Reaching your New Year's weight loss goals with a few simple changes

If you’re making weight loss a New Year’s resolution, keep this in mind:  a Calorie deficit of 250 Calories per day will lead to weight loss of about 1/2 pound per week. That doesn’t sound like much, but if you’re aiming to lose 10 pounds, you’ll have it done by the middle of May and if you’re going for 25 pounds, you’ll be there by next Christmas.  For most people, eliminating 250 Calories per day can be pretty easy.

Where to start?  Here are some ideas of things you can cut:

  • 16 oz. of apple juice has 240 Calories
  • 20 oz. of lemonade has 260 Calories
  • 20 oz. regular soda (such as Mountain Dew) has 250 Calories or more depending on the type

You don’t drink sweetened beverages? What about fast food?
  • Skip the cheese (a slice of provolone is about 100 Calories) and switch from a medium to a small fry (a difference of about 100 Calories).
  • Choose a small cheeseburger (like a Wendy’s junior) instead of a quarter pound burger with cheese and save about 230 Calories.
Don’t eat fast food, huh? Good for you! Here are some other ideas:
  • Choose broth based soup over creamed soup to save 150-200 Calories per cup, or have a cup instead of a bowl and save 200-300 Calories.
  • Use the small dressing cup instead of the larger one to save about 240 Calories (if you’re using a creamy dressing.)
  • Share an entrée. If you split a big burrito (like Café Rio’s), you’ll save 210 Calories from the tortilla alone and close to 500 calories overall. 
  • Split an 8 oz. steak to save about 250 Calories (depending on the cut.)
  • Don’t nibble from the office candy dish.  Ten Hershey’s kisses are 260 Calories and five small peanut butter cups are 220 calories.
  • Don’t feel obligated to eat every last bite on your plate—small amounts of food left on the plate will add up.  Leave some buttered toast, a half a piece of pizza, a little bit of meatloaf to save calories.
  • Finally, measure your food occasionally to see what you’re actually getting.  Dishing up slightly smaller portions can shave calories throughout the day.
And what if you’re willing to add exercise? Even better. Adding a one mile walk and skipping one piece of bread will get you that 250 Calorie deficit.