beef stroganoff, not meat lasagne.
  • Go with the baked potato (butter only), not the mashed, as your side of choice.
  • Dip your dinner roll in marinara sauce instead of olive oil.
  • Avoid anything breaded. Flour and bread crumbs not only add calories but also absorb more cooking oil.
  • Pop 12 pieces of sashimi and 1/3 cup of edamame, not 12 pieces of spicy tuna roll.

When you eat, do you have any idea how many calories you’re consuming? Do you calculate the recommended serving size by checking the label on the nutrient information? Or do you tend to guess?

The recommended serving sizes of certain family menu items are often much smaller than you think, so it’s easy to become oblivious to the amount of food you are eating. Here are eight foods with suggested serving sizes that may surprise you.

Just one slice of cheese pizza may be a dietary liability. Each contains about 12 fat grams and approximately 300 calories—or more, depending on the amount and types of cheese, and the size of the slice. Cheese has a fair amount of saturated fat, which is unhealthy for your heart. Many people just nibble off the cheese and sauce and leave the crusts, so they feel less full which is the equivalent of eating a cheese meal.

Have a salad before you start eating the pizza. Eating a salad with light dressing before a meal may help you reduce the calories of the main part of your meal by about 10 percent. And, if you’re eating out, finish your salad before placing your pizza order. You may then find that one slice, ideally topped with vegetables, is all you need. Making pizza at home, preferably with whole-grain dough and a generous amount of oven-roasted veggies to add flavor, is the best way to keep calories and fat low and top it with a minimal amount of reduced-fat mozzarella or other cheese.

Salad dressing

The typical serving size of two tablespoons blue cheese dressing—which many people might consider minuscule—contains 16 fat grams. In other words, 94 percent of the calories from this dressing are from fat.

High fat intake is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and obesity. This raises blood lipid levels, and fat can be deposited into arteries over time.

Stick with low-fat dressings. If you’re crazy about the blue cheese variety, you can combine low-fat and full-fat varieties together. You could also make your own blue cheese dressing, using a very minimal amount of the high-fat ingredients. Aim simply for flavor and not pieces of cheese.

Ice cream

The standard serving size for ice cream is half a cup. But, how many people actually get four portions out of a pint, or 16 servings out of a half-gallon container? The calories can quickly add up as a half-cup serving of chocolate ice cream contains about 150 calories. Choosing a reduced-fat ice cream doesn’t always solve the problem because the fat is reduced, the ice cream will still contain a fair amount of calories.

With ice cream, the eye is easily fooled. A study published in 2006 revealed that people who chose larger bowls served themselves one-third more ice cream. People using larger serving spoons also dished out more ice cream per serving.

To help keep portions in check, buy an ice cream scoop or a small cup that will allow you to keep its contents to half a cup. Another trick, is to fill an 8-ounce cup—a recycled yogurt container will do—halfway with ice cream, and then top it off with fresh fruit, such as low-calorie berries. Don’t use the ice cream container as your bowl.

Orange juice

Orange juice is one breakfast staple but, many people tend to consume too much because it’s perceived as a healthy drink full of vitamins and phytonutrients. While it’s high in vitamin C, a typical eight-ounce serving contains about 112 calories, which can add up over time. And a recent study noted that a typical portion of orange juice has increased by 40 percent compared to 20 years ago.

Keep your OJ intake to one cup daily, and satisfy your fruit intake the rest of the time with whole fruit, including fresh, frozen or canned. Whole fruit contains fiber, which makes for a more satisfying and filling snack.

Don’t guzzle out of the container but try pouring a small amount of juice, an ounce or two at a time, into water or sparkling water, which you can then sip slowly.

Soft drinks

The typical eight-ounce serving of soft drink contains 95 calories and 24 grams of sugar.

Fast-food establishments regularly dispense 64-ounce containers. A 32-ounce serving adds up to 96 sugar grams, which can significantly promote weight gain if consumed regularly. Increased weight gain increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay and certain types of cancer.

Drink water. It’s calorie free! If you prefer your beverages flavored, add lemon juice, or a little fruit juice, such as pomegranate, to regular or sparkling water. Or try naturally flavored waters but be sure to read the label and avoid those with sugar, corn syrup or other sweeteners.

If you don’t want to give up high-calorie soft drinks, buy smaller containers or if you’re at home or in your office, try pouring it into eight-ounce cups.

White rice

Go to a restaurant, and you’re likely to receive a mound of white rice that’s the equivalent of between two or three cups. People tend to eat all the white rice they’ve given, even if it’s triple the amount they should be eating. A half-cup serving of white rice contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates. Two cups boosts that to 60 grams.  Carbohydrates, whether eaten as fruits, vegetables, grains or table sugar, all end up in the body as glucose.  If you take in more sugar than is necessary to support bodily activities, those carbs wind up as stored fat. White rice’s lowfiber content (a result of removing the outer layers) is at least partly to blame. Food that’s missing the healthful and filling fiber tends not to satisfy.

Choose rice with veggies. Start with one cup of rice  which is about the size of a baseball and pile on either steamed, sautéed or micro waved vegetables. Experiment with flavors by adding small amounts of sauces. Gradually work your way to a half-cup portion of white rice no larger than half a baseball.

Potato chips

1-ounce bags that fit into the palm of your hand usually don’t satisfy most chip lovers. But that handful still contains 168 milligrams of sodium, which represents 11 to 14 percent of the intake of between 1,200 and 1,500 milligrams for adults. When eating from a 6-ounce bag which is easy to finish off in one sitting increases your sodium total to more than 1,000 milligrams.
About 10 percent of the population is sodium sensitive, which means you can increase your blood pressure if you increase your sodium intake and high blood pressure is a risk for cardiovascular disease.

Buy unsalted chips. You can use herbs to flavor the chips, or sprinkle a minimal amount of salt on them, or use a combination of both strategies.  Also be careful because 60 percent of calories in regular chips are from fat, so it’s best to buy baked chips.

For portion control, potato chip fans can divide chips from large bags into more manageable, smaller bags. Or designate a bowl specifically for chips that, when filled to the brim, holds an appropriate number of chips.


If the burger you love to eat spills out over the bun, chances are the patty’s too big. The dietary guideline for daily total cooked protein intake for adults is between 5 to 7 ounces. Fat intake is another concern.  A 4-ounce cooked burger can contain as many as 20 grams of fat, up to half of that is saturated. Use a deck of cards to visually gauge 3 ounces of cooked meat.

Many people have either lost or never had the ability to make portion control judgments. We eat out so frequently, that we now tend to eat larger restaurant portions at home.

If you’re eating out, ask for a small patty, and request them broiled so the fat drips away. If small sizes are not possible, cut the burger into two portions as soon at it arrives at the table, and put one into a take-out container. Eating either soup or a salad before tackling your burger will help you feel satisfied with less meat.

If you’re cooking at home, choose ground beef that’s more than 80 percent lean, and add different ingredients like oatmeal instead of bread crumbs, grated carrots, or fresh herbs, such as parsley or coriander to a smaller amount of meat. Visualizing half a baseball is another way to measure about 4 ounces of meat.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !