Simple steps to cut excess calories that could be stalling progress!
Ketchup, Mayo, Ranch, and Pancake syrup are all delicious and absolutely great choices when choosing a condiment, but unfortunately when your trying to cut your calorie intake these little extras can end up costing you hundreds of extra calories a week. Condiments can end up being very sneaky when figuring out calorie intake as they are often forgot about, yet 1 tbsp of untracked mayo could cost you a whopping 100 extra calories! That’s 25g of carbs or 11g of fat that you could be using elsewhere! I included a few graphics to help you visualize and compare some of the more popular condiments.
How to cut out some calories:
1. Swap out Cream dressings for liter fair dressings and sauces i.e. ranch, mayo, tartar sauce for Greek yogurt, lite sour cream, or avocado based dressings
2. Look for reduced sugar, low fat, or no fat added options
3. Buy 0 calorie syrups and sauces from companies such as Walden Farms or Skinny Syrups.
4. Incorporate more seasoning into your food to reduce the need for excess condiments
5. Make sure your tracking correctly! Again, 1 tbsp of the right dressing can make a big calorie hit in your daily goal.
6. Make your own homemade dressings!
Now, you might be saying “Dusty, then what in the heck do I use?!” Well, here are the top 5 most macro friendly condiments to use per 1 tbsp(flavors and brands may vary)
1. Hot Sauce – 1 calorie
2. Salsa – 4 calories
3. Horseradish prepared – 7 calories
4. Soy sauce reduced-sodium – 8 Calories
5. Yellow Mustard – 9 calories
Ones to watch out for: Honey, Mayo, Tartar Sauce, Whipped Dressings
So, as you can see it can be extremely easy to shed extra calories just by switching what you put on your burger! Say you ate 1 tbsp of mayo a day, and switched that for yellow mustard. In the course of one month, that’s over 2,700 calories you can save! Huge impact in your dieting success and speed of diet! This graphic below just does a good job showing alternatives to potential foods. Now, some might be just as caloric dense, but avocado compared to mayo will have a greater micro nutrient effect on the body, as well I am sure the whole wheat pasta carries more fiber per serving compared to the regular pasta. As we know, more fiber is what’s going to help you keep that feeling of being full.
A recent study conducted in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that 37% of daily calorie intake or roughly 400 calories(various on person) comes from the liquid we consume. Now, if you’re dieting, 37% of your daily calories is quite a bit to sacrifice to the liquid diet. Over consumption of calories on beverages is extremely easy to do. Another mindless refill at dinner, the 4 creamer pods you put into your morning coffee, the 2 extra shots of syrup in your Starbucks for that afternoon pick me up all adds up to hundreds of extra unwanted calories.
As you probably expected some of the worst culprits are full fat, sugar loaded coffee, soda, fruit based drinks and juices, sweet tea’s, and alcohol. Yet, as these two pictures show for comparison, its so easy to make minor adjustments to save yourself literally HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of calories a day, week, and month. I know Starbucks and coffee in general is very popular so lets start there. On the left you have a mocha for 400 calories vs a non fat latte on the right for 160 calories. That is a difference of 240 calories! If you’re like me, you have coffee daily, if not a few times a week, so that’s an extra 750 – 1000 calories or more a week you could be saving! That’s over a pound a month in just switching coffee!
The next one that hits home for me is the soda example. 280 calories in a regular coke or go with the diet route for 0 calories! Yes, that’s right 0 calories! That is literal diet savor right there! Imagine, all of the sudden getting hundreds of extra calories to eat, just because you switched your beverage of choice. Now, I’m not saying these drinks are taboo, but if you’re dieting, and trying to maximize volume for caloric return, then its a route worth going down. One item that is very popular right now are energy drinks. Many of them are loaded with even more sugar than your average soda, yet almost every brand out there has a sugar free version available, so again I recommend checking those out. Monster Zero Orange, and Rockstar are my go to’s.
As far as alcohol containing drinks I would recommend sticking with vodka, rum, whisky, gin, or light beer. If getting with a mixer opt for a diet option.
This might seem like a easy no brainer but I think people really overlook the power of using low calorie, high volume foods to help fight hunger and help keep you full. 100g of broccoli compared to 100g of Pop tarts are totally different. 100g of broccoli although weighing the same, will give you a much less caloric hit, as well as a bigger edible volume upside. Not to mention all the micro nutrient benefits as well. This graphic below does a great job showing how much volume you could be eating for the same amount of calories, just distributed better.
