Nutrition experts say that an adult human needs between 2,000 (for women) and 2,500 (for men) calories every day. And if you are watching your weight or trying to lose some, you should target eating roughly 500 calories less. That means 3,500 calories (500 x 7) per week, which equals to one pound of weight loss per week, without serious dieting or exercising.
Watch out for the following, so that YOU DON’T WASTE YOUR CALORIES.
(1) The Liquid Diet : If your daily drink repertoire includes orange juice in the morning, a latte to get you going, a cold drink at lunch and wine at dinner, you’re adding over 500 calories to your diet. Registered dietician and certified diabetes educator Jean LaMantia says, “Your body doesn’t compensate well for liquid calories,” and LaMantia cites ‘colas’ as one of the worst offenders. Quench thirst with water and keep a reusable bottle on hand to avoid the temptation.
(2) The Wrong Side Orders : Soup, salad or fries ? A daunting question, to be sure, but fries are never the answer. A standard restaurant serving adds more than 500 calories to any meal, while a serving of soup or a garden salad with vinaigrette dressing usually adds closer to 100. Restaurant meals are excessively high in calories on their own, so choosing the right side order is a matter of damage control
(3) Lack Of Grains : White flour is costly at 480 calories per cup, warns LaMantia. “Choosing whole grain means you are getting the bran, germ and endosperm in the same ratio that they exist in nature, but white flour is stripped of these nutrients,” she says. Read your labels, and stick to whole-grain breads and cereals.
(4) Whipping It : Just when you thought your ‘coffee’ order couldn’t get any wordier, there are a few more adjectives you should throw at your barista : non-fat, sugar-free and no-whip. Skip the extras and you’ll save up to 200 calories on your coffee concoction. But the best way to keep the calories at bay is to order coffee or tea — each under five calories before the fixings.
(5) Topping Up : Since we no longer live in a world where Hawaiian is the most exotic thing at the local pizzeria, choosing a thin or whole wheat crust with grilled chicken or fresh vegetables will help cut the calories and up the nutritional value. Case in point : grabbing a few slices of a large vegetarian thin-crust pizza over a few slices of a large stuffed-crust. Meat Lover’s pizza at Pizza Hut will save you 200 calories.
(6) Go Dark When It Comes To Chocolate : If it’s impossible to satisfy your sweet tooth, LaMantia says the least you can do is go dark. “Milk chocolate has a higher sugar content than dark chocolate, so while you may be feeding your cravings, you’ll need another, sweet fix when your blood sugar comes down.” A 40g serving of milk chocolate has 230 calories, and while the same amount of dark chocolate is only 17 fewer calories, the reduced sugar and increase of antioxidants makes it a sound investment. Afraid of the dark side ? Start with 50% cocoa content and work your way up.