Losing weight is very difficult for many of us, but it ultimately boils down to numbers: Eat fewer calories to lose more pounds. If we could figure out how to lose calories, the pounds would quickly follow.
It's easy to reduce your calorie intake when you know how to do it right. You don't have to feel deprived, and you don't have to starve yourself. In fact, you can cut your calories easily and painlessly. These helpful tips will teach you how to lose calories - and weight - starting now.
Lose Calories with Healthy Substitutions
You don't have to give up your favorite flavors, you just have to make healthier substitutions. Let's say you're having a craving for something rich and chocolaty. If you satisfy your craving by downing a pint of chocolate ice cream, you will have added several hundred calories to your daily intake.
But if you pick up a healthier alternative, like a sugar-free fudge pop or some reduced fat chocolate pudding, you will get the chocolate flavor you crave at a low caloric cost.
Other good substitutions include low-fat dairy products instead of whole milk products; lean cuts of meat instead of fattier cuts; air-popped popcorn or rice cakes instead of chips; trans-fat-free margarine instead of butter; and whole fruit instead of fruit juice.
Lose Calories by Eating More
Yes, you read that right! When you consider how to lose calories, eating more isn't the first strategy that comes to mind. But studies have shown time and again that you can control your appetite by eating smaller, more frequent meals.
This approach reduces your calories in two ways. First, it keeps you from getting too hungry. Excess hunger is the number one reason why people stop dieting, and it is also a leading cause of binging. When you control your hunger, you can control your calorie intake.
Second, small meals keep your metabolism active. You will lose calories as your body burns through them faster. This is a near-effortless way to reduce the number of calories you eat, and burn the rest!
Lose Calories with Daily Tasks
Ever wondered how to lose calories while being productive? Many of us don't have time to devote to long workouts, but you can burn off extra calories while you run errands and do chores or do a quick conditioning workout in the morning to speed your metabolism for the rest of the day.
Lawn work and gardening burn a surprising number of calories each hour. Depending on what you do and how much you weigh, you could burn up to 700 calories an hour just by working in your yard.
If you have kids or pets, take them to the park! An hour of swinging, sliding, and Frisbee catching will get rid of 300 calories or more.
When you run errands, use the stairs instead of the elevator. Park at the far end of the parking lot when you visit stores. These are small changes that add up to big rewards.
Lose Calories with Yoga
Yoga is a great exercise for beginners. It builds strength, increases flexibility, and helps prevent heart and metabolic diseases. People often ask me how I lost 60 pounds. My first step was incorporating yoga into my routine and that's why Beginners Dynamic Yoga was my first PBS TV special.
Yoga is also a fantastic stress reducer and I'm living proof as it helped me get through a divorce after a 15-year marriage. (Happily, remarried now). It encourages our bodies to stop hanging on to excess calories in the form of fat. If you make yoga a part of your daily routine, you will notice physical and emotional benefits right away.
Start by doing 15 - 30 minutes of yoga each day. Don't let the more advanced poses scare you off; even yoga masters had to start somewhere!
Now that you've learned how to lose calories without depriving yourself, it's time to put these ideas into practice. Try to make one small change per week until you've grown accustomed to your new lifestyle. After a few weeks, losing calories will be a piece of (low-fat) cake!
Love and healthiest blessings,
Suzanne Andrews, Occupational Therapy Practitioner
Suzanne Andrews founded Functional Fitness in 2008, the most popular fitness series for boomers and seniors broadcasting on over 159 Public Television stations throughout the US and Canada. Read Suzanne’s inspiring comeback story of how she survived a near fatal accident, From Deaths Door to Producing a National Fitness Series. Feel free to send Suzanne a message here.