Ten ways to reduce calories and keep your waistline in check II

Ten ways to reduce calories and keep your waistline in check II

10 Ways to Cut Calories to Get fit, Stay Fit, and Fit in your Clothes – Part II

Stereotypical Disclaimer: It’s that time of year when many people try to get healthier. But before changing your diet or starting an exercise program, talk with your physician. Learn your limits, and don’t give yourself a heart attack or starve yourself to death. And if you do, don’t come cryin’ to me because you didn’t heed that warning. Above:  Shirt by Target’s Merona, silk tie by Nautica.  Lettuce by dirt.  For Part I click here.

6. Embrace the dressing free spinach salad

When did eating salads become a sign of weakness?  We live in a society where it’s manly to drink “lite” beer, but a guy can’t eat a bowl of vegetables when he wants?  Again, food is fuel.  And spinach is as high octane as it gets.  It’s the meatiest of all vegetables with a texture that’s nowhere near iceburg lettuce.  Use it as the foundation for your work week lunches.  Packing a lunch during the workweek is not only cheaper, it’s healthier.  And if you fall into this five lunches a week habit, you’ll reduce the calories while increasing the nutrition value on over 20% of your meals.

The Go-To Two-day Work Lunch Spinach Salad
Take three to four cups of spinach and drop it in one of those rectangular tupper-ware type containers.
Cut up the following:

  • A baked chicken breast
  • Two or three full sized raw carrots (baby carrots have no flavor)
  • A green pepper
  • A quarter of a red onion
  • A quarter of a normal sized avocado

And then dump some organic salsa and Tabasco sauce on top.

That should be the main part of your work day lunch for two days.  Don’t worry, it’ll keep in the fridge.  Plenty of flavor, good fat from the avocado, and the fiber will fill you up.  If anyone questions you spinach salad eating ways, just remind them of one of the ultimate male role models: Popeye.

This stuff. On top of Spinach. You’re set for two days.

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7. When eating out, order the half sandwich or a salad with oil and vinegar

The proportions at restaurants are insane.  Try and order a healthy salad.  Skip the Caesar.  Between the croutons, cream based dressing and cheese, you’re almost doing more harm than good.  Get something that depends on vegetables and well prepared (translation: not fried) meat for flavor.  And when they ask what dressing you want, get oil and vinegar.  Olive oil is one of the best fats you can put in your body.  And you need fat.  Balsamic vinegar packs more flavor punch than any processed greasy ranch or blue cheese dressing.  If you just can’t order a salad? Go with the half sandwich and side option.  Usually a half sandwich in a restaurant is like a full sandwich at home.

8. Stop eating things with hooves unless you killed it yourself.

Does it have wings?  Okay.  How about gills?  Sure.  But does it stand still in a pasture or pen all day and only moves when it relieves itself?  Probably not the best idea to put that animals flesh in your body.  If you sighted it in, shot it yourself, then hauled it back to your base camp one quarter at a time… have at it.  Otherwise, maybe consider the hoofed ones to be more of a tread. UPDATE:  Thanks to the guys in the comments for making the argument for lean Red (and other white) meat.

9. Start drinking Tea

Coffee is fine, but after a few cups it’s time to switch to tea.  Tea has less caffeine (or none if you go with herbal), and it’s less accepting to fatty or sugary creamers and flavorings.  If you find yourself getting the itch to snack needlessly and mindlessly before bed, make a cup of herbal tea.  It’s hot enough at the start that you have to drink it slow, and by the time you’re done the desire to snack should be replaced by one to go to sleep.

10. Drink a glass of water before every meal

I’m guilty of mindlessly snacking when I’m thirsty.  Instead of just having a plain ol’ glass of water from the tap I’ll often have something salty like a handful of tortilla chips.  Hardly any of us drink enough water.  Taking 45 seconds to drink a glass of water before breakfast, lunch, and dinner will not only fill you up before you potentially over-indulge, your skin will look better and you’ll get less headaches.  Who woulda thought.  Water.

It’s not a difficult formula to grasp.  The rub is in the execution.  It’s completely possible to cut out much of the bad calories you consume without starving yourself.  Change a few bad habits,  learn to ask yourself a few questions, and in due time those bad habits will be transformed into good ones.

Got any other tricks to keep your gut in check?  Leave those in the comments section below.

Ten ways to reduce calories and keep your waistline in check

Here’s some brutal honesty: I’m not a doctor. Nor am I a physical trainer, dietician, health coach,
psychologist, or bodybuilding champ. What I am is a guy who grew up in a family where exercise and
healthy eating weren’t priorities. We used to have pancakes, bacon, and fresh donuts on Saturday
mornings. Same plate, one meal. How my pancreas survived I’ll never know.

That changed when I got out on my own. I started exercising regularly, and I figured out that what I put
in my body directly affected my cardio and weight training. So I changed what I was eating, and slowly
but surely the junk weight got transferred into welcomed strength weight. My immune system became
almost impenetrable, and now it doesn’t take an internal pep talk to resist a donut.

Keeping your gut more or less flat takes no more than gradually increasing your exercise regime and
reducing the amount of daily waste calories you put into your system. Here’s how to do the latter.

