One of the simplest ways to lose weight is to cut out calories. Changes in diet do not necessarily need to be extreme for weight loss to occur. Cutting out up to 500 calories a day directly relates to gradual weight loss, and doing so is often as easy as resisting a few sodas a week, and making small adjustments to your diet. Use the following steps to eat fewer calories and lose weight.
How to Eat Fewer Calories to Lose Weight
Find out how many calories nutritionists recommend for your weight, height and sex. Use daily caloric need calculators online (see resources) to find this number for free. The calculation may include the number of calories that need to be cut out daily for weight loss to occur.
Set a realistic weight-loss goal. For example, to lose a pound per week, cut 300 to 500 calories from the number of calories necessary to maintain your weight. So if you need 1800 calories to maintain your weight, then aim to eat between 1300 and 1500 calories a day instead.
Make easy calorie cutbacks. Using one slice of cheese on a sandwich instead of two can cut out at least 80 calories, or having an apple as a side instead of French fries can eliminate 150 calories or more. Also, try eliminating some soda from your diet—one cup of Coca Cola has about 100 calories.
Write down what you eat daily in one column on a sheet of paper, and in another keep track of the foods you resisted (including their calorie count). Aim to cut out about 3,500 calories per week to lose a pound per week.
Stay motivated by setting up nonfood rewards daily, weekly or monthly. Five dollars of shopping money for every pound lost, or getting a massage at the end of the month are great ways to make the daily diet sacrifices more manageable.