1. Opt. for a Leaner Protein Option:
Choosing protein sources with a lower fat content is a quick way to save on a ton of calories! By doing this you are getting more high quality protein per serving as well!
Example: Switch out chicken thighs for chicken breast.
4oz thigh: 10g fat and 19 protein
4oz breast: 3g fat 24g protein
This can be done with ground beef and turkey, opting for 93% fat free and above. Pork tenderloin is just about as lean as chicken breast versus the pork chop or roast and a sirloin tip steak is the leanest choice with the top round steak and eye of round steak in line next! White fish, lobster and shrimp are all great options for high protein and little to no fat!
2. Switch out Egg Whites for Whole eggs:
Although the egg yolk can be nutritious, it also double the calories of the egg! If you love eggs for breakfast, try using one yolk plus just the whites of a few more eggs or buy organic egg whites in the carton. When baking or cooking, eggs are often used to bind cassaroles, baked goods, etc. It never hurts to omit the egg yolk from the recipe- the egg will still do it’s job and cut way down on calories!
3. Cut Down on Oils and Butter!
Let’s be real, most recipes don’t need nearly as much as they call for! We almost always use half, or less the amount called for in the recipe and when making your own, only use it where it’s really needed!
Example: Recipe calls to cook your chicken in 2T olive oil.. is this really needed? Try cutting down to 1 or less! We promise your chicken will still be cooked, and delicious!
4. Use the Good Stuff, Just Use Less!
Leading off of number 3, controlling portions is key. While “non-fat,” “low-fat” and “sugar-free” are great options to have once in a while, when we are looking at what’s truly good for your health and serves your goals simultaneously, we recommend skipping the chemicals, but controlling your portions. The “free” of fat and sugar options are actually much less satiating and can lead to over-eating at times. Example, using an organic heavy cream in your coffee BUT just 1T rather than 3+ T of low or non-fat, sugar free creamer is going to be the better option. In the end the calories end up being similar, but it’s better for your health! Same goes for using honey versus sugar-free syrup or full fat, or a little more fat yogurt versus 0%. Just remember, portion control is king! Your taste buds and health will thank you!
5. Veggie Noodles and Rice!
This is becoming pretty common to see in recipes and can be an easy switch to lower carbs and calories. If you don’t have something at home that can make veggies into noodle form- you must get one! A spiralizer like this ONE, or a kitchen aid attachment like this one. They can easily make carrots, beets, zuchinni, yellow squash or butternut squash into noodle form! Cook them up into your favorite noodle dish for a much lower calorie option and packed with more micronutrients! Riced cauliflower can easily replace regular rice for a lower carb option as well! Don’t want to completely give up your real pasta or rice? Try mixing half and half for the best of both worlds!
6. Spice, Spice, Spice It Up!
Adding various spices and herbs to your dishes can make all the difference in the world. Cooking with fresh garlic, basil, thyme and rosemary to name a few, is a great way to add flavor without adding the calories. We also love spice blends, like ones from Trader Joes: Everything but the Bagel, Chili Lime, 21 Salute Seasoning and onion salt to easily add excitiment to your meal!
7. Get Saucy!
Sauces are a quick way to nearly double the calories of a meal! If you are a sauce person, keeping calories under control can be more challenging. A few ways we like to enjoy sauces without using up half our daily calories are:
-Low sugar ketchup (20 cals per 2T)
-Mustard (0 cals!)
–Cocunut Aminos (lots of flavor less calorie and sodium than soy sauce)
-Hot Sauce (packed with flavor, 0 cals!)
-Salsa (20 cals per 2T)
-Subbing greek yogurt as a cream base for dips- just add seasonings!
-Making your sauces at home! This way you have much more control of what goes in them and will often get even more flavor without all the added sugar, chemicals and uncecessary fats!
8. Re-evaluate Your Buns!
For your burger that is… or sandwhich or wrap! Luckily, with all the options we have available out there, it’s easy to make a delicious, lower carb/ calorie sandwhich, burger or wrap. Use a lettuce wrap (or just turn it into a salad!), thin-sliced bread (we love Dave’s Killer thin slice!), low- carb tortilla’s for wraps or coconut wraps for a nice change up! Same goes for pizza, there are a lot of options out there for a calorie-friendly pizza crust like Flat Out.
9. Lighten Up Your Sweet Tooth!
We will never tell you to give up your dessert… that would be well, just wrong! A common battle people face in nutrition is the dreaded sweet tooth… you can kill it in your nutrition all day and then that post-meal sweet demon comes creepin’ in! This is where having something on hand that will bring you satisfaction but not throw you off your tracks is key!
Eating dessert that is laden with processed ingredients and sugar is bound to snowball. Sugary foods are addicting and will only leave you wanting more. Instead, using high quality ingredients like coconut sugar, monk fruit erythritol, 70+% dark chocolate, real fruit (dried or fresh), coconut and almond milk are just some ingredients you can use as a base to making some really awesome desserts. Again, eating a smaller portion of these with leave you more satisfied than processed, packaged, refined sugar treats!
10. Whole Foods Always Win!
When following a flexible eating style plan, it gives you the freedom to eat virtually whatever you please. Want a salad? Fit it in! Want a donut? Fit it in! Want a pizza? Fit it in! However, we always recommend filling your daily calories with majority whole foods. Whole foods will actually keep you from over eating. They will satisfy you much longer and in turn, naturally control calories. Even if we fit in more processed, packaged foods into our daily macros, we are still running a higher chance of being left unsatisfied, having poor digestion, more cravings and feeling the urge to eat more even if we aren’t truly in need of more caloires. So remember, majority whole foods with a sprinkle of indulgences here and there!
There are always ways to make small adjustments in our days to make healthier choices! Even when cooking for a family, we can easily switch out ingredients here or there to tailor it to our needs! If you ever want specific help with your diet and how to make switches in your day, never hesitate to reach out and we are happy to dig deeper to help you!
Happiest of New Years!