Sunday, March 25, 2012

Easy Ways To Cut Down On Calories Without Cutting Down On Taste

Stevia in different forms

Have you ever really wanted to make something you love, but were concerned about the calories? If you didn't have a problem with calories, have you ever cooked for someone who did? I have, and I think most of us here have too. Some of our favorite meals feature foods that can easily 'max-out' our calories for the day if we're not careful. Even if we don't analyze our foods 'calorie-by-calorie', we still might worry that having that little treat or afternoon snack will throw our whole regimen off track. However, it doesn't have to be this way. The good news is that there are several ways we can cut down on the number of calories we consume without having to deny ourselves or sacrifice taste. Sometimes you won't even notice the changes!

  • Use stevia instead of sugar to sweeten foods and drinks. Unlike artificial sweeteners like Sucralose and aspartame, the extract from the stevia leaf gives zero-calorie sweetness without a foul aftertaste. It may seem expensive to buy 40 packets of Truvia at the grocery store for $3 rather than a 4-pound bag of sugar for $2, but it evens out because stevia is sweeter than sugar. For instance, one level tablespoon of stevia can sweeten a whole gallon of tea as well as ½ cup of sugar! Since you don't have to use as much, one box lasts a lot longer. If you don't want to use packets, it can also be found in liquid form. You can also make a great summer treat by sprinkling just a little bit on some slightly-mashed strawberries and putting them in the freezer!
  • Use low-fat milk in recipes rather than whole milk. Some people don't like the taste of skim or low-fat milk by itself, but you can't usually tell a difference when using it in recipes.
  • Don't eat straight from the package or bag. We seem to be psychologically inclined to eat until the container is empty; putting measured portions in an actual container like a bowl or on a plate will give the same 'satisfaction' while still consuming less.
  • When you eat canned fruit like peaches or fruit cocktail, get the ones that come in their own juice or juice of another fruit instead of heavy syrup.
  • Use the right amount of cooking oil. Some of us tend to 'eyeball it' when putting oil in our pans for cooking rather than using specific portions. I know I have! The problem with this is that we can easily use more than what is needed and add unnecessary calories. Use only the amount of oil needed for cooking, or use non-stick cooking spray instead.
  • On the same tip as above, use butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray instead of butter when frying things like vegetables.

Hopefully now you have an idea of some easy ways to cut down on the number of calories you consume while still eating the things you enjoy. Here is one final tip:
  • Read the labels. Don't give yourself a complex about it, but sometimes simply being aware of what we put in our bodies can help us make better choices.

No comments:

Post a Comment