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Calorie Facts & How to easily cut 100 calories a day

Posted by Tara Burner 17 comments


calorie facts and how to easily cut 100 calories a day

Let’s start off with the basics…
What is a calorie?
A unit of energy.
Excess energy or calories then will lead to body fat increase. So use up that energy either through a workout or other physical and enjoyable activities.
Scientifically, a calorie is the energy it takes to raise the temperature of 1 cubic cm of water by 1 degree Celsius.

Or, as some would like to believe…
calories are tiny creatures

If you eat more calories than you need (for normal body functions and for activity that you perform), then your body will store the extra energy as fat (that’s when you gain weight).

If you eat less calories than you need, your body will burn fat to provide the extra energy (this is how you lose weight).

It’s really basic math, you put more into your body than what it needs it’ll store it.
If you use more energy than you provide to your body, it’ll burn off existing fat supplies.

One pound of body fat equals approximately 3,500 calories.
So then you need to cut 3,500 calories from your diet to lose one pound.
If you were to cut even 100 calories from your daily intake and do nothing else differently, you would lose almost a pound a month, over a year you would lose about 10 pounds.
If you wanted to lose more weight, you could cut about 500 calories a day which would be 3500 calories a week.
Want to lose more than a pound a week?
Increase your physical activity!

How many calories a day do you need to maintain your current weight?
Here’s a calculator that can assess that and give you a rough idea.
This and other calorie calculators are not an exact science because it doesn’t take into consideration your current physical structure (body fat %, muscle, etc.)
So, just use it as a guideline but not something that is set in stone.

The other day, I posted about how to quickly burn 100 calories.

*disclaimer*
You will not see me mention diet soda because in all honesty IF I was going to drink soda (which I don’t any more-former Mt Dew addict) I’d drink the real deal instead of soda with artificial sweeteners (Splenda, Sucralose, Nutrasweet, etc.) that in my opinion do more damage to you than the sugar in regular soda. Ditto any item labeled sugar free, unless it contains a natural form of sugar (honey, agave, molasses, stevia).

Today’s post is about how to easily cut 100 calories a day.

  • Grill or broil your chicken, fish rather than fry it.
  • Give up a beer. Even light beer has 100 (or more) calories per 12 ounces.
  • Skip the glass of wine. A 5 oz glass of wine has 100+ calories.
  • Use less dressing on your salads.
  • Give up one soda a day. That’ll be anywhere from 120-160 calories gone right there!
  • Have coffee instead of that frap or latte.
  • Stay away from food from vending machines! Make sure to bring your own healthy snacks.
  • Instead of butter on your toast or bagel, use fruit jams.
  • Substitute egg whites or egg replacements for eggs in recipes.
  • IF you’re going to insist on fast food, don’t super size the meal.
  • When eating sandwiches, have them open face. You’ll save on one piece of bread (70-100 calories)
  • Use smaller plates, it’ll take less food to fill the plate and by appearance it’ll look like a full plate and you’ll eat less.
  • Use chop sticks instead of regular utensils (and don’t cheat and use your fingers!)
  • Have fresh fruit sorbet instead of ice cream for dessert.

Question of the day
What is your favorite way of cutting calories?

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17 Comments
Feb 6, 2012
11:50 am
#1 misszippy :

Great tips, Tara. I pretty much do all that–my biggest enemy is late afternoon mindless snacking, even though it’s good food (almonds). But to save calories, I focus on skipping the glass of wine, usually. Not only does it have 100 calories, but it relaxes my mood about the amount of food I am taking in.

Feb 6, 2012
11:52 am
#2 Lee :

I LOVE that infographic. Happy Monday :)

Feb 6, 2012
12:06 pm
#3 Christy@My Dirt Road Anthem :

Great post! Pinned it :)

Feb 6, 2012
12:29 pm

Love that infographic! And open faced sandwiches is something I do to save more cals in my lunch.

Feb 6, 2012
12:38 pm
#5 Carissa :

Great post! i am a big fan of using 1 piece of (gluten free) bread and smaller plates. It’s all about being mindful!

Feb 6, 2012
1:15 pm

oy it makes me sick a whopper has 760 calories. I cut out soda years ago and just drink one on special occasions and it has totally helped!

Feb 6, 2012
3:09 pm
#7 MCM Mama :

Great tips. I need to work on the “small” changes to help out some of the big changes I’ve made.

Feb 6, 2012
3:18 pm
#8 Eric :

What a nice set of graphics, For me, it really helps when I can SEE where the issues are!

Feb 6, 2012
3:28 pm

I’d add drink so much iced tea you’re constantly peeing and have no time to eat. Works for me.

Feb 6, 2012
4:02 pm

great information here!!! fruit jams instead of butter on toast is one of my favorite swaps :)

Feb 6, 2012
4:58 pm
#11 chris D :

Great Post! That quote about calories “sewing clothing” is pretty hilarious. When i first started i added up all the little things i was eating and it quickly became clear snacking was the major issue.

Feb 6, 2012
5:03 pm

Good stuff! I love open face sandwiches OR lately I have been trying to cut down on bread altogether so I put a veggie burger on a salad. I have also been skipping butter on some things.

Kev would be so excited if I decided that we would only use chopsticks. He can eat anything with a chopstick. Me? Not so much, I’m not that coordinated lol Maybe that is the ticket to losing more weight ha ha

Feb 6, 2012
7:38 pm
#13 Charlotte :

great post. & I know I’m way off the point here, but OMG TEACH ME YOUR WAYS OF QUITTING THE MT DIZZLE. I am hooked. I hate all other soda, could easily go without for the rest of my life — but mountain dew, I can not shake it.

Feb 6, 2012
7:43 pm
#14 Jess :

Excellent post – at the end of the day: a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. eat too many and you’re in trouble. ditto for eating too few calories. striking the right caloric balance for your own needs is tough to figure out but once you nail the right “number” for you – golden!

If I want to cut back on calories, I usually re-think my usual go-to snack. If I usually have a yogurt in the afternoon but want ot save calories for a glass of wine (or something), I’ll swap the yogurt for an apple, perhaps. Or nix the cheese on my turkey and cheese wrap. Or use one tablespoon of peanut butter vs. two on whatever I’m eating the peanut butter with/on. Or have fish for dinner vs. chicken or pork. Or stick with two veggies with my protein at dinner vs. rice or potato or something that’s typically higher in cals than veggies (steamed) would be.

Feb 6, 2012
10:22 pm

Fabulous tips! And that I love that picture saying that sumo wrestlers need 20,000 calories a day! Craziness!

Feb 7, 2012
12:19 am
#16 Michele @ nycrunningmama :

Great tips, Tara! I think sometimes people who are trying to lose weight get overwhelmed with the road in front of them. With the way you explained it, it sounds SO much more manageable!

Feb 7, 2012
2:44 am
#17 Julie :

I am the same way about “diet” and “sugar free” I actually can’t process the fake sugars, they give me horrid GI upset or migraines. I’m more of a “everything in moderation” type eater. Where if you have to eat some strange modified version then it’s probably not a good choice anyway so think twice.

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