If you’re like a lot of people, you’re probably wondering how to cut calories without starving. Many people begin trying to lose weight by cutting calories. However, most people cut calories so drastically that they feel hungry all the time. Not only is this unpleasant, but it won’t actually help you lose fat. The best way to do it and be successful is to create a modest caloric deficit, and make smart food choices so you feel satisfied — not starved.
Our goal is to show you how EASY it is take control of your lifestyle and ultimately your health.
You might think cutting tons of calories automatically speeds fat loss, but it actually works against you in the long-term. Plus, it’s hard to maintain a severe caloric deficit. When your body doesn’t get the energy it needs to function, it spikes your hunger hormones, causing you to seek food. Ironically, in the end you may end up gaining weight.
Here are 3 tips for cutting calories without starving:
1. Start by cutting foods that don’t offer any nutritional benefits. Alcohol, candy, soda, junk food and baked goods are just a handful of obvious foods to look at cutting.
Also, limiting processed foods could be something you need to move the scale in the right direction: A recent small-scale study published in Cell Metabolism found that people ate about 500 calories more per day on a heavily processed diet than they did on a minimally processed diet. On average, people gained 2 pounds in two weeks on the processed diet, and lost the equivalent amount after two weeks on the minimally processed diet. See if you can eliminate or reduce any processed foods from your diet. Try shopping the perimeter of the grocery store.
2. Use veggies to fill gaps
Even when cutting back on certain foods, you aren’t doomed to eat tiny meals. Try using veggies. We recommend using vegetables — which are loaded with stomach-satisfying fiber and helpful nutrients — to add volume back to your plate.
For example, if you’re used to eating two servings of pasta at dinner, decrease that to one serving and cook some zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash to make up for the missing serving. This keeps the volume of food the same but cuts the calories AND increases nutrients.
3. Swap low fiber foods for those with high fiber
Foods that are high in fiber (e.g., apples, barley, green beans, cauliflower, oats) tend to be more filling, less energy dense (i.e., fewer calories for the same volume of food), and digest more slowly than low-fiber foods. This means you’ll likely eat less and stay full longer, which can help you lose weight over time. In fact, research in Annals of Internal Medicine reveals simply boosting your daily fiber intake may be an effective weight-loss strategy.
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