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Readers Respond: How do You "Painlessly" Cut Calories from Your Diet?

Responses: 48


Updated June 16, 2009

Cutting calories is really, really easy.

The key to losing weight is just to be aware of what you're eating, and whether or not it's worth it. For example, most ready-made pizzas have around 1000 calories and ridiculous amounts of fat. But most low-fat low-cal ready meals (e.g. microwave lasagnes) have around 300. If you eat your low-fat ready meal with some veggies and maybe some fruit after, then you're basically getting a meal just as filling as the pizza - but for three times less calories!! Even becoming aware of what you're putting in your mouth will inevitably lead you to make more sensible decisions about what to eat. Browse the store, check the calories like crazy. Soon you'll get to know good diet foods. If you do your research there's really no need whatsoever to sit at home starving. Dieting successfully can be incredibly rewarding - I myself have lost around 15 pounds in the last 3 months. Good luck to you all, peace out!
—Guest obsessed with calories

Lose weight, stay slender!

Depending on how much you eat you may need to cut back a lot more than just 250 calories. Eat foods high in protein and fiber, watch the carbs and fat. Be picky about what pasta you eat, eat the lower calorie lower carb wheat stuff. Eat celery when you get a craving. Don't eat too early! This is the mistake some people make, if you eat too early you'll get hungry right before bedtime, which is BAD. If you don't go to sleep until midnight I would not eat before 7:30pm!! Watch the liquid calories such as orange juice, when I lost weight I took in zero liquid calories some days. If you cut down to about 1650 calories a day and excerise about 5 days a week, you will lose weight. Eat veggie burgers from the store such as Amy's brand, you can make a sandwich with them. I'm 163, lighter now than when I was in the 7th grade. I can teach anyone how to lose weight. It's a lifestyle change, not a diet!!!!!!!!!!
—Guest Brett

eat calorie wise

What I try to do is eat the amount of calories I need for a meal and once I reach that limit I stop eating and if i get hungry I just try to have a few crackers.
—Guest Connor

need a good go-to snak

Destrooper Jules Biscuiterie - they are the answer to a sweet craving and are only 18 cal a sliver
—Guest sunella

light foods

My calorie count for a day usually totals about 1400, which I divide into 3 meals of 400 calories each. The remaining 200 calories are reserved for snacking. I've found a number of foods labelled "light" to be helpful. They are Laughing Cow cheese 45 calories for 2 wedges; rice cakes 35 calories; unsweetened apple snacks (applesauce) 50 calories, packaged sandwich meat such as ham and turkey, 2 to 4 slices, about 50-65 calories. Similarly low fat sliced cheeses such as mozzarella etc 50 to 75 calories per slice; low fat instant pudding made with skim milk, 80 calories per 1/2 cup. Low fat margarine and mayo are also good. There are many more products - just check the labels. Since I love both vegetables and fruits, I eat different colours to ensure that I get a good balance of nutrients. Because I suffer from the same weaknesses as everyone has, I absolutely cannot have any food in the house that I'm addicted to, because I'll eat the whole thing! thanks for letting me share.

Cutting Calories

I buy the individual, microwavable soups in the store (suggest Healthy Harvest). These go in the micorwave easily when I am at work. I also keep packs of tuna in my desk for a quick, healthy snack. I just open it and eat it with a fork. (I suggest the Albacore tuna. It's a little more expensive, but tastes much better than plain tuna when you're trying to eat it with no condiments). I also try to sip on warm beverages a lot. I find warm tea or decaf coffee with splenda helps to keep me FEELING like there is something in my stomach in between meals. I do this when I get the urge to snack. Also, I have a tremendous sweet tooth and eating candies and the like are a big problem for me. SO, I went for the best option for me which is hard candies- actually Gobstoppers work well. Each little candy lasts a long time and carries only a few calories. That is a lot better than an individual starburst, tootsie roll or hershey kiss.
—Guest Courtney


