Smart planning will help you stay below your calorie goal.
Weight loss is simple math. Your body must use more calories than it takes in. Limiting the number of calories you consume each day can be an effective, healthy way to lose weight if you keep your diet balanced. If you normally consume 1, 500 to 1, 750 calories per day, cutting this number to 1, 200 can help you lose 1 to 2 pounds a week. Compared to more drastic methods, this is often an easier lifestyle change for dieters to maintain.
Be mindful of the types of food you eat at each meal. Carbohydrates and protein contain four calories per gram, while fat contains nine, so focus on eating foods that are low in fat. Read food labels and opt for items with fewer than thirty percent of their calories from fat. This will lower your caloric intake and ensure that your body gets more nutrients per calorie.
Most breakfast cereals are low in fat and calories. A bowl of bran flakes typically contains 83 calories, according to the United states Department of Agriculture. If you add blueberries and skim, rice or almond milk, you will consume about 150 calories. Replacing the berries with a banana will bring this up to approximately 200. This high-carbohydrate, nutrient-dense meal will fill you up and give you energy without excessive calories.
Sandwiches and soups can be low or high in calories, depending on their ingredients. Avoiding fatty contents like mayonnaise spreads or creamy soups will keep them on the low side. Two slices of whole grain bread contain about 200 calories, but what you put between them determines how calorie-laden your lunch is. Slices of turkey or ham add fewer than 100 calories, while tuna salad adds about 160. Each slice of American cheese contains more than 100 calories, so if you omit the cheese and add low-calorie, high-nutrient vegetables such as romaine lettuce, onions and peppers, you will keep your lunch below 400 calories.
Include a variety of vegetables in different colors in your dinner, to ensure that you get a wide array of nutrients. Steaming and broiling without butter or oil will bring a meal's calorie count down significantly. A serving of asparagus contains about 35 calories, but adding butter to it brings that up to about 85. Choose lean meats and whole grain rice and pasta to keep your dinner below your remaining number of calories for the day.
Beverages and Snacks
Many people do not realize how many calories they take in through beverages. Although a teaspoon of sugar contains only about 16 calories, a can of soda or a glass of sweetened or iced tea can contain more than 150 calories of sugar. Drinking water with your meals will help you stay at your 1, 200-calorie goal. In addition, choose low-fat, nutrient-dense snacks throughout the day to keep you from feeling hungry. Dried fruit, rice cakes and raw vegetables can give you energy without adding many calories to your diet.