Losing weight is hard. Maintaining that weight loss is even harder. The science why one person can lose quickly and another cannot is complex and individualized. Sometimes, even when you’re eating healthy foods, the amount consumed is not even close to the number of calories you burn. A pound is 3,500 calories, so many people respond well by trimming 500 calories each day to reach that end goal.
Compiled from Today magazine, here’s how to incorporate this strategy into your diet in a way that does not sacrifice nutrients, taste or hunger.
De-grain your grain dishes: Instead of pasta use zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash with tomato sauce. Instead of traditional rice try cauliflower rice. Trying these alternatives can significantly lower your daily calorie intake while providing disease-fighting phytonutrients.
Reduce Belly Fat and Become Slim and Smart
Don’t give healthy fats a free pass: Substituting healthy fats in your diet for refined carbs is a great way to jump-start weight loss. However, many people who are trying to lose weight take their intake of healthy fats too far. They end up snacking on nuts all day and add coconut oil into every dish. Instead, for individuals trying to lose weight, portion out servings of nuts and oils, or purchase pre-portioned amounts of nuts, hummus, peanut butter, cheese, and guacamole. Studies, including one published in the Food Quality and Preference journal, show these “just a bite” options satisfy more with less.
Cook more, the order in less: If you must eat out and you’re trying to drop pounds, consider eating no more than one meal a week at a fast-food restaurant and ordering ahead of time as opposed to making an “on-the-spot” decision. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Marketing Research showed takeout orders placed an hour or more in advance tended to have a lower calorie count.
Eating fewer calories has benefits beyond weight loss as well. A recent study published by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology found when calories were restricted, the cells of our body slowed down the aging process. That means you’ll live longer and with less risk of disease. Perhaps this is the most excellent motivator of all. source