1. Cut out 1 soda per day and drink water with lemon instead (150 calories cut)
2. If you have a healthy sandwich wrap ask for it with mustard instead of mayonnaise, ketchup, or any other “sauce” (100+ calories cut)
3. If you buy a rotisserie chicken for lunch or dinner take the skin off (100+ calories cut)
4. Enjoy your salads with a low calorie dressing like balsamic vinaigrette or just some squeezed lemon juice (120+ calories cut)
5. Skip 1 glass of wine or beer with dinner (120 calories cut)
6. Ask for your sandwich to be made without cheese (150-200 calories cut)
7. Skip your morning 8-12 oz glass of juice and have a piece of whole fruit and water instead – or just water or tea with your breakfast (100+ calories cut)
Just speaking for myself (but probably speaking for many of you as well), here's what I do with each of these tips:
- I haven't had a regular soda in years. I started drinking Tab when it was introduced in 1963, when my mother would permit it. (My mother's children drank milk or water. In the summer we were allowed to have Kool-Aid for a treat.) By the time I was old enough to buy my own soda, it was Diet Coke, thankyouverymuch. Now that I'm much older and trying not to consume artificial sweeteners, I drink water or unsweetened iced tea.
- Mustard instead of mayo has been my condiment of choice for, again, years. My first stint with Weight Watchers was in 1972. We mixed tuna with mustard and called it tuna salad. When I need mayo (for potato salad, for instance), I make it myself which doesn't make it less caloric, but at least I know where the eggs came from.
- I don't buy rotisserie chicken. I buy chicken and roast it myself. And I don't eat the skin. But I'd like to. Heh.
- This is the one I have a problem with. If I didn't add a splash of olive oil to my salad, I'd be eating a nearly fat-free diet. Since I've already tried that, with disastrous results (dry, flaky skin; dull, lifeless hair; feeling cold all the time), I believe in a modicum of fat from good-quality oil or real butter. So sue me. And add 120 calories to my daily ledger.
- Haven't touched alcohol in 19+ years, which has nothing to do with cutting calories and everything to do with maintaining good relationships with my family, my husband and myself. Sometimes I think I should start drinking again so I would have something to cut from my daily meal plan. Kidding!
- I use cheese as a condiment – a little feta on a Greek salad, for instance. And when I can get fresh milk, I make my own mozzarella after skimming the cream. Also … what's a sandwich?
- Juice? Puh-lease! Every good dieter knows you should eat your calories, not drink them. (See #1.)
So what's next? It seems to me that in order to cut more calories from my diet, I need to start skipping meals. That is, in fact, what I do when I'm working outdoors. I have a small bowl of Cheerios before I head out in the morning, and I have dinner. Sometime mid-afternoon I'll have a handful of walnuts or pumpkin seeds. This is not by design, by the way. I just don't want to come inside. Something else is more important than food. What a shock.