6 Healthy Ways to Reduce Calorie Intake

healthy ways to reduce calorie intake

Learning the right ways to reduce calorie intake can help you avoid many health issues.

 

A proper balance of calorie intake and the energy you burn is critical to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Your body stores extra calories in your cells as fat. These fats can build up in your arteries and other organs, leading to potential heart disease, liver problems,

and certain types of cancer.

 

The most important thing to remember when trying to reduce calories is to keep things in balance. Being healthy doesn’t mean eating less.

 

 

You can reduce calorie intake and stay healthy by:

 

    • choosing whole foods
    • eating plenty of greens
    • choosing whole foods with healthy fats
    • remaining mindful of what you’re drinking as well as eating
    • limiting your consumption of high-fat, high-calorie dairy foods
    • keeping a detailed food diary to help you along the way

 

Choose Real Food

 

Reducing your calorie intake doesn’t have to mean eating less food. It often means eating the right food.

 

Processed snacks are full of “empty” calories with little to no nutritional value. Limit these types of foods. Along with food that’s fried, high in fat, or high in sugar.

 

Feeling “full” has less to do with the number of calories than the amount of food you eat. Eating high fiber food that contains lots of water will reduce your overall calorie intake without leaving you hungry. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables can satisfy your hunger while reducing your calorie intake. 

 

Look for whole foods that don’t have a long list of ingredients. 

 

Fill Up With Greens

 

Leafy green vegetables have a low energy density. That means they are “high fiber, high water content” foods that can fill you up while helping you reduce calorie intake.

 

They also have added health benefits. Most are rich in antioxidants like vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene.

 

Vitamin K from kale and arugula helps prevent osteoporosis. Cabbage even helps lower cholesterol.

 

Don’t limit yourself to salads to add greens to your diet. Try adding them to other foods. Green smoothies are a great option. Exchange that bun on your burger or chicken sandwich for a lettuce wrap.

 

Choose Healthy Fats

 

Not all fats are the same. Your body needs fats to be healthy. They help your body absorb nutrients, regulate hormones that make you hungry, and even protect against heart disease.

 

Health experts largely consider unsaturated fats healthier than saturated and trans fats. 

Some foods containing essential, healthy fats include coconut, dark chocolate, avocado, and nuts.

 

Nuts are a great food for polyunsaturated fats. The fats found in walnuts even trigger genes that reduce fat storage in your body.

 

Limit Dairy

 

Most dairy products have a high fat content, making them high-calorie foods. 

 

Whole milk and dairy foods made from whole-milk are high in saturated fats. Just a single tablespoon of butter contains seven grams of saturated fat and 102 calories. It takes about eight minutes of running to burn that many calories. 

 

The American Heart Association recommends adults eat only 20 to 30 grams of fat per day.

 

Try low fat, fat free, or plant based alternatives, but monitor the calories here as well. Soy milk, for example, has twice the calories of almond milk.

 

Avoid Liquid Calories

 

Most of us think about food when reducing our calorie intake. You might need to consider what you drink as well. 

 

Added sugars are a significant source of excess calories. Sugary drinks are a major source of added sugar in our diets. 

 

Replace these with water or unsweetened tea. Try adding a splash of freshly squeezed juice if you need more flavor. Berries, lemons, and limes can add just the right amount of flavor to plain water.

 

Don’t forget the extra calories that come from dairy and flavored syrups in your favorite coffee drinks. Ask your barista for one of the dairy alternatives mentioned above to reduce calorie intake.

 

Keep A Food Diary

 

A food diary isn’t only about counting calories. 

 

Food diaries help make sure you’re getting the proper nutrition, keep you mindful of what and when you’re eating, and help you discover any food intolerances.

 

The best way to keep a food diary is to be detailed. You should record everything you eat and drink. Don’t just write down what you eat, but also how much you eat, what time you eat, and even how you’re feeling at the time – both physically and emotionally. 

 

Emotional eating can be a source of excess calories. If you find yourself in a cycle of emotional eating, consider finding more healthier ways of dealing with emotions. Meditation can be helpful as well as an interesting hobby.

 

While reducing calorie intake don’t forget to meet your optimal daily calorie requirement.

That is between 1500 and 2000 kcal a day for women and between 2000 and 2500 kcal a day for men.

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