As you can see from the chart below some of your best options to look into for volume to calorie ratio would be cucumber, romaine, cabbage, summer squash, and radish. Some of the higher calorie vegetables would be sweet potato, corn, peas, carrots, and onions. Now looking at the chart, lettuce at 7.8 cal per 1/2 cup is amazing for that kinda volume. You can eat salads all day long and take up such a small portion of your daily calorie allowance. Pair that with a lean protein, and some low calorie dressing and you’ve got yourself a high volume low calorie meal. Meals like that are fantastic for getting your through to your next meal or I love using them if I am trying to save a bulk of my calories for a dense meal later in the day. Now what makes all of these low calorie foods also important is not only their micro nutrient value, but also the power of fiber.
If you’re not familiar with fiber, or what it does I will give you a quick run down.
- Normalizes bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it.
- Helps maintain bowel health.
- Lowers cholesterol levels.
- Helps control blood sugar levels.
- Aids in achieving healthy weight.
- Helps reduce hunger
Now, all of those are important factors, but the only I want to focus on is the reduction of hunger. When I worked for GNC to often I would have people come into looking for a appetite suppressant. Something to help them curb the hunger so they wouldn’t be snacking in between meals. Now, you would first want to look at what’s making up their meals, but besides that I would try to stress to every customer the importance of fiber in their diet. If you eat a diet primarily based in sugar, your body will burn that very fast, which in result leaves you feeling hungry. Ever wonder why after eating a big salad your full for awhile, but you eat a cupcake and soon after your craving another.
Other veggies that I would recommend looking into to make staples in the diet would be zucchini, spaghetti squash, and cauliflower. These 3 veggies are fantastic for making noodles with to lower carb count, or additions to recipes for added health, volume, and macro support, and getting creative to mimic those higher caloric foods. Zoats Zucchini Muffins Cauliflower Muffins
Now, sadly fruit is not quite as a miracle food in terms of volume to calorie density. Watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and raspberries are coming in at your best bet per 1/2 cup servings. Banana, grapes, kiwi, mango, and pear are your most caloric dense per 1/2 cup servings. Dates and raisins are going to be your ‘worst’ options at higher calorie count per 1/4 cup verse 1/2 cup servings for everything else. Now, when I say ‘worst’ I am not saying that it’s a bad food, it’s just the highest calorie option for fruit.
A couple of other foods worth looking into that are excellent volume foods are, protein fluff, low cal popcorn, rice cakes, low fat ice cream, protein ice creams, cream of wheat, and low carb bread/wraps.
I felt this was a great category to add as it’s extremely handy to have quick tools to have access to that will help you get through to your next meal with little to no calories used up.
Water – 0 calories! It might be simple, but water makes a huge difference in hunger!
Sugar free gum
0 calorie water flavorings like Mio, Crystal Light, etc.
0 calorie sauces, syrups, jelly, etc from companies like Walden Farm or Skinny Syrups.
Now, if you’re reading this your most likely trying to lose weight, and maintain some muscle. If that’s the case then we both know that protein is going to play a key role in helping make both of them happen. Now since you have to consume it anyway, it might pay to look at where your sourcing your protein from and see if you can cut some calories.
Some of your best options for low calorie protein sources are going to be Turkey Breast deli meat, Cod, Mussels, Turkey legs, and chicken breast. Now if you don’t think you will run out and buy mussels or turkey legs, you can also look into pork tenderloin, or eye of round steak.
Now some sources that are going to ring in on the higher end of the calorie dense scale would be things like ribs, sausage, bacon, dark meat, deep fried meats, fatty seafood like salmon, and cuts of beef.
Don’t make life harder than it already is
Dieting can be hard. Reduction of calories, hunger pains, HANGRY mood all the time. No one wants to deal with it. You don’t, I don’t, and your friends don’t either. Above, I have laid out simple hacks and guides to easily make small modifications to your diet without making an extreme lifestyle change. These small changes and reduction in calories in various aspects of your diet I guarantee will make HUGE impacts in your dieting success.
Be sure to check out my latest video talking about some calorie free foods I mentioned!
Here are a few things I have talk about above!
Lipton Green Tea, 100 Percent Natural 100 ct
Trident Sugar Free Gum, Spearmint, 18 Count (Pack of 12)
Walden Farms Caramel Syrup/Blueberry Syrup/Strawberry Syrup/Pancake Syrup/Chocolate Syrup – Sweet Syrups 12 oz. x5.
AlphaMind Vitamin Coffee Hazelnut – The Best Light Roast Coffee With Added Vitamins and Minerals
Mio Water Enhancement – Berry Variety (Pack of 4) (Berry Variety)
Jell-O Sugar-Free Gelatin Dessert, Strawberry, 0.60 oz
Miracle Noodle Zero Carb, Gluten Free Shirataki Pasta and Rice, 6 bag Variety Pack, 44 ounces (Includes: 2 Shirataki Angel Hair, 2 Shirataki Rice and 2 Shirataki Fettuccini)