Here’s a fact: If you can cut 500 calories from your eats or burn an extra 500 calories a day (or our fave: cut/burn 250 calories of each), you can lose about a pound of weight a week. But what’s the best way to do that without feeling totally deprived or getting obsessed with calorie counting? Fitbie.com recently put together a list of easy, calorie-blasting strategies that will help you lose weight and burn more fat all day long without even stepping foot in the gym. See the list below for all the different ways you can easily cut 500 calories!
15 Simple Ways to Cut 500 Calories
1. Make a trade. Cutting calories is as easy as swapping one food for another!
Bagel for an English muffin to slash 220 calories.
A glass of whole milk for skim to save 70 calories.
Three-egg omelet for one egg and two egg whites.
Pork sausage for turkey sausage to cut about 125 calories each.
2. Measure portions. So many of us have serious portion-distortion. Measuring out one serving can save you hundreds of calories and help you to realize what foods give you more bulk for the bite. For example, a cup of granola can have up to 600 calories, while a cup of high-fiber cereal has only about 120.
3. Move on your lunch hour. Walk during your lunch for five days and burn 500 extra calories. Also, try wearing a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day, or about 5 miles—you’ll automatically burn 500 calories without even hitting the gym.
4. Order wisely. Use hummus or mustard instead of mayo, and a roll for sliced bread on your sandwich, and cut about 200 calories. Opt for a salad instead of fries to save another 300 calories for a total of 500 saved.
5. Chew your food. Slow down when you eat! Women who chewed at least 20 times before swallowing ate up to 70 calories less at mealtime. Because it takes 20 to 30 minutes for your body to register that you are full, eating more slowly allows you to get to the point where you feel satiated on fewer calories.
6. Downsize your plate. Simply going from a 12-inch plate to a 9-inch plate will allow you to cut 500 calories without feeling deprived.
7. Wait to have seconds. Wait 20 to 30 minutes to have a second helping. Then if you do opt for seconds, you’re likely to get a smaller helping because hunger hormones won’t be driving your appetite.
8. Make over your sweets. Save up to 400 calories by making grilled fruit kebabs: Slice one peach and one small banana into quarters, thread four pieces fruit each onto two skewers and brush with one tablespoon honey each. Grill each side for about 4 minutes, or until flesh is tender but still firm. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Or, if you want to have your cake and eat it too, cut a thin slice of pound cake, layer on berries and top with light whipped cream for a decadent-tasting dessert for less than 150 calories.
9. Leave something on your plate. Leaving a quarter of the meal on your plate can save up to 500 calories. Leaving a few bites of any potato or noodle dish cuts up to 100 calories alone.
10. Take a stand. Did you know that you can burn up to an extra 500 calories a day by standing rather than sitting? Try standing to make a phone call or read a report or even shut your office door to squeeze in 5 minutes of push-ups or jumping jacks to burn another 50 calories.
11. Drink up. Swapping water for soda can save you about 300 hundred calories a day if you drink two cans. Also, drinking 20 to 60 ounces of water daily might also help boost your metabolism so you burn even more calories. To make water more appealing, try adding sliced cucumbers, or low-calorie flavor packets that offer fizz and a shot of vitamins.
12. Try commercial cardio. Doing some kind of cardio, such as jumping rope or jogging in place, burns about 10 calories a minute. If you watch an hour of TV a night and add cardio moves during the 10 commercial breaks that typically air, you could blast up to 300 extra calories without missing your favorite shows.
13. Sleep in. People who get less than 6 hours of sleep eat up to 300 calories more during the day because a lack of sleep triggers the production of the hunger hormone, grehlin. Each extra hour of sleep could save you 100 calories!
14. Run some errands. Spend an afternoon food shopping and unloading groceries to burn close to 500 calories. Cook dinner to burn 136 more.
15. Switch it up. You can burn up to an additional 250 calories in a half-hour, or 500 in an hour, by incorporating intervals instead of just exercising at the same pace. Increase the calorie burn by picking up your pace to the point where you are so out of breath that you can’t even talk for 30 seconds, then slow down for one and half minutes to recover. Repeat for as long as you can!
See? Easy! What are you favorite ways to cut and burn calories? —Jenn