Shedding weight can be quite the challenge if you don’t have the right tried and true tricks on deck. When it comes to tweaking your diet, we spoke with The Nutrition Twins®, Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, CDN, CFT, and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT, who break down just how many calories to cut every day if you want to lose weight.
The Nutrition Twins stress, “Although we typically don’t tell people to count calories because we’d rather them focus on including more nutrient-rich food rather than cutting food out, and because it can take the joy out of eating and lead to overly restrictive eating habits and disordered eating, it’s still good to know how to cut calories and things to do to contribute to weight loss.”
Keep reading to learn more about how many calories to trim out of your day, and next, check out The 5 Worst ‘Empty-Calorie’ Foods Making You Gain Weight Faster.
This is how many calories to cut every day to lose weight.
Losing weight safely and healthily means dropping one to two pounds a week, The Nutrition Twins explain. If you’re currently preserving your weight, by cutting out 500 calories each day, you can shed around one pound a week. If you cut out 1,000 calories daily, you can lose about two pounds a week. “Of course, those who already eat a low-calorie diet would not be advised to cut 1,000 calories per day,” The Nutrition Twins add.
When it comes to effective tips to help you count and cut calories in support of your weight loss efforts, The Nutrition Twins have you covered. Check them out below.
Don’t waste your calories on drinks.
You may not think about how many calories are packed into some of your favorite drinks, but every calorie counts—especially when you’re trying to lose weight. “Your brain doesn’t compensate for calories you drink and make you want to eat less later,” The Nutrition Twins say. “Swapping out a 12-ounce can of soda for seltzer will save 150 calories.”
Put oil in a spray bottle.
Rather than pouring oil straight out of the bottle when you’re whipping up a fresh salad or using it for cooking, put it into a spray bottle. After all, every tablespoon of oil is a whopping 120 calories!
“Most people pour many tablespoons of oil into their cooking, so using a spray bottle can save hundreds of calories at each meal,” The Nutrition Twins explain. “Whether you use the spray bottle when making an omelet at breakfast, a salad at lunch, or in a pan with a stir-fry at dinner, you can save hundreds of calories per meal.”
Enjoy your meals on salad plates.
One simple weight loss tip that can make a major difference? Ditch large dinner plates for salad plates. This is a sneaky way to help you consume smaller portion sizes.
“Eat your meals off salad plates,” The Nutrition Twins suggest. “They’re a lot smaller than dinner plates, and since most people fill their entire plate, no matter on the size, you can assume that by doing this, you can save several hundred calories per meal.”
Begin meals with a fresh green salad or steamed veggies.
Consider kicking off your meals with a fresh green salad with lemon or some steamed veggies. This will curb your hunger, and you won’t be consuming many calories at all while doing it!
“Use lemon to flavor your food instead of calorie-dense dressing, butter, and oil. Most people will save at least 200 calories per meal doing this,” The Nutrition Twins add.
Add bulk to your meals with vegetables.
While we’re on the veggie train, bulking up your meals with veggies is another smart idea. For instance, if you’re preparing pasta with shrimp, steam a few cups of broccoli or your go-to veggie, and add it to the mix! After all, veggies are one of the absolute best foods to eat if you’re trying to shed weight, because they’re packed with fiber and will have you feeling full for longer.
“The meal will be so much bigger that you can save some for another day, and the vegetables will reduce the calories by 250 to 300 calories, at least. Do this at all of your meals, from Chinese food to American food to Thai food,” The Nutrition Twins say.
Sweeten things up with cinnamon.
The next time you’re on a grocery store run, ditch the cereals and yogurts that contain added sugar. Instead, opt for the unsweetened varieties and sweeten them up a bit with “naturally sweet, calorie-free cinnamon.” According to The Nutrition Twins, “[Cinnamon] is packed with antioxidants and promotes healthy blood sugar. This change can save anywhere from 50 to over 100 calories.”
Swap out mayo for avocado.
Another thing to ditch? Mayonnaise. If you’re a fan of having sandwiches, tuna salad, or chicken salad for lunch, swap out the mayo for fresh avocado.
“While one level tablespoon of mayo sets you back 100 calories, one ounce (1/5 an avocado) is 50 calories. Many restaurants spread two tablespoons of mayo (200 calories) on a sandwich when an ounce of creamy heart-healthy avocado (50 calories) makes a delicious moist condiment, saving 150 calories,” The Nutrition Twins explain.