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.
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.