If you’re working towards weight loss, you might be looking for ways to reduce your energy intake.
One of the downsides of cutting back calorie intake is that you might feel hungrier.
Don't worry though, cutting calories to help lose weight doesn't have to come down to cutting down on your portion sizes only.
So, how can you reduce your calorie intake without feeling like you’re starving all the time?
Here are some tips to keep you feeling fuller on fewer calories to help stop you feeling hungry and keeping you feeling satisfied at the same time.
Take out the empty liquid calories
One of the main sources of unnecessary calories in the average diet is the calories found in drinks.
If your daily calorie intake is bolstered by drinks you don't need, it doesn't take long for your calories a day to blow out.
Soft drinks, energy drinks, alcoholic beverages, coffees laced with syrup or toppings and even ‘healthier’ options such as iced teas can add up quickly.
Most contain a significant amount of sugar, which is why many are high in calories.
The ABS looked at the discretionary intake of Australians – food and drinks that don’t contribute to our nutrient needs.
They found that these foods contribute about 35% of the average Aussie’s energy intake.
Liquid calories took up a good chunk of that, with an average of 4.8% of energy coming from alcoholic beverages and 1.9% coming from soft drinks and flavoured mineral waters.
So you could easily slash 5-6% of your calories by cutting out these empty calorie drinks.
The one exception to the liquid calorie rule is smoothies.
Smoothies still contain the fibre and nutrients of the ingredients that are blended in.
A smoothie can be quite filling while still being lower in calories.
So when it comes to your beverages, reach for:
- Infused water with berries and herbs
- Sparkling water
- Herbal tea
- Coffee or tea (black or with a splash of milk are your low-calorie go-to options)
- A low-calorie smoothie
Add in high-volume foods
When it comes to cutting calories, the focus is often on what to take out.
But what you put in can be just as important, especially if you want to feel fuller for longer.
That’s where high-volume foods come into play.
High-volume foods are foods that contain either a lot of water or air by volume.
They take up more space in your stomach but contribute relatively few calories.
What kinds of food are high in volume?
Think about these options next time you're looking to feel full:
- Soups and stews
- Air-popped popcorn
Switch to healthy low-calorie snacks
One area where calories can stack up quickly is with snacks.
Snacks are the bridge between meals, or a refuel after a workout.
But even some healthy wholefood-based snacks can add up to a decent amount of calories.
Another common problem when it comes to packaged snacks is that you might not be aware of the actual serving size.
For example, you might eat 100g of a snack, but the packet might state that 30g is the true serving size!
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That means that you’ve eaten just over 3 times the serving size – and the calories.
Looking for some healthy low-calorie snack options?
You could try these great low calorie snacks:
- A piece of fruit
- A punnet of berries
- A small packet of air-popped popcorn
- Veggie sticks
- 1-2 hard-boiled eggs
Want another easy healthy low-calorie snack to add to your day?
Make sure you check out our new Wholefood Bars.
With 145-180 calories per bar, they are the perfect guilt-free indulgent snack for any occasion.
And there are many extra benefits of the Wholefoods Bars other than having lower calories.
Some of the benefits and features of the Wholefoods Bars are:
- Great tasting with many flavours to choose from
- Did I mention low calories?
- All natural ingredients
- No added sugars
- Very vegan friendly
- Dairy Free
- Gluten Free
- Contain Pre and Probiotics
- Absolutely No preservatives
The low down on cutting your calories
As you've read above, there are many solutions for you to try when you want to cut your calories.
The difference in the above foods (compared to others) is they will help you feel fuller, without feeling like you're starving.
This doesn't mean you can eat any amount of the above whenever you want though!
You still have to have control and plan your daily meals and calories to hit your goals.
Now you just have more options to fill out your daily calorie allowance with foods that will help to keep you fuller for longer.
And this lessons the risk in the long run of binge eating, hawking the office vending machine and also, insufferable food envy of colleagues.
That has to be a good thing doesn't it?