7 Easy Ways to Cut Calories Without Making Big Sacrifices

by Suzanne Hiscock

If you think you have to make huge sacrifices to lose weight, think again. Sure, you want to eat unhealthy food less often, but you can still eat foods you love. One strategy is to make smaller, more subtle changes to your food habits — changes so small, you don’t really notice the difference.

Here are seven easy ways to cut calories and not even notice:

#1 – Switch out one snack per day with vegetables

You can cut a fair amount of calories by replacing one of your daily snacks with vegetables. You could eat celery with a tablespoon of low fat cream cheese, cucumbers dipped in hummus or dunk cauliflower florets in salsa.

See: How to Get More Veggies Into Your Diet to Lose Weight

#2 – Switch to skim milk instead of cream

It may sound sacrilegious to coffee lovers every where, but replacing the cream in your coffee with skim milk can save you calories — especially if you drink a lot of coffee. If going from cream to skim milk is too much of a change, switch from cream to 2% milk. Once you get used to that, switch from 2% downwards until you’re used to skim milk.

Bonus Tip — Reduce your sugar by a 1/2 teaspoon every week or two. You’ll be down to 1/2 tsp — or zero sugar — without noticing the difference.

#3 – Cut down on the mayo

Most people slather on the mayo when making a sandwich, which can add on lots of unnecessary calories. Instead, spread a thin layer of mayo (1 tbsp or less), or switch to mustard for a low cal spread (1 tsp of mustard counts in at around 4 calories).

See: 4 Healthier Choices for Salad Dressings

#4 – Use a lighter bread

Look at the label on your current bread you buy and see if you can find a lighter version with less calories. A small, 4″ whole wheat pita could be a better choice. Or ditch the bread and wrap your sandwich filling inside a romaine lettuce leaf.

#5 – Ditch the cheese in a sandwich

Don’t get me wrong, I love a slice of cheese in a sandwich. But that can add an extra 100 calories. Load your sandwich with lean protein, crunchy vegetables and add in extra flavor with hot peppers (my favorite), olives or spicy sliced pickles.

#6 – Eat more slowly

Studies have shown that eating slowly helps reduce calories. When you eat slowly, you give your body time to send the “okay, I’ve eaten enough; you can stop now” signal. Take at least 20 minutes to eat your meal. Be sure stop eating when you feel satisfied — and not stuffed.

#7 – Cut portions in half

Even without super-sizing everything, the portions you get in a restaurant (or at Mom’s) are packed with more calories than you need in one meal. Make it a habit of eating only half of what they give you and bring the rest home for another meal. (Bonus: this saves you money, too!)

See: 7 Things You Need to Know About Serving Sizes

So, there you have it! Seven ways to cut calories and hardly noticing it. What ways do you cut calories without noticing?

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About the Author

Suzanne is the owner of FitWatch. She's had strong interest in nutrition and exercise for over 20 years, and is an ACE-certified Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach. Back in 2002, she started FitWatch.com because she wanted to help people lose weight by creating helpful tools and calculators. A huge fan of calorie counting, Suzanne created the FitWatch Fitness Tracker to make it easy for people to count their calories.