One pound of fat is equal to about 3,500 calories and to shed one pound of fat in a week you would need to eat about 500 fewer calories every day. To do that you could run an hour a day, seven days a week, or you simply make some ordinary changes like these:
Swap out your morning bagel for a bowl of high-fiber cereal with half a cup of fiber-rich raspberries and cut about 500 calories. Fiber contains zero calories, which makes foods high in fiber low in calories. Plus, fiber adds bulk to a meal so you feel satisfied eating less.
Don’t clean your plate
Finish every meal with 25 percent still on the plate will automatically save calories. Just do the math: If you typically eat around 2,000 calories each day, the quarter left uneaten tallies up to about 500 calories.
Alternatively, fill up a smaller 9-inch plate instead of eating from the standard 12-inch plate and you’ll trim 500 calories by eating less without even noticing.
Get up and move
A brisk 15-minute walk burns about 100 calories, so make walking part of your daily routine and you’ll burn 500 calories by week’s end – no sweat. Another trick: Spend more time standing; by some estimates you’ll burn upwards of 120 calories an hour compared to 60 when you are sitting down.
Chew your food
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who chew their food 40 times instead of the average 15 consumed 12 percent fewer calories. By chewing longer the body produces lower levels of ghrelin, the hormone that signals the brain when you are satisfied. By eating at a slower pace you’ll feel full while eating less – and fewer calories.
Sip slimmer cocktails
Sugar-laded cocktails such as margaritas are fun until you realize that just one can pack upwards of 600 calories. Have two and you’ve blown almost half your day’s calorie allotment. Cut out the sugary mixer and enjoy your spirits on the rocks or with a splash of juice or diet soda and each drink drops to about 50 calories.
For delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes and tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber and The F-Factor Diet. Follow Tanya on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and subscribe to her free weekly weight loss newsletter.