1. Change the way you view food.
Here’s four words to ask yourself before you grab that piece of birthday cake at the office or the burger
from the drive through: Is it worth it? Are you really going to remember that piece of cake or burger an
hour from now? Look, indulging in a well prepared meal with your significant other or friends is one of
life’s great pleasures. A couple hotdogs and a few beers at the ball park is as well. But more often than
not, food is fuel. So before you crack the lid on the Ben and Jerry’s carton when it’s just you and the
couch on a random Tuesday night… ask yourself if it’s worth it. Because more often than not? It’s not.

2. Keep a food journal
It’s easy to ignore the “is it worth it?” question if you’re not being held accountable at the end of the
day. Buy a small spiral bound notebook and each night before you head to bed, make some quick notes
on what you ate that day. I usually write down the “bad” food I ate, how many drinks I had, and how
many drinks I’ve consumed so far that week (beer is a bit of a vice.) Plus a few notes on my chosen
workout. It takes no more than 30 seconds and it’s just enough accountability to make you think twice
before eating something unnecessary and bad for you.

3. Throw out almost all the bad stuff in your house
You know what the bad stuff is. Toss almost all of it and find healthy replacements. For the potato
chips, use lightly salted popcorn cakes. For ice cream? Look into the brand “skinny cow” for their low
calorie low fat ice cream sandwiches. If there’s no healthy replacement (say, for soda), just get it out of
the house period. Remember, food is fuel. And diet soda won’t get your anywhere.

4. Do 90% of your grocery shopping along the outer aisles of the store
Grocery stores are smart. They know that by keeping the food that spoils the fastest to the outter aisles,
they’ll spend less time walking through the store each day to restock it. It’s all the highly processed high-
calorie junk that’s on the interior. It can sit longer. Stick to the fruits, vegetables and meats located
along the outside aisles and your body will thank you for it in the end.

5. Learn how to firmly say no to junk food pushers
Misery loves company, so people who eat terrible and feel worse because of it almost always try and
pawn off their junk food on you. They’ll offer you an unasked for piece of pizza, cinnamon sugar bagel,
or a handful of M&Ms. If you’re on this website you’re not the type to be easily swayed by some treat
pusher, so politely say no thanks and stick to your guns. If they continue to press, tell them you’re
watching your “girlish” figure. Throw in a curtsy if you must. Works for me every time.Ten ways to reduce calories and keep your waistline in check

Here’s some brutal honesty: I’m not a doctor. Nor am I a physical trainer, dietician, health coach,
psychologist, or bodybuilding champ. What I am is a guy who grew up in a family where exercise and
healthy eating weren’t priorities. We used to have pancakes, bacon, and fresh donuts on Saturday
mornings. Same plate, one meal. How my pancreas survived I’ll never know.

That changed when I got out on my own. I started exercising regularly, and I figured out that what I put
in my body directly affected my cardio and weight training. So I changed what I was eating, and slowly
but surely the junk weight got transferred into welcomed strength weight. My immune system became
almost impenetrable, and now it doesn’t take an internal pep talk to resist a donut.

Keeping your gut more or less flat takes no more than gradually increasing your exercise regime and
reducing the amount of daily waste calories you put into your system. Here’s how to do the latter.

1. Change the way you view food.
Here’s four words to ask yourself before you grab that piece of birthday cake at the office or the burger
from the drive through: Is it worth it? Are you really going to remember that piece of cake or burger an
hour from now? Look, indulging in a well prepared meal with your significant other or friends is one of
life’s great pleasures. A couple hotdogs and a few beers at the ball park is as well. But more often than
not, food is fuel. So before you crack the lid on the Ben and Jerry’s carton when it’s just you and the
couch on a random Tuesday night… ask yourself if it’s worth it. Because more often than not? It’s not.

2. Keep a food journal
It’s easy to ignore the “is it worth it?” question if you’re not being held accountable at the end of the
day. Buy a small spiral bound notebook and each night before you head to bed, make some quick notes
on what you ate that day. I usually write down the “bad” food I ate, how many drinks I had, and how
many drinks I’ve consumed so far that week (beer is a bit of a vice.) Plus a few notes on my chosen
workout. It takes no more than 30 seconds and it’s just enough accountability to make you think twice
before eating something unnecessary and bad for you.

3. Throw out almost all the bad stuff in your house
You know what the bad stuff is. Toss almost all of it and find healthy replacements. For the potato
chips, use lightly salted popcorn cakes. For ice cream? Look into the brand “skinny cow” for their low
calorie low fat ice cream sandwiches. If there’s no healthy replacement (say, for soda), just get it out of
the house period. Remember, food is fuel. And diet soda won’t get your anywhere.

4. Do 90% of your grocery shopping along the outer aisles of the store
Grocery stores are smart. They know that by keeping the food that spoils the fastest to the outter aisles,
they’ll spend less time walking through the store each day to restock it. It’s all the highly processed high-
calorie junk that’s on the interior. It can sit longer. Stick to the fruits, vegetables and meats located
along the outside aisles and your body will thank you for it in the end.

5. Learn how to firmly say no to junk food pushers
Misery loves company, so people who eat terrible and feel worse because of it almost always try and
pawn off their junk food on you. They’ll offer you an unasked for piece of pizza, cinnamon sugar bagel,
or a handful of M&Ms. If you’re on this website you’re not the type to be easily swayed by some treat
pusher, so politely say no thanks and stick to your guns. If they continue to press, tell them you’re
watching your “girlish” figure. Throw in a curtsy if you must. Works for me every time.