Ditch “empty” calories!

Ditch “empty” calories!

Do you ever look for shortcuts and quick ways to help maintain your weight?  Looking to cut calories?   A great way to help maintain your weight, increase your energy, and feel better about what you are putting in your mouth is by ditching the things that are not helping you improve your health, are adding lots of extra calories to your diet, and make you feel less energized.  For example, consider eliminating or decreasing candy, soda, coffee, and alcohol consumption.  While this may seem drastic, unrealistic, or even impossible you will thank me for it later (I promise you!).  If you cannot completely decrease it because you don’t have the willpower and motivation to do so, the next best thing I tell people is to at least limit their consumption.  For example, rather than allowing yourself to consume coffee all day, limit yourself to consuming it in the morning only from 7AM to 10AM for two weeks.  Next, limit the number of cups you can drink between 7AM and 10AM, such as 3 cups (same size, same amount each time).   Additionally, consider coffee 5 days of the week in the limited amount (3 cups between 7AM and 10AM) and then consider tea the other 2 days during the week.  This helps you gradually decrease the amount you consume and can help you feel less irritable and or grouchy about the change.

Another great way to help make the transition of cutting out soda, coffee, candy, alcohol, fried foods, etc (whatever you want to cut out) is by replacing the bad habit (empty calories that you want to remove) with something more positive so that your habit has something to replace it with.  For example, if you cut out soda, consider replacing it with flavored water.  Take your plastic water bottle and fill it with water and buy flavor packets that you can throw in it to make it more appealing.  If you drink coffee, replace it with hot tea such as hot green tea, hot black tea, hot camomile tea (all of which have GREAT health benefits)!  If you eat an overabundance of candy, consider making a healthy snack that you can eat such as dark chocolate chips or dark chocolate M&Ms, almonds, and craisins (divide into portions and take a small portion such as a cup to work/school).   For alcohol, consider consuming it once or twice a week in a limited amount (one cup of wine, one beer, one mixed drink) and consider virgin drinks the other times during the week (if you must).

I know cutting calories and cutting out soda, coffee, and alcohol can be a major struggle, but I speak from experience.  A great choice that I made is to give up soda during Lent in 7th grade and I never drank it again.  It was a great way to ease into the change and make the transition less painful.  Not to mention, I am so THANKFUL that I did it for myself and for my body because soda is not something that helps improve your health or has health benefits for your body.  If you have a way to decrease it for a short period such as choosing a season (spring, summer, fall, or winter months), it will help you feel more at ease about your decision.  Remember, baby steps forward are still steps and mean you are making progress in the right direction!  If I can do it, you can too!

Happy cleaning (your body and diet that is)!


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