The Best Tricks to Limiting Your Daily Calorie Intake

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If you’re getting ready for swimsuit season, wanting to look great for a special event or just want to button up your favorite pair of jeans, you may be struggling with how to limit your calorie intake without feeling like you’re starving yourself. Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can use to shave off calories from your meals each day, and you won’t even miss them.

5 Take It Slow

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Use meal times as a time to relax and slow down. Focus on just enjoying your food, not catching up on emails or watching the evening news. When you do this, two things happen: you become more aware of what you are eating and how much you are taking in instead of filling your face until nothing is left, and your stomach has time to signal to your brain that you’re full. Take your time and don’t worry if you’re full before you finish what’s on your plate. You can always save the leftovers for another meal.

4 Use Vegetable Sprays or Nonstick Cookware

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One spritz of cooking spray can save you 34 calories over a pat of butter when sauteing vegetables or cooking eggs. Nonstick cookware doesn’t add any calories at all. If you miss the flavor butter adds to your cooking, consider experimenting with herbs and seasonings. You can also use butter-flavored cooking spray.

3 Watch Portion Sizes

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Just because something is lower in calories doesn’t mean you can increase your serving size. If you have a hard time cutting back, try using a smaller plate or bowl. This gives you the feeling of a heaping plate without heaping on unneeded calories. And when that voice at the drive-thru asks if you’d like to super size for $1 more, just say, “No, thank you.” In fact, you should consider ordering off the kids’ menu instead. You’ll end up with fewer calories and a cool toy to play with.

2 Don’t Cut Back on the Sauce

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Applesauce, that is. Use it in place of oil in cake and brownie mixes and you can cut hundreds of calories off the finished product. You can also use canned pumpkin in place of oil and cut down on the sugar called for in your recipes for baked goods. With fewer calories, you can bake a cake and eat it, too.

1 Up Your Water Intake

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Water is the ultimate diet drink with zero calories and no preservatives or sodium, unlike diet soda. Drinking two to three glasses of water before each meal can help you eat less. This cuts your intake of calories with virtually no effort. The problem is, many people just find water boring. If that is the case for you, try adding citrus slices, pineapple, sliced cucumbers or berries to jazz it up a bit. Add a splash of pure fruit juice if you don’t want whole fruit in your drink. Or, you can add sparkling water if you miss the fizz of soda.

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