3 Calorie Cutting Tricks that Stick

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3 Calorie Counting Tricks that Stick

Welcome to week 8 of the Lose a Turkey Challenge.  We are over half way through the journey and although I’m not even close to 15 pounds yet, I’m learning so much about myself.  Last week I just didn’t weigh-in.  Sometimes you just need a day off.  I took it and I’m okay with that.  I don’t want to lose focus on the fact that this isn’t about numbers, it’s about creating healthy habits.

Over the past weeks I’ve discovered some simple tricks and foods that help me save on calories without feeling like I’m sacrificing.  I hope that one of these 3 calorie cutting tricks that stick will be helpful for you in the coming weeks.

1. Start Counting Calories at Dinner

Who says that your calorie counting day has to start at breakfast?  If you are like me and your biggest meal of the day is dinner, then start your calorie counting over each day at dinner.

That means that you treat dinner as the first meal of your day and then add up calories from all the food you eat up until dinner the next evening.  At dinner your counting starts over again.

I love this method because it’s easier for me to cut back calories around breakfast or lunch than in the evenings when I eat my biggest meal.  I also usually want an evening snack.

2. Weigh Food Rather Than Counting

One way that I dole out my serving size of food and snacks is by weighing it.  I take a look at the grams or ounces found in one serving on the nutrition label and measure it on a food scale.  I typically find that I get a more accurate count of the food and it tends to be a little more than I get by counting out each and every chip.  When I divide up our candy stash into single servings it makes the candy last longer!

Dividing Candy Into Single Servings

3. Find Low Calorie Foods You Can Love

Pasta SwapShirataki Noodles

I love pasta.  Pasta is high in carbs. On a family vacation we made spaghetti for everyone but my mother-in-law loaded up her plate with Shirataiki noodles.  When you dump these noodles out of the bag they smell like fish but once you rinse them the smell subsides.  I’m not going to lie, I was a little weirded out at first by the texture (and the smell).  But then I ate them, they tasted fine and they were really filling for 20 calories.  I heat these up and put my favorite marinara or Alfredo sauce on them.  If you love pasta but hate using the calories, these are a great alternative to try, at least once!

Soda Swap

I’m not a huge fan of diet drinks. I’m a little nervous about what diet drinks are doing to my brain and I hate the taste of Splenda so I found two ways to get my bubbly fix without so many chemicals.

Zevia SodaZero Calorie Soda

They have lots of different flavors of these drinks but my go to favorite now is Cream Soda.  0 Calories.  Made from a Stevia Extract.

Flavored Seltzer WaterBlack Cherry Seltzer Water

Not everyone can hack this but I really really love black cherry flavored seltzer water and I don’t care who makes it.  These are straight up soda water and flavoring.  There is nothing sweet about them.  They aren’t “diet” flavored waters.  They always hit the spot. 0 calories and they count toward my water intake.

Un-sweet Tea

I love me some un-sweet tea.  I’m a total outcast here in Georgia because of it.  I grew up on sweet tea.  I loved sweet tea.  I used to HATE traveling to northern states because when I asked for sweet tea I was served a glass of unsweetened tea with a spoon and the waitress pointed to the white, yellow and pink sugar packets in the little bin on the table. That AIN’T sweet tea.  A few years back I did this whole crazy low carb thing and started drinking unsweet tea and over the course of 6 months my taste buds adapted and now I love the stuff.  Can’t stand the taste of sweet tea (sorry Granny).  0 calories and counts toward my water intake.

Chocolate Swap
Low Calorie Chocolate

I’m a chocolate lover.  When I used to go trick or treating as a kid I didn’t care a thing in the world about suckers, sour candy or hard candy.  I wanted the REAL deal.  Not much has changed.  If I’m going to eat dessert, it’s going to be chocolate and recently I discovered that the Ghirardelli Chocolate Premium Baking Chips with 60% cacao have only 80 calories for 16 morsels.  These are BIG morsels.  Not the one’s you typically bake your classic chocolate chips cookies.  These are like UFO size.  I make myself a little bowl after dinner, enjoy each one and get my chocolate fix for the day.

These are various strategies that I am using as I work toward my own personal goals of less weight and healthier choices.  We are all still human and unless you have some serious will-power it can be hard to totally say no to things you enjoy.  Balance is important in my opinion and seems to be the only way that I find success in this weight loss endeavor.

This Week’s Lose a Turkey Challenge Recap

This week I lost 1 pound.  I’m on my way, but I’m still not at my goal of 15 pounds.  I’ll have to work really hard for the next 5 weeks to reach my goals but at least I’m moving forward and leaving behind a less healthy version of myself.

My Victories:

  • Counted calories 4 days.
  • Exercised 3 days this week.
  • Lost 1 pound.

My Challenges:

  • Remembering to log my calories and exercise into My Fitness Pal rather than short cutting and adding them in my head.
  • Getting to the gym too late to have time to work out during the child-care window.

This week I plan to get back to the basics and focus on calorie counting, water & exercise.  I hope you have a great week and feel free to share any of your success or calorie counting tricks in the comments section below.
3 calorie counting tricks that sticks