13 tips for eating fewer calories
If you want to lose weight, you have to cut back on calories. However, there are many different ways to go about that! You can simply keep eating what you have always been eating, but in smaller portions. Or you can adjust your diet slightly, so that you are smarter with your calories and can still eat nice large portions. Does that second sound better to you? Then with a few small changes you can already make a huge difference in your calorie intake! In this blog, we give you 13 tips to almost automatically eating fewer calories – and therefore lose weight.
1. Drink more water
A standard tip? Sure – but not without reason. Water is vital for your health anyway, but those who need to lose weight should pay attention to it.
The reasons? For starters, water makes your stomach feel a little more full. You will therefore be less hungry. In addition, your body sometimes misinterprets the signal of thirst. The result is that you think you are hungry – and that you are going to eat more.
The biggest benefit of water is that it has zero calories. So you reduce your appetite completely ‘for free’!
2. Don’t drink sugar
Drinking with calories, on the other hand, is a big recommendation. That too has a number of reasons. The first is that it provides calories that are of virtually no use to you. Because yes, water is somewhat filling, but less than solid food. That means that you get all energy that does not satisfy your hunger very well, and that you also have to eat all kinds of. Extra calories, in short!
In addition, the calories in your drink are almost always fast sugars. This applies, for example, to fruit juices, soft drinks, alcohol, coffee and tea with sugar and lemonade. Fast sugars not only provide calories, they also make you feel hungry. Not handy if you want to eat fewer calories.
Avoid fast sugars
Of course, this does not only apply to drinking. In general, fast sugars are a bad idea for those looking to lose weight. The reason is that they make your blood sugar skyrocket very quickly. That means a short energy peak, followed by a valley in which you quickly get hungry again. The result: you keep snacking all day long.
What Are Fast Sugars? In addition to the above drinks, almost all ‘white’ grains, such as white bread, white pasta, white toast, and so on. Sugary snacks such as sweets and cookies are obviously not a good idea either. In general, if there is sugar in the ingredients, it is better to leave it.
Eat extra fiber
Now that certainly does not mean that all carbohydrates are bad. When you eat whole grain carbohydrates, you also get a mountain of fiber in addition to the sugars. And they prevent such a rapid sugar peak because they slow down the absorption of sugar in your body.
In addition, fiber swells in your stomach and intestines. The result is that you feel full for longer and therefore eat less. To eat fewer calories, eating more fiber is therefore always an important recommendation!
You can find fiber in almost all (whole grain) vegetable products. So be sure to use whole grain bread, pasta and rice. But also put enough legumes, vegetables and nuts on the menu.
5. Opt for more vegetables
Those vegetables deserve an extra honorable mention on this list. They are not only rich in fiber – so they reduce your hunger – they also do that with very few calories. In general, you can eat almost unlimited vegetables if you are on a diet. They are therefore the key to a nice plate full!
Don’t want to sit at the table with a meager portion? Make more vegetables! You can fill your entire plate if you are on a diet, as long as it is vegetables. Be sure to experiment with different preparation methods: you can cook, stir-fry, grill, steam, roast, and so on.
Eat extra protein
Proteins are not only important for strength athletes! Even if you want to lose weight, you really need them. They are digested relatively slowly, which keeps you feeling full for a long time. And the same applies: you will almost automatically eat less.
A useful rule of thumb is to eat at least two high-protein products with every meal. It is best to vary a lot with it, so that you get a lot of different nutrients. Make sure you eat both animal and vegetable proteins: the Nutrition Center even recommends getting at least half of your protein from vegetable sources.
Eat white meat instead of red meat
When you eat animal products, saturated fat is the biggest problem. In large quantities, this is not only unhealthy, it also provides a considerable amount of calories. For that reason it is better to choose lean meats as much as possible.
If you simply want to make your meals with meat slimmer, replace your red meat with white meat as much as possible. So make chicken, turkey or fish more often instead of beef and pork. That saves a lot of calories and is better for your heart and blood vessels!
8. Watch for hidden fats
In general, fats are something to watch out for when trying to cut back on calories. Yes, you definitely need fats! But it’s important that you don’t eat more than you need, because fat is also incredibly rich in calories. So a little extra is quickly a lot of extra energy that you cannot spend anywhere.
A lot of fat is often added to ready-to-eat food in particular. So always look carefully at the nutritional value. The same is true for inexpensive products that often use fat as a texture trick. Cheap hummus, for example, can consist largely of oil – not nearly as healthy as it seems…
9. Use less sauces and dressings
Sauces and dressings are also notorious sources of unexpected calories. Keep in mind that one tablespoon of oil already contains more than 100 kcal. Since many sauces and dressings are packed with oil, adding a generous scoop of dressing to the salad is not necessarily a good idea.
Would you like to eat something creamy with you? You can often opt for slightly leaner options. Sauces made from pureed vegetables or avocado, for example, are a lot less rich in calories.
Eat a smart appetizer
A multi-course dinner may not sound like a wise move when you want to eat fewer calories. Still, it can work very well – if you do it wisely.
The best starters are low-calorie dishes that still make you feel a bit full. This way you eat less of the more energy-rich main course and you are still nice and full. Soup – without too much cream – is a good option, for example. Or make a nice salad. Make sure you don’t throw in mountains of cheese, fatty meat, croutons and dressing.
Not only what is on your plate makes a big difference to how much you eat. The way you eat can also save hundreds of calories per day – without exaggeration.
One of the most important points is: don’t eat too fast. Your body does not register properly that you are actually eating something. As a result, the hormones that control your hunger don’t receive the signal that they can stop working. As a result, you do not get completely saturated quickly. Try to chew every bite well, and you will automatically eat more slowly.
12. Eat mindfully
In addition, you should also pay enough attention to what you put in your mouth. Do you really taste it? Can you feel the texture of the food on your tongue? Even then, the fact that you are eating will come in a lot better and you will feel more satisfied.
So make sure you don’t eat in front of the TV, with your attention on a series or the news. Don’t sit on your phone the entire meal. And don’t get your sandwiches in while you’re on the road, or stressed. Really take the time to enjoy your food!
13. Don’t buy unhealthy snacks
The last tip for eating fewer calories? Make sure they are out of reach. When you’re really hungry, all of your New Year’s resolutions don’t help – so you better make it really hard to get to that chocolate or chips.
The simplest step is: don’t bring things into your home that you don’t actually want to eat. Do your shopping when you have eaten and are not tired – this way you can resist the temptations in the supermarket. If you then go hungry for food, you will automatically have to opt for a slightly leaner alternative than chips!
Eating fewer calories: baby steps
If you want to lose weight, it is by far the most effective to put together an eating schedule. That way you know exactly what you are getting. But it is also understandable if you do not have the time to immediately change your entire diet.
Does that apply to you too? Then take it step by step. For example, try to put one or two of the above tips into practice every week. Cook yourself more often, replace your soda with water with some mint, take more time for the meal and read the labels more carefully in the supermarket. If it is gradual, you will see that the habit is growing!