Health Focus

Shave Your Calories

Calories add up throughout the day without us even realizing it. Believe it or not, making small changes throughout the day can be exactly what your body needs to jump start your weight loss and/or meet your calorie goals.

A common flaw in a lot of people's eating habits is mindless snacking or “picking.” Often times we are picking while we cook or work, or mindlessly snacking while watching TV. Even though you may feel like you are not consuming a lot of food, picking or grazing mindlessly adds up throughout the day. It is possible you have consumed an extra couple hundred calories without even realizing it. One way to combat this is by practicing mindful eating. Eat when you are hungry, but portion your snack out, and stop when it is gone. Avoid eating foods directly out of the bag or box to eliminate the temptation to keep going.

This leads us to our next tip: portion control. Just like with snacks, portion controlling your meals is equally as important. When you are eating a meal, try to balance and portion the food on your plate and avoid eating out of large containers. If you have big dinner plates, try eating on the smaller salad plates for an illusion that you have more on your plate. If you are going out to eat and know the restaurant serves larger portions, share with a friend or go ahead and ask for a to-go box so you can box half of your plate up before eating.

The simplest way to ensure that you are not over eating is to slow down. Eating quickly (less than 20-30 minutes) is an easy way to overeat because you do not have time to digest and feel full. Before you know it, you are overly stuffed and are feeling bloated and miserable. By taking your time eating, your body has time to catch up and feel full when appropriate.

Re-thinking your drink choices is another way to cut back on calories. Avoid soda, juice, alcohol and other high-calorie drinks. Be mindful of what you put in your coffee or tea. Rather than sugar, try stevia. Instead of cream, try coconut milk. Most of all, make sure you are staying hydrated with water.

By Lauren Buenger, Dietetic Intern

Our Mission: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.