I try to add as much flavor as possible to my foods so I don't feel deprived or bored. I love ethnic foods and the thought of going without my mexican or indian fix is depressing. So here are some suggestions for adding flavor: 1. Green tomatillo salsa - less than 10 calories for 2 tbs, adds some tang to whole wheat turkey wraps. 2. Greek plain yogurt - a great (!) substitute for sour cream. Add it to a little bit of avocado for a lower fat version of guacamole. 3. Vindaloo paste - although the paste contains oil, you only need a teaspoon to add amazing flavor to red pasta sauce. 4. Gorgonzola and asiago cheese - both cheeses are flavorfu so you only need to add a tiny bit to scrambled egg whites or on a veggie burger to add a lot of taste. 5. Sesame oil - yes it's an oil but it's a really healthy one with tons of flavor. 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tbs vinegar, 1 tsp tamari, ginger and garlic added to diced cucumbers, red onion and tomatos makes a great cold salad.

How to cut calories

Airpopped popcorn 15 cals per cup - spray with butter pam and then add splenda and cinammon, or shake on dry cheese - very low cal and filling
—Guest Ellen777

lost weight

I've completly changed my diet, I've gone from 285lbs to 252 in 10 weeks, and still dropping, I've cut bread out of my diet, I drink lots of fresh juice instead of milk, I eat healthy cereal twice daily and I have a salad, and I snack on fresh fruit. Soon I will have to get a new wardrobe!!
—Guest Fatty


one cup of brocolli has less calories than an a simply tbsp of light mayonaise! As Kate mentioned above, processed foods are high in calories compared to everything else. Vegetables are the most helpful part of my calorie reduction. Steam them and eat almost as much as you can intake. If half your plate is vegetables (not including carrots, corn and peas which have more sugar than other veggies) you will be full. The first two weeks the extra fiber makes you feel almost TOO-full until your body gets used to the extra fiber you're eating. 8 years ago I lost 80 pounds, and have kept it off (mostly, sometimes I find I've gained five pounds because of laziness). When I find myself falling off track, which we all do, I eat lean protein (tuna, chicken, beans) and a whole PILE of veggies. For one person, try buying a green pepper, some brocolli, some bok choy and some zucchini at the same time, and not let any of it go bad before your next shop.
—Guest long time loser

Fast Food

My hectic lifestyle lands me in fast food restaurants more often than I would like. However, I have found a way to have my "cake and eat it too" I usually order something off the kids menu and get a diet drink and I feel satisfied. No I don't have to unbutton my jeans and stand up because I am so full and miserable anymore but I can still enjoy the food that I love in already reduced portions. I am also always aware of what I'm eating and I try to do one thing at every meal to make it a little healthier. Like skip the mayo and add extra tomato. Or hold the sugar in my already sweetened cereal. I have lost 18 lbs since Jan. 4th and I am extremely proud of myself. Yaaay Me!!!
—Guest smallstepper

get skinnny

skim milk instead of 1 or 2 percent. plain cerals with friut instead of sugary cereals. water instead of soda or juice. whole grain instead of white bread. nonfat yogurt instead of icecream. skip the cheese on a hamburger. salads with natural dressing. you need to make little changes like this with your food choices. do not eat processed foods, such as poptarts, doritos, ect. these all have additives and extra sugar in them, unless you buy them at a natural foods store, such as whole foods. coook your meals, for example, instead of ordering a pizza, make your own on english muffins with ccheese,pizza sauce and veggies ..only about 100 calories for one. one bad habit is late night eating. do not eat after 7pm. hope this helps !

its not painless, period.

the key is to eat what you want but do it IN MODERATION! Depriving yourself of a certain food will cause you to gain as much as eating too much (which is usually what happens anyway if you deprive yourself). Try to stay somewhat active. Try to exercise for 2 1/2 hours per week if trying to maintain, otherwise more. BUT, remember that working out more does not mean you can eat more.
—Guest cmt

Weight Loss

I have never been able to lose weight before. The secret for me is to eat often...6 times a day. I eat about 200-250 calories per "meal" and try to aim for healthy carbs and protein. Simple as that and I have lost 8 lbs in 10 days and I feel great. Good luck.
—Guest Paige Adams

This has always helped me.

Drink a BIG glass of water before every meal. Also..if you are feeling hungry and don't have a light snack handy, have some water and you'll feel better almost instantly.
—Guest VanMew

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