One of the most frustrating things about dieting is feeling like you’re doing everything right but not getting the results you’d expect.
Your training is going well, your sleep is the best it’s been in a while, and you’re trying to eat healthier and be more mindful of the calories you consume.
But sometimes, calories sneak their way into your diet without even realizing it. And before long you’ve racked up an extra 500 calories per day, causing your calorie deficit to be nonexistent.
So today, I want to share the top 5 ways you can eliminate sneaky calories so you can lose more fat and feel better this summer.
One of the most common mistakes people make when dieting is not taking into account what they’re putting on their foods. Most people use some kind of condiments to dip or flavor their food.
But, many of them contain extra calories that just aren’t really necessary.
-barbeque sauces (love sweet Baby Ray’s but 2 tbsp contains 70 calories)
-butter (on veggies or bread etc)
Instead of those, try these to save hundreds of calories per day depending on how liberal you are with your serving sizes:
-reduced fat or fat-free mayo
-reduced sugar ketchup (I like Heinz brand)
-homemade bbq sauce (using reduced sugar ketchup, Truvia, vinegar, spices, you can make your own)
-Sugar-free maple syrup
-reduced fat or fat-free dressings (my two favorites are Bolthouse Farms greek yogurt dressing or some Walden farms dressings)
Swapping some of these that you use multiple times per day could save you hundreds of calories every day and possibly over a thousand over a week span.
And, when you don’t get to eat as much because you’re dieting, it makes more sense to save those calories for food, not condiments.
#2 Portion Sizes
Eating healthy is all well and good, but if you’re eating ‘too much’ then you simply won’t lose weight.
Calories still matter most here and it’s easy to believe that because something is considered healthy that the number of calories it has doesn’t really matter.
Portion sizes still matter and it’s one of the ways some people get off track with their fat loss progress.
For example, a slight difference in serving sizes could alter the calorie amounts pretty significantly, especially if it’s done multiple times per day.
Take peanut butter for example.
I’m definitely guilty of this, but how many times have you simply scooped out some peanut butter on a spoon and called it a ‘tablespoon’?
I’d be willing to bet that our ‘tablespoon’ measures are more than an actual tablespoon of peanut butter. With this kind of thing, it’s important to get your serving sizes accurate because a little extra peanut butter here and there will add up quickly.
If this isn’t tracked accurately enough, this could lead to surpassing your calorie goals and preventing you from hitting your fat loss goals.
Another example of helpful tracking is the use of measuring cups.
I, myself, like to use measuring cups for things like rice or pasta where the scale weight would be affected after cooking.
For example, 1 cup of rice will give you about 40 carbs. This is pretty helpful for calculating out carbs per meal, but there is a downfall in using measuring cups.
If you were you scoop out some rice and it spills way over the top, your 40 grams of carbs could easily become 50-60 which could add an additional 40-80 calories. And, if you were to do this with each meal, you may be adding an extra 300 or so calories per day.
By the end of the week, that might just be enough to wipe away your calorie deficit.
So be more accurate with your portion sizes. Remember, consistency with portion sizes is important.
#3 Fat-Free foods
Some people are fearful of fat-free foods, but honestly, they can be a lifesaver when dieting.
As long as you’re making good choices with your fat-free food options, they can be a game changer in saving you hundreds of calories you’d otherwise be ‘wasting’ on things like toppings and condiments.
Some of my favorite fat-free foods include American cheese slices and pretzels for when you want something crunchy.
But, some fat-free foods will actually contain more calories than the regular version because of the addition of more carbs and sugars.
And, many of them will contain just about the same amount of calories as the normal stuff, so choose which is going to be more satisfying to you and go with that one.
Tons of people love to cook with oil.
Whether it’s olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil or something else, most people don’t even realize the oil they cook with does, in fact, contain calories.
And when you slather the pan and eat what you’ve made, you’re also eating the oil that went along with it.
Now I’m not saying to never cook with oil, but rather to be mindful of how much you do use.
You also want to take into account the calories that come from and oil you’d cook with because unfortunately, they aren’t ‘free’ calories.
One simple switch is to use cooking spray.
As long as you aren’t spraying the pan for minutes on end, the calories from the spray will be very minimal.
This simple switch can help you save hundreds of calories and you can use the calories you would have cooked with towards something else.
#5 Protein choices
We know protein is the king of the diet. It’s great for building muscle and keeping you full, but certain protein options can pack extra calories.
I love eggs, but I wouldn’t consider them a lean protein source.
Because an average egg contains 6 protein to 5 grams of fat. Compare that ratio to something like turkey breast which contains around 23-25 grams of protein per 3-5 grams of fat and you can see which one is a leaner option.
So, if you’re looking to maximize your calories choose protein sources that are lower in fat which means they’re also lower in total calories.
-Egg whites instead of whole eggs (I like to go half and half to save calories but still get my eggs in)
-90% or leaner ground beef instead of 80/20 ground beef
-Chicken breast instead of chicken thighs or drumsticks
-0% Greek yogurt instead of 2% or full-fat greek yogurt
-London broil instead of rib eye
These are just a few examples but this should give you an idea of what to look for when it comes to choosing lean protein options.
Putting it all Together
By now, hopefully, you’ll be a little more mindful about these sneaky calories. And if you do choose to continue to eat them (which is perfectly fine btw), you will account for them within the overall context of your own diet.
If you could use a bit of guidance creating your own fat loss diet and learning the most effective principles of weight loss, be sure to grab a free copy of 10 Commandments of Fat Loss in the form below.
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