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Cutting calories from your meals painlessly

Finding those jeans are fitting a bit snugger than you’d like lately, and want to trim down on your meals? Here are some ways to cut some calories at your meals. They’re so simple and painless, you won’t feel like you’re depriving yourself at all.

Woman eating healthy meal

If you think that cutting calories from what you eat means switching to a steady diet of grapefruit and nothing else, you couldn’t be more wrong. Such a restricted diet would deprive you of too many calories, not to mention the variety of minerals and nutrients you’d be missing out on. There are much simpler ways to shave off calories and still maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Even better, you may not even notice the difference, since you’re not depriving yourself.

Test your tastebuds

You may think your tastebuds will be able to tell the difference — but have you ever seen professional chefs (who you expect to have refined and perceptive palates) completely misidentify foods when blindfolded in a reality-TV challenge? Chances are, if you cook in a healthy oil (or even a butter-flavoured spray) instead of butter, you won’t even be able to tell the difference. Or, for less fat, gradually start switching some foods to the fat-free versions, to see if you can discern the difference. Just make sure to read the nutrition facts label to see if other things, such as sodium, have been increased to make up the flavour.

Split dessert amongst your dining partners

Admit it: by dessert time, you’re usually full, but simply want something sweet to end your meal. Why not split one dessert amongst the whole table? All you really need to satisfy your sweet craving is a single bite, after all.

Skip the empty calories of beverages

Drink water more often than anything else and you’ll gradually whittle down the number of empty calories you’re consuming. Instead of pop, try a sparkling water with a slice of lemon or lime to give it flavour. If you must have juice, mix in more water to dilute it a bit; or, instead of a glass of white wine, make it a spritzer.

Choose your chicken wisely

When eating chicken, opt for white meat instead of the fattier dark meat. Also, trim even more fat and calories by taking off the skin from your serving.

Skip the bread basket

When dining out, if you’re compelled to eat from the bread basket in front of you, ask the server not to bring the basket at all so you can resist temptation. Also, with many restaurants serving huge portions, don’t be afraid to eat only part of your meal — just enough to feel full — and bring the rest home to enjoy the next day.

More health articles that may interest you

What’s the healthiest oil to cook with?
5 Winter salads to tempt your tastebuds
3 Ancient grains you should be eating

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