Practically everything we consume has calories, but are you really aware of where your calories come from? Try researching the nutrition facts of your favorite foods and you may be surprised to find out how quickly things add up. Discover high calorie foods or “extras” that may be increasing your overall caloric intake. Fat has 9 calories per gram, whereas carbohydrates and protein each have 4 calories per gram. Which is why switching to low fat products saves big on calories.
Here are 10 swaps that can decrease your calorie intake quick:
- Switch to low-fat dairy. You save 60 calories when switching to skim from whole milk.
- Choose whole fruits instead of fruit juice. Eat the fruit and save almost 50 calories and get the added benefits of fiber.
- Measure out your portion. Eating directly from a bag or box can almost guarantee you will eat more than intended.
- Order smart at the coffee shop. Ask for skim milk, light or sugar free syrup and skip the whip cream to save 200 or more calories. This could cut over 1,000 calories per week.
- Beware of sauces, dips and condiments. Enjoy small servings of these extras. Calories add up quickly – 250 in ½ cup of French onion dip and your favorite bean dip could have 372 in 1 cup!
- Choose lean meats. Choose low fat meat and trim off visible fat to slash calories.
- Make sweet treats just that, the occasional treat. Enjoy your brownie, ice cream and cake occasionally in a small or kiddie dish. Portion size is so important to keeping calories reasonable.
- Stop the regular soda: Liquid calories add up quickly without much nutritional value. A 20 oz. cola may have up to 250 calories!
- Watch out for mixers: Margaritas, daiquiris and regular soda are just a few calorie packed mixers that accompany alcohol. Choose diet soda or seltzer water, for a lower calorie option.
- Lighten up on the dressing: Choose a low fat ranch or light Italian dressing for calorie savings. Ordering salad dressing on the side allows you to control your portions.
Counting calories is one of the oldest strategies in weight loss. There are many ways to count calories in today’s world: calorie king, Myfitness pal and activity tracker apps make calorie counting quick and easy. When shopping for your favorite foods, reading the Nutrition Facts Label is so important. When the updated Nutrition Facts Label is put into effect in 2018, the calories per serving and amount of added sugar will be more visible. This will help consumers to make more informed choices about the foods they choose. Start looking at food labels today, visit Eat Right online for more information on how to read a food label.