It can seem very difficult to lose a single pound. However, when you step back and consider that we gain and lose weight based on a simple formula of calories in and calories out. That means if you consume more calories than you expend you’ll gain weight, and if you expend more calories than you consume you’ll lose weight. We can use two methods to lose a single pound–either we cut calories through diet or we expend calories via physical activity, either way 3,500 calories burnt = 1 pound lost.
So if your jeans are fitting a little tighter than usual, we recommend a few fairly simple ways that you can cut 500-calories per day–either via exercise or by cutting them from your diet (you can also take the more moderate approach by burning 250 calories with exercise and only cutting 250 calories from your daily diet)…
1. Watch those Sandwich Toppings
Make very slight changes to your lunch sandwich or salad that you’ll hardly even notice. Try, for instance, skipping high calorie toppings for one, such as mayo or cheese.
Instead, ask for lower calorie sandwich spreads, such as mustard. Or amp up the veggie content of your pita wrap or salad so you won’t even miss the shredded cheese.
2. Work Out on the Heavy Bag
Do you tend take the frustration from your office to the dinner table (aka: eat your feelings)? Try out a new, healthy way to work out that anger while you work off some serious calories.
For instance, many folks find box-inspired fitness very cathartic. You can burn about 500-calories with a 1-hour box-fit class or by punching a heavy bag for just 30-minutes.
3. Pay Attention to Sides
When you order lunch from the nearby diner or deli pay particular attention to your selected sides. Do you usually munch on chips? Or do you choose to have fries on the side?
Instead, opt for a lower calorie accompaniment to your lunch. Try a lighter menu selection, such as a veggie-based soup or a garden salad (without cheese). Veggie sticks will also provide a satisfying crunch without the added calories.
4. Feel that Deep Clean Burn
Get jiggy with burning calories as you clean your house! I bet you didn’t know that you can work up a serious sweat when you do a hard core, deep clean.
Sweep, mop, scrub on your hands and knees, and truck that vacuum up and down the stairs, from room to room. You’ll be rewarded with a clean abode, and you can burn up to 500-calories in the process.
5. Rise and Shine a Little Lighter
How do you smear your morning bagel? If it’s with cream cheese, you can reduce the caloric intake by opting for a lighter yet still cheesy option.
For instance, rather than full fat cream cheese, opt for light cottage cheese, which is still high in energy-fueling protein at a fraction of the calories and fat. You can make further calorie reductions by swapping that white bagel for a whole grain English muffin.
6. Skip to your News
If you can’t start your day without switching on the television or radio and listening to the news, know that you don’t have to get your world events sitting down. Listen as you jump rope.
I personally opt for this activity several times per week as it’s an easy way to get a bit of calorie cutting over with first thing in the morning. Plus, jumping rope for just 20 minutes burns an amazing amount of calories. If you can’t skip full on for 20-minutes, take commercial breaks to hydrate and catch your breath.
7. Brew Less Calories
Does your mid-afternoon pick me up include a trip to the cafe for a foamy green tea latte? A lot of excess calories can lurk in that frothy, vanilla-scented whip!
With a mind on cutting calories, you can order your green tea latte sans the latte. By that we mean swapping the fancy, whipped brew for a simple bag or green tea…no sugar or dairy added.
8. Put Feet to Pavement
Did you know that the calories really add up if you walk throughout your day. So strap on a pedometer and make sure you’re treading at least 3,600 extra steps per day. You can do this by taking the stairs rather than the elevator, parking further from the door to the supermarket, and by walking to work.
Once you get the hang of walking, you can incorporate some jogging. To increase your cardio endurance, alternate running for 2 minutes with walking for 2 minutes. Before you know it, you’ll be jogging daily.
9. Where’s the Beef?
If you tend to have beef at dinner, on your stir fry, burger bun, salad, or even grilled, try subbing the cow for a leaner cut of meat…or rather fish.
White fish, such as cod, sole, or halibut. While that t-bone steak weighs in at about 580-calories, a nice filet of white fish only counts at about 240 calories.
10. What are you Sipping?
Sure, we understand that you can’t show up at Happy Hour with the guys or girls and order water. However, you can opt for a lower calorie beverage to fill your glass.
If you tend to swill a high-calorie cocktail, like a martini or margarita, swap that for a clear beverage like a vodka and soda or a white wine spritzer.