Save Calories and Slim Down
by Angie Miller
Four Ways to Save Calories and Slim Down
1. Did you know that chewing your food more before swallowing can help you slim down? When we chew more, we spend more time eating and less time consuming. If you're a fast eater you can consume a lot of calories in a short amount of time, which can quickly translate to unhealthy weight gain. The next time you take a bite count the number of times you chew before swallowing, then increase that number, double it if you can. By slowing down, we’re paying attention to the signals our body is sending, noticing when we feel full and ultimately eating less.
2. Did you know that lowering your salt intake can help treat or prevent high blood pressure (hypertension)? Salt is a four-letter word for a good reason and there’s a lot we can do to lower our salt intake, other than just putting down the saltshaker. Here are a few tips:
- Choose fresh or frozen foods over canned or processed foods.
- When eating canned or processed foods, select those that are sodium-free or low in sodium. Also, try rinsing canned foods, such a beans and vegetables, to remove some of the sodium.
- Avoid foods that are cured, braised, or smoked, all which add sodium to your diet.
- Get your flavor fix with pepper, herbs, and spices, or try no-salt seasoning blends.
3. Did you know that reduced fat, low fat, and fat-free are not synonymous with low calorie? A calorie is a calorie, whether it comes from fat, protein, or carbs, and all calories count. While some foods are better quality, quantity does matter. 3500 calories equals one pound, regardless of where the calories come from. Not to mention, when food manufacturers take out fat, flavor often follows. Sugar, salt and other additives are often substituted to make up for the taste.
4. Did you know that making simple modifications could help you maintain your weight even when you eat out? If you can’t imagine salad without dressing, or dinner without dessert, that’s okay provided you modify your approach. Try these tips:
- Ask for salad dressing on the side. Dip your fork in the dressing and follow with a bite of salad. Avoid condiments such as bacon bits, croutons, and shredded cheese.
- Avoid fried, battered, and breaded foods, and instead ask for roasted, grilled, baked, or broiled. Also avoid heavy sauces, and instead substitute with flavorful spices.
- For sandwiches, avoid croissants and biscuits and try whole-grain or whole wheat bread. Again, avoid condiments such as mayonnaise, and substitute with hummus or mustard.
- For dessert, consider that sharing is caring. If you divide the dessert, you divide the calories.
Calories count, but counting calories is no fun. Simple solutions can help us manage our weight and enjoy a healthy eating experience!
Best to you in Fitness and Health!
Angie Miller, M.S., is a fitness educator, university instructor, and Licensed Professional Counselor who blends her skills and expertise to empower individuals, mentally and physically, and provide them the tools they need to succeed. A veteran group exercise instructor and personal trainer, Angie is the star of acclaimed exercise DVD’s, including the Bedroom Body™ workout. Her passion for progressive education brought her to Northern Illinois University, where she teaches in the Dept. of Kinesiology & Physical Education. Outside of the university, she presents at fitness conventions worldwide and leads industry trainings as an AFAA Certification Specialist and Kettlebell Concepts Master Instructor. Angie writes for fitness journals and digital communities, and blogs for Collage Video. Connect with Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com