Getting Fewer Calories From Bigger Meals

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Do you like getting more, with less? Typically that's the goal when we're shopping for bargains. But it can also apply to dieting. Often we feel hungry by eating healthy, low-calorie foods. To satisfy ourselves, we often revert to our unhealthy high-calorie foods-thus nullifying the benefits of dieting. Here are some tips to help you consume fewer calories, and eat more:

1. Minimize high-calorie beverages.

Many of these drinks are high in refined sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. Even "fruit juices" are often loaded with sugar, and have virtually no health benefits. Basically, such drinks are full of "empty calories." Keep in mind that the average human needs a maximum of 2,000 calories, while sodas contain an average of 150 calories. Alternatives to such sugary drinks include fresh fruit and vegetable juices, and water. Make sure to drink 6-8 glasses of water daily. Did you know that water is the only natural zero-calorie food on Earth?

2. Substitute high-calorie foods with low-calorie alternatives.

Do this with care, as the substitutes can often cause their own health problems. So it's highly advisable that you use organic substitutes for the high-calorie foods. You might be surprised at how many substitutes are available for high-calorie foods, which don't significantly alter a dish's taste. And as a word of caution, sometimes high-calorie foods (such as certain full-fat cheese) can actually boost your metabolism!

3. Consume foods with negative net calories.

Technically, such foods have calories. However, these foods (such as apples and carrots) require more calories to digest, than the number of calories that the foods themselves contain. Do some reading to learn which fruits and vegetables have negative net calories. Also, it's best to eat such fruits and vegetables raw, so you can maximize the nutrients that you get from them.

4. Snack wisely.

We often assume that "dieting" means that we have to give up our snacks. The key is to choose snacks that are significantly lower in sat, sugar, and fat. One option is to choose snacks with less salt, sugar or fat than the regular versions. An even better option is to choose snacks that are fresh and organic, such as fresh apples and celery stalks.

5. Reduce your serving sizes.

Did you know that McDonald's' BigMac meal has enough calories for an entire day? Fortunately, you have some options to help reduce the serving sizes of your meals. For instance, you could order a full meal and then split it with someone. Another option is to order an item from a restaurant's children's menu.

6. Choose lean proteins.

This includes white chicken meat, low-fat beef, low-fat pork, and fish. These meats are not only high in protein, but contain significantly fewer calories than fat-laden meats. For instance, choosing meat with 10% less fat can significantly reduce how many calories (and how much fat) the meat contains. While such meats will cost more, it's a wise investment in your health.

When dieting, the key is to make your calories count. These tips will make your caloric intake smaller, and your meals larger.

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