How to cut up to 500 calories from your day without noticing a difference
Go savory, not sweet, at breakfast — slash 350 calories
Breakfast items like muffins, pancakes, and granola parfaits can pack a hefty portion of calories and — since they're not always high in protein or fiber — leave you crashing later.
Instead of starting out the day with sugar, many dietitians recommend going savory. Rather than a large blueberry muffin, pair a couple of poached eggs with wheat toast. As registered dietitian Nichola Whitehead told Business Insider, only one of those meals "will leave you feeling more energized and provide you with what your body needs to stay strong and healthy in the long term, i.e. vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, as well as slow-release carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats."
Conveniently, the egg-and-toast combo also packs about 350 calories less than a muffin. It's a win-win.
Order bubbly water instead of soda — shave up to 300 calories
A large soda at your favorite fast-food chain can contain upwards of 300 calories. Pairing a seltzer or an unsweetened ice tea with your meal instead is an easy way to slash those extra calories. Plus, plenty of research suggests that liquid calories don't fill you up the same way solid food does.
Cara Anselmo, a nutritionist and outpatient dietitian at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, advises clients who are trying to lose weight to stop drinking soda, sweet tea, and other beverages with calories.
"If you drink 500 calories of liquid versus eating 500 calories of food you’re going to feel much less satiated, which is one of the reasons soda and sweetened drinks are such horrible things. You don’t get a sense of fullness," Anselmo told Business Insider.
Swap your granola for carrots and hummus — cut 400 calories
Granola is often associated with wholesome vegan hippies and long hikes in the woods, but it's packed with sugar and calories. A cup can contain up to 600 calories — the same amount as about four cereal bars.
By comparison, carrots are high in fiber (great for digestion) and vitamin A (which helps keep skin glowing and eyesight healthy). Pair your crunchy snack with some creamy hummus for a protein boost to tide you over. In the meantime, you'll also be cutting about 400 calories.
Eat whole fruit instead of drinking juice — cut 100 calories
Juice has some vitamins and, in some cases, even a small amount of protein. But research shows that the best way to get those nutrients is to eat a balanced diet full of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
Juicing fruit removes most of the produce's fiber, which is a key ingredient that keeps you feeling full until your next meal. This is one of the reasons calories from sweetened beverages are often referred to as "empty calories," since they can increase hunger pangs and mood swings and leave you with low energy levels.
A 12-ounce glass of orange juice, for example, has almost the same calorie content as a can of soda, close to the same amount of sugar and carbohydrates as a bag of M&Ms, and virtually no fiber. So swap your next glass of OJ with an actual orange and cut about 100 calories.
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