12 Ways to Cut 500 Calories a Day

When you first start counting calories and trying to lose weight, it might seem like cutting your calorie intake is impossible. Unless you want to feel hungry and irritable all the time, you might think you need to continue eating as much as you already do.

Fortunately, that’s not the case. There are some ways you can trick your body into feeling like you’re eating as much as you normally do, but with 500 calories less. Here are ten simple ways to sneak a large number of calories out of your diet without feeling like you’re sacrificing too much.

Slide 1 of 12Stop loading your coffee up with sugar.
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Don’t worry, you don’t have to find a way to completely kick your caffeine addiction just yet. Simply stop dumping a load of flavored creamer into your daily cup of joe. By drinking one cup of black coffee every day instead of two cups of sugared-up coffee, you’ll easily cut out hundreds of calories.

Slide 2 of 12Nix the butter and oil on your bread.
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Next time you plop down at that Italian restaurant and they bring out the free bread, select one slice and eat it plain. You don’t have to cut out carbs entirely, but avoid smothering anything you eat in butter and caloric oils.

Slide 3 of 12Switch up your alcoholic beverages.
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Two frozen margaritas contain at least double the number of calories that would be found in two light beers. Go with a clear liquor, a small glass of wine, or a low-cal beer instead of super sugary cocktails.

Slide 4 of 12Go for the fajitas and burritos but steer clear of the chips.

That bowl of chips with salsa is way more caloric than you think it is, and it’s incredibly easy to lose track of how many chips you’ve crunched. Just steer clear of the whole thing and you’ll be golden.

» MAKE IT: Try our Skinny Baked Burrito, only 275 calories per serving!

Slide 5 of 12Find healthier alternatives to your favorite soda.
diet soda
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You’ve probably been warned about the dangers of soda time and time again, so let’s skip over those concerns and talk purely about calories. Drinking one or two large sodas each day is an easy way to add 500 calories to your intake. Try to sip on naturally-flavored water instead.

Slide 6 of 12Reduce your meat portion sizes.
red meat
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It’s no secret that Americans love their meat, and more often than not, our portion sizes are much larger than they need to be. Continue to indulge in your steaks and grilled chickens, but try cutting your usual serving size in half.

Slide 7 of 12Quit your sauce addiction.
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Most people don’t think about the sugar content in a dollop of ketchup or BBQ sauce, but if you’re not careful, you might be dousing your meal in extra calories that you don’t need. Pour yourself a reasonable amount of sauce, then refuse to go back for seconds.

Slide 8 of 12Swap your carbs out for vegetables.

You might be used to serving your entrees with a side of rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes. If you’re really serious about cutting out a substantial number of calories, switch those carbs out for a double serving of broccoli or another nutritious, low-cal vegetable. The greens will fill you up but won’t be as calorie-loaded as your usual sides.

» MAKE IT: Make the switch with our Skinny Mashed Cauliflower.

Slide 9 of 12Pay attention to when you’re thirsty.
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It’s incredibly easy to mistake your thirst for hunger cravings. Staying hydrated will help you feel full for longer and decrease your urge to snack. Plus, the more water you drink, the faster your metabolism will become.

Slide 10 of 12Opt for whole grain bread when you can.
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All bread contains a substantial number of calories, but whole wheat or grain bread tends to be lighter. In addition, those kinds of bread are better for your health overall and contain less sugar.

Slide 11 of 12Keep your salads simple.

As great as that Southwest salad drizzled in ranch, cheese, and croutons sounds, it probably contains more calories than you think it does. Try to limit your salad toppings to simple things like bell peppers, onions, berries, light dressing, and mushrooms.

MAKE IT: Our Skinny French Country Salad packs the perfect amount of crunch and sweetness for a light summer lunch you will crave time and time again. Top it with our light balsamic vinaigrette for a hearty, low-calorie meal!

Slide 12 of 12Don’t snack while watching movies or television.
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It’s easy to mindlessly indulge in 700 calories worth of buttered popcorn while you’re invested in a film. Try to avoid snacking while you veg out so you can be more mindful of the food you consume.

See? Cutting 500 calories doesn’t have to be a monumental task. Focus on implementing a few of these small changes into your daily routine and you’ll start to notice how simple losing weight can truly be.


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