There are a lot of ways to lose weight, but at the end of the day, it’s a calorie game.
Calories are energy.
Take in too many calories and your body stores the excess energy as fat.
Take in fewer calories and you force your body to burn off fat.
The more calorie-cutting hacks you have up your sleeve, the more successful you’ll be at getting the scale to move down.
And, when those tricks are sneaky, like the ones listed below, you don’t even miss them, which makes weight loss a lot less painful.
Calorie Cutting Hack #1: Instantly Stop Eating Chips Using A Mint and Dental Floss
Potato chips have the perfect blend of carbohydrate, fat, and salt to make them insanely addictive.
After that first chip hits your tongue, it’s impossible to stop…or is it?
As it turns out, all it takes to break up a potato chip binge is a mint and a piece of dental floss.
- A strong mint, like an Altoid
- A packet of dental floss
- A desire to not overeat
HOW IT WORKS:
Step 1: As soon as you become aware that you are heading toward a potato chip snack attack, pop the mint in your mouth. Try not to think too much about it, just do it quickly.
Step 2: Pull out your dental floss and start flossing. I keep a packet of floss in the living room!
WHY IT WORKS:
This trick gives your craving a one-two punch.
The mint changes the taste in your mouth, so every chip after the mint tastes funny.
The floss makes your mouth feel clean; subconsciously you don’t want to make your mouth dirty again, so your brain naturally moves away from the desire to eat.
Do you think it sounds too simple to work? Try it. The simple solutions are often the best solutions.
Calorie Savings: 137 calories/cup of chips
By the way, this “stopper” works for any snack, not just chips!
Calorie Cutting Hack #2: Avoid Dessert with This 20-Minute Trick
The act of eating stimulates your appetite.
It’s one of those instinct things leftover from our caveman days.
Whenever you start eating, your caveman’s brain tells you to shovel in as much food as possible because it doesn’t know when you’ll have a chance to eat again, which explains why you want dessert, even if you just ate a huge meal.
The good news is that your desire to eat dessert doesn’t mean you’re mentally weak, it simply means you’re human.
The bad news is that eating dessert easily adds 300 or more calories to your day.
A common mistake that we make when we diet is to rely on willpower.
We tell ourselves, “I can fight this urge to eat dessert!”
Willpower works, some of the time, but other times it just makes us miserable.
Instead of willpower, use the 20-minute rule.
This rule actually came from my mom, thanks mom!
When I was little, she told me that…
it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you’re full. So, if you wait 20 minutes after a meal, your desire to eat will go away.
I’ve been trying to confirm if that is a biological fact for the past 40 years, with no luck, yet here’s the thing…it works!
The catch, of course, is that you have to hang in there for 20 minutes, but if you tell yourself, “I will allow myself to have dessert if I’m still hungry for it in 20 minutes,” you will find that you feel very relaxed about dessert.
This calm feeling robs dessert of its control over you, and even if you decide to eat something after the 20 minutes are up, you are much less likely to binge.
Calorie Savings: 300+ calories
Calorie Cutting Hack #3: Easily Kick 240 Calories Out of Dinner by Water Sautéing
Cooking in oil adds a ton of hidden calories to your meals, but you need to cook in oil, right? Wrong!
A tablespoon of oil has 120 calories, and if we’re honest, most of us just pour it into the pan straight from the bottle. So, it’s likely that two or more tablespoons end up in the pan.
The solution? Water sauté
The reality is that you don’t need oil to cook most things. All you need is some moisture, which can be either water or broth.
Vegetables easily cook up in water, and an easy way to add back some flavor is to use herbs. One of my go-to herb blends is Mrs. Dash’s Original Salt-Free Blend.
Chicken and meats can also be heated in water or broth until their natural juices take over.
If you feel that you still need some oil, cut the amount in half. You’ll find that a little oil goes a long way.
Calorie Savings: 240 calories/meal
Calorie Cutting Hack #4: Declare an End to Your Eating Day
Do you go to work every day? If so, why?
Well, chances are going to work is a no-brainer…It’s just what you do because that’s the way it is.
You’ve conditioned yourself to go to work, and because you work on a regular basis, you get to enjoy the benefits of a paycheck.
You can use this mindset to cut calories out of your day by declaring an end to your eating day. When you do, you get to enjoy the benefits of a thin and healthy body.
If you’ve watched my 4 daily habits for permanent weight loss, you know that I recommend that you stop eating three hours before bed.
The desire to eat late at night is often out of boredom or seen as a reward for the hard work you did during the day…It’s rarely about true hunger.
When eating is related to boredom or reward, there’s very little incentive to avoid eating. Declaring an end to your eating day gives you a reason to stop.
It’s like going to work, you don’t always want to go to work, but you go so you can pay your bills. You don’t want to stop eating three hours before bed, but you do so you can feel slim and in control in the morning (…which actually happens).
Calorie Savings: 250/bedtime snack
Calorie Cutting Hack #5: Delay Breakfast Until You’re Hungry
A few years ago, the “secret” to weight loss was thought to be eating breakfast.
That theory has been disproved.
Today, we know that periods of fasting allow your body to become more sensitive to insulin, which makes you a better fat-burner.
If you force-feed yourself breakfast because you heard it will cause you to eat less throughout the day, you can stop doing that.
Instead, wait until you’re hungry and then eat breakfast. This delayed eating schedule comes with some nice perks.
Perk #1: You push breakfast closer to lunch, which can make it easy to consume fewer calories at lunch.
Perk #2: You are more relaxed around food because you’re not forcing food into your body when you’re not hungry.
Perk #3: When you combine this with calorie-cutting hack #4 above about stopping eating three hours before bed, you created the perfect time-restricted eating pattern.
Time-restricted eating is an easier alternative to intermittent fasting. It means that you restrict your eating to a 12-hour window each day. The remaining 12-hours are a fast.
This pattern of eating has been shown to speed weight loss, even when calories were not counted and the weekends were less strict.
So, let’s do the math:
If you stop eating before 3 hours before bed, you then sleep for 8 hours and delay breakfast for 1 hour, you easily created a 12-hour fast (3 + 8 +1 =12).
Calorie Saving: 0, but you turned your body into a better fat burner!
Final Word on Calorie Hacking
Whether you’ve got a lot of weight to lose or you’re just trying to shed those last few pounds, losing weight is a calorie game.
You must find ways to cut your calories to get the scale to drop.
Use these calorie-cutting tricks to shave hundreds of calories out of your daily diet.
- Pack a mint and floss in your pocket
- Set the post-dinner clock for 20 minutes
- Water sauté your meal
- Stop eating 3 hours before bed
- Don’t eat breakfast until your hungry
Put all of these calorie-cutting hacks into your day, and then pat yourself on the back because you just stumbled upon some easy keys to permanent weight loss.
About the Author
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.