TO lose weight you need to eat fewer calories than you burn.
However, cutting down on the amount of food you eat is no easy task – especially as it may make you feel as though you’re missing out.
Despite this, there are some simple ways which help slash the calories that can help the weight drop off.
Here, we talk you through ten of the easiest ways you can cut down on your calorie intake – without any added stress.
1. Spice up your meals
Adding more spices, chillies and herbs to your food can help reduce the amount of calories in your meals.
Spices will not only give your food more flavour but they’ll also add a bit of an extra kick – so you’re less inclined to add any other side dishes to it.
On top of this, chilli peppers and spices such as cayenne, black pepper and ginger can actually promote weight loss, helping you to burn off any extra calories consumed.
Cinnamon is especially effective, with studies showing it can help reduce blood glucose levels and improve insulin resistance in those with Type 2 diabetes.
2. Ditch the dips
Oily and sugary dressings, dips and sauces can add a surprisingly high amount of calories onto what is otherwise a healthy and low calorie meal.
One sachet of tomato ketchup has 20 calories, a tablespoon of brown sauce is 15 calories and mayonnaise has a whopping 108 calories in one spoonful.
Avoid those sneaky calories by opting for smaller amounts of low calorie condiments such as balsamic vinegar, salsa or brown mustard, or try skipping these extras entirely.
3. Buy a non-stick pan
Cooking with oils can add literally hundreds of calories on to a meal – with most oils containing around 120 calories per tablespoon.
To cut down on unnecessary calories, invest in a non-stick pan which requires much less oil or, in some cases, none at all.
4. Chew more slowly
If you take your time over each mouthful you can significantly cut back on the calories.
Research results published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those who chewed each mouthful 40 times ate nearly 12 per cent fewer calories than those who chewed just 15 times.
5. Cut back on liquid calories
Many people often ignore the calories consumed in liquid form – but these can actually be the most calorific.
While alcohol is the main liquid calorie culprit – fruit juice, smoothies, milkshakes and many hot drinks can contain a ton of calories with often no nutritional value.
Try swapping these calorie-rich drinks for herbal tea or water.
6. Get more sleep
This weight loss trick is so easy you can do it lying down.
Getting enough sleep helps blitz body fat – by curbing cravings, keeping your appetite in check and giving you the energy to move more.
A study by Columbia University found that when people are sleep-deprived they eat almost 300 calories more a day than when they have had adequate rest.
It is thought that this is because lack of sleep stimulates the production of our hunger hormone, ghrelin, while also lowering levels of leptin – the hormone that makes you feel full.
7. Don’t eat in front of the TV/computer/phone
We often distract ourselves from the process of eating, and that can mean that we don’t notice when we’re growing full.
According to research findings published in the British Journal of Nutrition eating when distracted can cause you to ignore your body’s signals that you’ve had enough, leading you to eat more than you normally would.
Instead, get to a table, put your phone away and really focus on the tastes and smells of what you’re eating.
You’ll be more in tune with how much food your body really needs.
8. Buy smaller plates
Most of us have grown up in households that demanded we eat everything on our plate.
As a result, as adults, we eat everything on our plates – regardless of how big they are.
Get yourself a slightly smaller plate or bowl and you’ll be less tempted to overeat.
Don’t believe us?
Two studies recently found that university students continuously ate smaller food portions when given a smaller portion control plate, compared to a larger, regular plate.
9. Choose more filling foods
If you want to consume less calories but still feel satisfied, you need to be smart with your food choices.
Opt for more filling foods rich in fibre and protein – both of which can help you feel fuller for longer.
In particular, whole grains have the added benefit of stopping fat from being stored around the stomach, by lowering the insulin and cortisol (the stress hormone) within your body.
They’re also a great low-fat source of slow-release energy, which keeps you going throughout the day.
10. Recreate your favourite treats
Rather than treating or “cheating” with sweets and chocolates, make your own sweet treats.
That way, you can choose what goes into them and actually make them healthier.
Whip up things like flapjacks and energy balls which use naturally occurring sugars from dates and use good fats like nut butters.
There are loads of recipes out there but we love making Deliciously Ella’s coconut and cacao balls, which contain desiccated coconut, almonds, dates, nut butter, cacao and coconut oil.
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