5 Ways to Cut Calories without Feeling Deprived

You can have your cupcake and skinny jeans too!
You can have your cupcake and skinny jeans too!
You can have your cupcake and skinny jeans too!

I’m not really one to “diet” – as in follow some set of rules that tells you how to eat. If I do, I fall off the wagon directly into a tub of Ben & Jerry’s. Deprivation drives me to overeat. But I wouldn’t mind losing my love handles. So I went to Sarah Jones, Nutrition Counselor for Mountainside Fitness Scottsdale for her calorie-cutting tricks that don’t sacrifice satiety. Here are her top 5…

5 Ways to Cut Calories without Feeling Deprived by Sarah Jones
I recently saw a great e-card that sums up “diets” perfectly: “Dear Diet, things just aren’t going to work out between us. It’s not me, it’s you. You’re tasteless, boring and I can’t stop cheating on you.” Sound familiar? Instead of being diet focused, try being lifestyle focused – and use the following strategies to cut calories without feeling deprived:

Nix forbidden foods. Try not to get caught up in categorizing foods as “good” or “bad.”  Labeling foods as “bad” can promote feelings of deprivation and restriction – and make us only want them more. For a healthier relationship with food, follow the total diet approach (all foods allowed): focus mostly on nutrient-dense foods to promote good health (every day foods) and the less nutrient-dense foods in moderation (sometimes foods).

Skip the "low-fat" salad dressings for the real deal
Skip the “low-fat” salad dressings for the real deal

Abandon fat-free and low-fat versions of foods you think will satiate your palate – just eat a little less of the real deal from time to time. Fat-free and low-fat foods may not necessarily reduce your overall caloric intake because they aren’t always as filling. So, in order to compensate, you may just end up eating more of other foods to fill the gap.

Share the love.  Going for a bite out with your BFF? Plan to split just one entrée that you’ll both like! If you don’t think it will be enough food, after you’re done eating, just sit with it and enjoy the good company. This will give your stomach time to signal your brain, and chances are, because you’ve honored your appetite (aka, your palate), you’ll feel satisfied.

Indulge... just don't overdo it
By all means indulge… just don’t overdo it

Think single servings. Got a sweet tooth? Instead of buying a whole box of cookies, buy just one. I love grabbing a mini cookie at Whole Foods– my sweet tooth is satisfied and it keeps my cravings in check.

Choose quality over quantity. When eating your “sometimes” foods, opt for quality ingredients. Think about all of those times you’ve been offered super sugary low-quality cake at the office for a special event. Do you eat it just because it’s there, or do you really love it? You might opt to save those calories for a quality item you really enjoy – like some organic fair trade dark chocolate.



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