Sunday, February 1, 2009

How to Cut Calories

There are many different ways to cut calories and help yourself with Caloric Restriction.

The most important thing, in my mind, is to count calories and measure the nutritional content of your food so that you have Optimal Nutrition and your intended Caloric Restriction. I use the free Cron-O-Meter software for those reasons.

So, in no particular order, here are a number of different strategies to achieve Caloric Restriction:
  • Exercise
  • Eat breakfast (some people who skip this meal have troubles adhering to CR)
  • Eat low energy density foods (vegetables are good for this)
  • Avoid simple carbs and sugars
  • Increase dietary fiber (beans are a good way to do this)
  • Eat slowly
  • Stop eating before you are full
  • Eat smaller portions
  • Eat from smaller dishware and with smaller silverware
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Count your calories
  • Weigh yourself regularly
  • Avoid bad fats (trans fats, saturated fats, and animal fats)
  • Reduce use of artificial sweeteners
  • Increase the amount of plant based and lean animal proteins in your diet
  • Eat regular meals (many who "snack" have troubles with discipline)
  • Plan your meals (by the time you are ravenous it is too late)
  • Know your portion sizes
  • Fast food (may lead to binges and excessive consumption of calories)
  • Don't deny excessive cravings (but know the difference between normal and excessive)
  • Be very careful with appetite enhancers (alcohol, marijuana, many medications)

So there are a tonne of strategies. What's right for you? Only you can answer that one.


  1. (((raises hand)))

    What's bad about artificial sweeteners, asked the Stevia junkie? Just not a good idea?

  2. There is some debate about this, but some people think that splenda and sugar twin type sweeteners mess up your biological assessment and biological signalling of a need for additional sweet calories... So, if you don't get the expected calories from your splenda sweetened pie then you replace it with additional food elsewhere. Then when you are faced with eating actual sugar sweetened pie you may also consume too much as your biology was tricked and your assessment of calories was changed. I must admit that although a weak argument I have found some tendencies like this myself. Perhaps its only because of the placebo effect... or maybe their is more to it. Either way, forewarned is forearmed.