If you are trying to lose weight, you’ll need to cut back on the amount of calories you are taking in each day. Think about the foods you eat. Write down everything you eat for just 1 day, and you’d be surprised how many extra calories you are taking in that you really don’t need to be. Here is a list of 9 foods that I have cut out of my diet, that have greatly reduced my daily caloric intake.
1. Salad Dressing
Salads can usually be found on any dieter’s menu, but a salad is only good for you if it’s not loaded with fattening salad dressing. Even if you have a salad full of healthy vegetables, you would ruin all of the healthy benefits of it if you drenched it in dressing. Fatty salad dressing is one thing that you can cut out of your diet to cut calories. Instead, replace it with a fat-free variety that basically tastes the same as the fatty type.
Butter is popular to cook with, to spread on your toast in the morning, and to use in baked goods. Butter has so many uses, and we often underestimate the high caloric value of it. It adds so many calories and fat to your foods. If you want to cook with butter, try using a butter cooking spray instead. Instead of spreading butter on your toast, try reduced fat peanut butter, which has protein, or a butter spread like Smart Balance. Cutting the amount of butter you eat can definitely reduce your calories for the day, up to 1,000 calories in just one day.
3. Whole Milk
Whole milk is a very fatty type of milk. If you’re a milk drinker like me, you may want to reduce your fat intake by drinking 1% or skim milk. The trick to try is to switch from whole milk to 2%, then once you’ve been drinking 2% for a while, switch to 1%. If you’re used to 1%, you can even try skim milk. I’m not a big fan of skim milk, because to me it tastes watery. But I do like 1%, and I barely taste a difference when I use it in cereal. Switching to less fatty milk will help cut your calories, while still giving you some of the vitamin benefits of whole milk.
4. Soda and Sports Drinks
Soda is one of the worst culprits in dieting. Even diet pop isn’t great for you, since your body doesn’t like the carbonation. Soda is a source of empty calories; meaning you’re getting all the bad calories like carbs and sugar out of it, but you’re not getting any good calories out of it, like vitamins and minerals. Sports drinks are full of sugar too, and should be avoided. If you’re looking for a sweet drink, try Propel fitness water from Gatorade, which is basically just flavored water. It has no calories in it. Or, you can try Crystal Light or Special K2O protein water. Drinking water all the time has great benefits, but it can be difficult if you’re used to drinking soda all the time. Wean yourself slowly, and you’ll start to forget your soda and sports drinks cravings.
5. White Flour Products
With the start of my diet, I cut out all of the white flour products that I used to eat. Foods like white bread, white pasta, white rice and even white potatoes are full of simple carbohydrates. The kind of carbs you should be eating are called complex carbohydrates, which can be found in whole grain foods like whole wheat bread and whole grain pastas. Make sure you look on the label of the foods before you buy them. Look for whole wheat flour, and stay away from enriched flour or anything that sounds like that. Whole grains provide you with fiber and good carbs, which can help you succeed in your diet by keeping you feeling full longer. The whole wheat versions of foods don’t taste too much different than the white flour versions either.
6. Cookies, Cake, Brownies, Potato Chips, etc.
Of course, any diet shouldn’t be full of these junk foods, which are loaded with sugar and fat, with little vitamin value. These foods are similar to soda, since they provide you with empty calories. By just cutting these junk foods out of your diet, you can cut your caloric intake by up to 1,000 calories per day! Substitute these sugary snacks with healthier snacks, like 100 calorie packs, sugar free Jell-O, yogurt or veggies.
I looked on the label on my shredded cheese bags, and was shocked to see how many calories are in just ¼ cup of cheese. The saturated fat is ridiculous too. I never thought to use the fat-free versions of these cheeses, until I started my diet. I used to add cheese to everything! Sliced American cheese is also pretty high in calories and fat. Brands like Sargento and Kraft have low-fat and fat-free versions of your favorite cheese, and by switching to a low fat cheese, you can easily cut calories from your day.
8. Fried Foods
Anything that is deep fried in fatty oil is unhealthy. Fried chicken, French fries, Fried fish, and the list goes on. Instead of frying your foods, bake them instead. Baking eliminates the need for oil. Oil itself is very fattening, so imagine frying your foods in it all the time. The amount of fat and calories just from the oil is very high.