When it comes to achieving lean tissue levels, increasing fitness and maintaining optimal health, cutting calories presents the pathway to do so. Yes, calories are needed for the energy which fuels our performance. However, there are times when cut-backs are required to achieve various goals. Maybe you’re getting married in 60 days and you already went to the tailor for fitting and customization. You are now pressured to cut the calories to lose weight to fit into that dress on your special day. Yet you must go about calorie reduction the right way to reduce the occurrence of the negative consequences of not doing so properly. Here is our special list of guidelines for cutting calories the right way.
13 Tips for Cutting Calories The Right Way
Fact is when you want to address anything health-related, you have to start with the right thoughts and follow through with the right approach. Let’s see how healthy calorie cutting can be achieved!
1. Calorie Cutting – The Best Time To Begin
Give yourself time. If you wish to achieve a goal, you must work towards it long before the final output arrives. Likewise, if you have a tournament coming up, you may want to take advantage of the offseason. During the off-season, you will be allowed the time to focus on gradually getting to the point you wish to be! Additionally, your body will get the opportunity to adjust to the changes that a cut in your calories would cause before your debut.
2. Slow and Steady – Calorie Reduction
Immediate results when it comes to cutting calories is a myth proven false. Avoid drastic methods to gain speedy results. Cut your calories over a period of time until you get to where you’d like to be. If you usually consume in excess of 800+ calories daily, consider starting cutting to 750 in the first instance.
After a few days consider cutting calories further to 675. Eventually, you will get there as you do so gradually so you can see the marked difference as you go along.
3. How Calories Affect Energy Balance?
First off, energy balance refers to establishing a balance between what you eat and the amount of activity you engage in, on a daily basis. This balance is what determines if you gain, lose or maintain a given weight. A negative energy balance does cause weight loss. This, in turn, causes the body to use its fat stores to provide energy.
As you partake in calorie reduction, you should avoid a severe negative balance as this is associated with unfavorable symptoms. A severe negative energy balance causes:
- Brain fog
- A decrease in bone mass
- A reduction in hormone distribution
- Poor physical performance
4. Nutrient-rich Low-calorie Foods
The foods you consume while cutting calories should be low in calories but rich in nutrients the body needs. Nutrient-rich foods are low in sugar and bad fats making them the perfect supplement for all the extra calories you are not consuming. They include foods such as:
- Fish, poultry, meat, and beans are great sources of proteins.
- Fruits and vegetables, especially those organically grown and free of pesticides. They are packed with vitamins and minerals.
- Grains for fiber and carbohydrates.
5. Health Benefits Of Reducing Sugar Intake
If you aren’t training for an upcoming event, a decrease in sugar will further help you in cutting calories. Yes, sugar gives bursts of energy when consumed. But we’ve all heard of the dreaded sugar crash, right? A reduction in sugar actually allows your body to:
- Be energized throughout the day and not just at sugar moments.
- Reduce mood swings, inflammation, type 2 diabetes, and digestive issues.
- Prevent obesity.
- Have clearer skin.
6. Foods To Increase Fiber Intake
Foods rich in fiber help give that feeling of being satisfied or ‘full’. Yet these foods also assist in digestion by helping to keep the intestines clear for efficient digestion! Fiber-rich foods include legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Take a look at these Health Benefits of Eating Oats
7. Daily Intake Of Protein
Have small servings of protein throughout out the day instead of one large serving for lunch. Almonds, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, oats, and broccoli are all delicious sources of protein to snack on during the day. Here are 18 High-Protein Meal Prep Recipes to give you new inspo
8. Healthy Calorie Intake
When you do have to exercise and train for events, remember to increase your calorie intake before, during and after. This is to help you in maintaining your energy balance. Failure to take in the extra calories will result in poor performance. You have to put in a bit extra to get the extra energy needed to perform. Figure out your optimal calorie intake and meals HERE
9. How To Avoid Snacking
A quick snack always seems to provide such useful hunger relief, right? Most times we feel a persistent urge to snack its because we’ve missed meals or haven’t eaten right for the day. You can avoid excessive snacking by:
- Drinking fewer calories
- Not missing meals.
- Carefully organize your portions
- Eating high nutrient foods which leave you feeling satisfied.
10. Decreasing Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is rich in calories but it does not leave you with that sated feeling. If you are cutting calories, alcohol consumption must decrease also or else, your calorie levels will rapidly increase.
11. Tips On Staying Hydrated
Our body needs water to function efficiently. There are no two ways about this. Therefore, ensure that you stay hydrated while cutting calories. You may:
- Guess what!? The more water you drink, when feeling ‘hungry’, the fewer calories you consume.
- Check urine color to know if your body could do with some water even if you don’t ‘feel’ thirsty.
- You can also get water from your fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, and strawberries.
Read more about Dehydration and Tips to Avoid it here
12. Monitor Your Intake
The power is in your hands! No one can do it for you. Take a closer look at what you eat while cutting calories. Be realistic about what you wish to achieve. Habits won’t change overnight but with time the patterns can be broken. Customize your meals appropriately and celebrate the small victories cause they add up.
13. Importance Of Chewing Properly
You’re already cutting calories, ensure you get the maximum nutrients and minerals from your meals. Help your body digest the food you eat by chewing your food properly before you swallow. Doing so also helps nutrients to get extracted at a faster rate. So chew slowly and crunch what you munch before you swallow!
Which one of our guidelines did you find most beneficial to you? Let us know in the comments section.