How to Cut Calories while Still Having the Food and Drink You Love!

Nutrition is hard sometimes. You try and hit your calorie goal and sometimes you just overeat or maybe you just want that treat but don’t want to have to track it. 

I know the struggle. It's hard to diet when you can’t really ever fit in ice cream, alcohol, pizza, sushi or burgers. Now sometimes you can, if you just eat lean meats, veggies, and protein shakes for the rest of the day. I'm here to tell you that sucks and you are pretty hungry by the time you get to that meal you want, and you may just end up overeating anyway. 

You can also just eat the real burger, get the milkshake or eat sushi until you drop as long as you only do it once a week or so. Neither of these methods work 100% and honestly, it’s much more sustainable to have a little bit of a treat on a regular basis. There are low calorie options for everything and here are some of my tips.

Ice Cream 

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Ice cream can be a huge calorie bomb for a lot of people. How many times have you eaten an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s? (I know I have). Well, that is roughly 1000-1300 calories depending on the flavor! The good news is Ben and Jerry’s is one of the highest fat ice creams you can get so it really tops the charts in terms of calories. 

If you are diet conscious, you could measure out 1 cup of B and J’s and stick to around 600 calories or you could get a slow churned or “Breyers Blasts”  ice cream and eat the same volume for half the calories. 

My recommendation is if you can’t live without ice cream, get the low fat stuff and save yourself some calories.  

Burgers

Burgers are freaking awesome! The meat, the cheese, maybe some onion and tomato…  maybe you even like a fried egg on yours. Damn, I’m getting hungry just writing this article and its only 8:50am! Breakfast burgers anyone? 

The point is for the most part burgers are really high in fat. The components of a good burger are high fat meat, cheese, and some sort of dressing and they are normally served with fried potatoes (french fries, chips, tater tots). The problem is that it's pretty hard to get away from the fat when going out for a burger so you could just say screw it and eat the damn thing… or you could do this. 

Drop the cheese, skip the mayo and replace the fries with veggies, and if you are really watching it, switch to a turkey patty or a chicken breast. I realize at that point it's not really a burger but you will be saving a heck of a lot of calories if you do this. 


Booze and Brew

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Alcohol can be a big source of added calories, and it's really hard to say no to those tasty foods once you have had a few drinks. So what we have to do is save our calories with each drink. For the most part each drink is going to be around 150 calories, this is 12oz of a light beer, 5oz of wine or 1.5oz of liquor. You can’t really save those calories if you are going to drink but you can save them in other ways. 

Choose light beers  
Beers that are light are typically low in calories. IPAs, Stouts and Porters are not your best bet when watching calories but if you stick to Bud, Coors, Miller, some blondes and Guiness you will be fine. 

Skip the mixers
When having mixed drinks a majority of the time the high calorie portion is going to come from the mixer. Mixers are either fruit juice or some sort of high sugar concoction. So instead of getting mixed drinks, order a dirty martini or mix your liquor with soda (not tonic, tonic has loads of sugar). 

Mind your pour
When it comes to wine, a majority of the time people are drinking 10oz glasses, not 5oz glasses. If you have two 10oz glasses of wine you are already up 600 calories.  The best strategy I have is to make sure that you measure out your servings, this way you really know how much you are drinking. Also, don’t refill your glass before you have finished it. 


Pizza

This is a food that most people love. Cheese covered bread with high fat meats on top, what's not to love? Well, the fat you gain from eating too much of it. One piece isn’t going to kill your diet but who eats just one piece? So what can we do to make sure that our calories are controlled when we decide to eat pizza? 

Focus on lean meats and veggies as toppings and go light on the cheese. If you get rid of the pepperoni, sausage and extra cheese you can cut a lot of calories out of your meal. Additionally, if you go with thin crust, and stick to only red sauce your calories will be even lower. Make sure you add chicken as a topping to get your protein in. 

Sushi

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I love sushi! Sushi is a great food for a date night and fresh fish tastes great, but the calories can creep up if you aren’t paying attention. 

Avoid things that are fried like tempura and take it easy on the cream cheese and sauces when selecting rolls. Stick with more nigiri and sashimi, eat some edamame and drink some miso soup to fill you up before the meal.

I hope this helps you cut some calories out of your diet moving forward. A lot of the time we don’t even know how many extra calories we could be saving by making a couple small changes to the way we eat. 

I want to know if this helped you so comment below or shoot me an email: Jimmy@progressiveperformance.com and I will answer any questions you might have. 

Did I miss something you liked? Let me know and I will write about it next week.