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You probably have a friend who claims that cutting this food out of her life helped her lose weight. It may have been something obvious, like bread or cheese, or something that seemed bizarre, like mushrooms or cashews. But, as much as we like to think there is some magical formula or button we can push to help us lose weight, the truth is you lose weight when you expend more calories than you consume. That’s it. If you want shocking proof of the matter, take a look at this human nutrition professor who ate nothing but Twinkies for several months—restricting his calorie intake of the sugary snack—and lost 27 pounds. So your friend who claims cutting cake out of her life entirely is her secret to being svelte could really still be eating her cake; she simply needs to cut down on portion size. If you want to lose weight but don’t want to feel like you’re ever missing out, here are simple, effective ways to cut calories you won’t even notice.


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Thin out your sandwiches

When making a sub, scoop half of the bread out of each slice. Six inches of wheat sub bread could run you around 230 calories, so scooping it could slim that down to around 130. This makes more room for your healthier, lower-calorie fillings. Opt out of mayonnaise and instead try adding olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper for flavor. Always choose plain meat like sliced turkey or roast beef over mixtures like chicken or tuna salad.

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Drink half water/half juice

If you’re big on juice, you could be drinking a lot of calories. One cup of apple juice contains 113 calories. Try this: fill your glass halfway up with juice, and the other half with water. You’ll still have a sweet, refreshing drink, with half the calories.



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Mix your veggies and protein into your pasta

First, look at the amount of pasta you’re going to make and match that in veggies and protein. So if you’re making four cooked cups of pasta, make two cooked cups of vegetables and two cooked cups of your protein. Mix everything together in one giant bowl. You’ll end up eating the same portion size of pasta, but now only one-third of it will be carbs—but you won’t notice so long as there is some pasta in every bite.

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Switch to tequila soda

If you like to drink a few nights a week, then you need to know the calorie count in your alcohol. One glass of wine contains 125 calories. If you have three glasses at dinner, you just consumed nearly 400 calories! Meanwhile, tequila has just about 70 calories per one-ounce shot. Two tequila-sodas with lime will cost you just 140 calories.


Snack on popcorn

One cup of plain popcorn with just a little salt only contains around 35 calories. However, because you spend so much time munching on a handful, and because it’s a whole grain, a little bit of popcorn can fill you up. Next time you want to reach for, say, pretzels (228 calories in just 10 small ones) try popcorn instead. If you’re a big snacker, you could save yourself hundreds of calories a day by switching to popcorn.

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Slim down your bagels

Scoop some of the bread out of your bagels just the way you did your sub sandwich. One plain bagel can contain around 300 calories so doing this could save you 100 to 200, depending on how much bread you remove. Rather than using cream cheese, add something with a bit more protein like scrambled eggs or cottage cheese. These will fill you up and contain fewer calories per tablespoon than cream cheese.

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Switch out your chips

There are 160 calories in a tiny one-ounce serving of most traditional potato chips. Once you cover them in your favorite dip, you won’t even notice the actual chip, so switch to baked chips, tortilla chips or celery sticks if you’re really committed to cutting calories.


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Revamp your fries

A medium serving of french fries can contain nearly 400 calories. Switch up your potato side and try, instead, a baked potato, plain potato skins with a little salt and pepper, or popped chips. You can save yourself a couple hundred calories if you skip the fried stuff.

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Cut your filet in half

Most women only need around 40 to 50 grams of protein per day. A six-ounce steak (which is one of the smaller options at most steak houses, by the way) already fulfill’s your entire day’s protein requirement. Since six ounces of medium fatty steak contains over 400 calories, cutting your steak in half and saving it for later could save your around 200 calories.

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Slim down your burger

Scoop bread out of your bun, skip the cheese and stick to relish and mustard as your condiments. You can easily remove 300 calories when you remove some bread, cut out the dairy and avoid condiments like ketchup and barbecue sauce. pizza with cheese and pepperoni slices, closeup

Healthify your pizza

First off, always go for thin crust since the majority of your calories come from the crust. In fact, one slice of a medium regular crust pizza from Dominos contains twice the calories as one slice of thin crust medium pizza. Next, pile on the vegetables and protein so one slice fills you up more and keeps you from reaching for additional slices.


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Go sugar-free on your Frappuccino

You love your icy, blended, whip cream-topped drink from your favorite coffee shop in the morning. But many of these drinks contain between 400 and 500 calories, and you’re grabbing one after you’ve already had breakfast. If you go sugar-free, a 400-calorie drink can become a 200-calorie one. You can always add some Stevia on your own.

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Try this creamy dressing

You already know dressings like Ranch and Thousand Island aren’t exactly waistline-friendly. Two tablespoons of ranch dressing, for example, contain nearly 150 calories. But if you love creamy dressing, try this: combine half a tablespoon of Dijon mustard with one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of lemon juice. It’s creamy, zesty, and good for your heart.

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Trim your tortillas

If you eat a lot of Mexican food you need to take it easy on the tortillas. Restaurants and taco trucks often stack two tortillas per taco. But one small corn tortilla can contain around 60 calories. If you have three tacos, you just consumed 360 calories in tortillas! Remove the second tortilla on each taco. Oh, and on fajita night, only make one, well-stuffed fajita since a large flour tortilla can contain 300 calories.

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Buy a food scale

The best way to quickly cut calories at every meal is to buy a food scale. Often, we simply overestimate the size of a cup or an ounce, but depending on what you’re eating, that overestimation could cost you hundreds of calories.

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