What is in this article?:
Despite the glut of modern-day innovations to aid weight loss, it still boils down to calories in versus calories out, or burned. But dramatic calorie restriction isn't realistic. Here's how to make the smart choices.
Old habit: Serving yourself 2 cups of pasta
New trick: Mix 1 cup pasta with 1 cup broccoli
You’ll shave off 190 calories, get more anticancer antioxidants, and be just as satisfied, because the food volume remains the same, says Rolls. Adding soups, vegetables, and fruits to meals reduces overall energy density (number of calories per gram of food), lowers calorie consumption, and promotes weight loss, she says. Also try this: When making burgers and meat loaf, swap half the beef with meaty, low-calorie minced mushrooms.
Old habit: Drinking “original” soy milk
New trick: Switch to unsweetened soy milk
Most versions of dairy alternatives such as hemp and soy include added sweeteners. With unsweetened, you’ll save at least 20 calories per cup but get the same beneficial protein. Done once daily, this could help you shave off 2 pounds a year.
Old habit: Spreading jam or jelly on toast
New trick: Try apple butter
Made with just apples and cinnamon, each tablespoon of apple butter contains about half the calories of sweetened jams and jellies. Another bonus: By swapping, you’ll take in fewer processed sugars, which might be tied to weight gain, and up your intake of cinnamon, which helps balance blood sugar. Try apple butter on pancakes and waffles in lieu of syrups.
Old habit: Making mashed potatoes the old-fashioned way
New trick: Sneak in mashed cauliflower
Per cup, you’ll save 106 calories. You’ll also reap four times more vitamin C, which may help reduce risk for type 2 diabetes, research shows. Instead of relying on butter for flavor, stir in some plain low-fat Greek yogurt with chopped roasted garlic or fresh herbs and orange zest.
Old habit: Ordering a rib-eye steak
New trick: Ask for salmon or rainbow trout
A 6-ounce serving of salmon undercuts the same portion of rib eye by 114 calories. Moreover, in a Spanish study, calorie-restricted dieters who ate a dinner rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such as those found in fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and trout) were less hungry two hours later than dieters who ate the same number of calories, but without the omega-3s. Researchers believe omega-3s may increase satiety hormones, encouraging lower calorie intake overall.