A report published in Science magazine stated that cutting 100 calories a day would be enough to prevent, and reverse, the 2lbs weight gain that the average person makes every year. That’s right. No miracle weight loss pills, no starvation detox and no fad diet plans. Simply cutting calories to lose weight works!
This ‘energy gap’ of 100 calories that the typical person doesn’t burn off isn’t a lot in terms of overall daily intake (the average intake for men is 2500 calories and for women, 2000 calories). The researchers calculated that most of us put on an average of 14-16lbs every eight years and the figures suggest that 90% of the population are storing up to 50 extra calories as fat every day.
So, why not take control of your weight in a way that won't restrict your life but will have lasting effects?
Here's our proposal: It takes an excess of around 3,500 calories to gain a pound or 35,000 calories to put on 10 pounds in a year. This means losing 10 pounds can be as easy as eating 100 calories less each day for a year!
Even better, just one dietary change may be all it takes. Here are some examples of changes involving just one food that will each decrease your daily calorie intake by about 100 (these figures are by nature approximate). Obviously, you can mix and match or try a couple (or more) if your weight loss goal exceeds 10 pounds. Be prepared for a slow and gradual weight loss. But since a weight loss of no more than ½ - 2 pounds per week is generally considered the best way to achieve long-term success, this is also the sensible way to achieve meaningful results. Easily!
Pass on the pasta
The recommended serving size for pasta is 2ozs or 50g of uncooked pasta. The typical restaurant portion is easily four times this size, so leave the extra (your portion should be about the size of a tennis ball) and cut 100 cals!
Re-size your cereal
The amount of cereal eaten is often twice the recommended serving size. So weigh out the 30 or 40g serving of cereal and get to know what the correct portion looks like in the bowl you normally use.
Cut back on the bread
Cutting out just one slice of bread will save around 100 calories – try an open sandwich or have your usual filling with just one slice of wholegrain.
Avoid the oil-slick
Use a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon to measure your butter, spread or oil portion. Spread just a thin layer of fats on your bread.
Replace 2 glasses of orange juice (250ml each) with 2 oranges
Swap 2 whole milk fruit yoghurts for 2 low fat yoghurts
Replace 2 servings of carrots with 2 servings of cauliflower
Swap 1 sausage roll for 2 grilled sausages
Have 2 grilled chicken fillets instead of 2 fried chicken fillets
Replace 2 slices of bread with 2 rice cakes
Swap 2 chocolate biscuits for 2 tbps of dried fruit
Dress it, don’t drown it!
Swap full fat salad dressing for the reduced fat version. When dining out, ask for the dressing on the side so you can control how much you use.
Modify the mayo
Instead of mayonnaise use low fat thousand-island dressing or lower fat salad cream.
The perilous peanut!
Cut back two tablespoons peanuts (or other nuts, for that matter), or a tablespoonful of peanut butter and you've save 100 calories.
Popcorn can be a great diet snack - but not if it’s swimming in oil. Why not invest in a hot air popcorn popper that makes fat free perfect popcorn? You can flavour it with spices to suit your taste.
Pass on the cheese board
Skip just a couple of crackers with cheese and save 100.
Count your biscuits
A single medium-sized biscuit can easily have 100 calories. How often do you pop a couple into your mouth without even thinking about it? Try spreading a crispbread or cracker with a thin layer of jam instead.
The chocolate cheat
If chocolate is your downfall, try some low fat chocolate drinks as a replacement. Or, if you really want that bar of chocolate why not try a fun size version? You'll probably save 100 calories over a full-size chocolate indulgence.
Rethink your drink
If you've been drinking a super sized 500ml bottle of fizzy drink, switch to the diet version and you’ll certainly reduce your calorie intake. Or why not try some flavoured water?
Not so sweet
If you drink 6 cups of coffee or tea with sugar (16 calories per tsp) and whole milk (17 calories per 25ml) each day, it amounts to 200 calories. By omitting the sugar (use sweetener if you wish) and using skimmed milk, you will save 150 calories!
Heed the limit
If you drink alcohol, limit your daily consumption to one drink for women and two drinks for men. A 150ml glass of wine, a 330ml bottle of beer and a spirit with mixer all have around 100 calories.
Need more ideas? Spend a few minutes looking at your daily food choices to discover other 100-calorie cutbacks you can apply.