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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Quick Tips for Cutting Calories

Cutting those extra calories each day can take inches off your waistline. Losing weight is not always as easy as it sounds. You have probably tried diet after diet, and while some of them may work in the beginning, the second you stray the pounds start creeping back up. I have seen this same scenario time and again with many of my clients.

When I have clients track what they are eating, some of them tend to forget to write the “extras” down. What do I mean by “extras,” you ask? These are the little things that you just may not even think about, like finishing your kid’s dinner or tasting food while you are cooking…it all adds up to extra calories. An extra 100-200 calories a day can add up to a 10-20 pound weight gain in one year. Watching the “extras” could be your ticket to losing those last few stubborn pounds! 

In order to avoid those extra pounds (or to lose a few), here are 8 quick tips or changes you can make to cut 100-200 calories out of your daily routine. 

  • Control olive oil use during cooking: Many people do not measure olive oil when they are cooking and 1 Tbsp. has 120 calories. Be sure to measure it out or use only enough to coat the pan.  Alternatively, you can use chicken broth or nonstick cooking spray on a nonstick pan to save even more calories.
  • Cut regular soda consumption in half (or cut it out): This is usually one of the first things I have people cut. By cutting 1-2 regular sodas out of your diet and sticking to zero calorie beverages or water, you can easily save 100-200 or more calories.
  • Re-evaluate coffee choices: While black coffee is low in calories, flavored creamers and syrups are not.  Try using zero calorie sweeteners and low fat milk to save calories.
  • Portion control: The average plate size has increased 36% since the 1960s, and today many people determine where they will eat based on how much food they can get for a low price. Even though you may think you’re getting one serving, it’s likely much more. Many people do not realize that a bakery shop sized bagel is actually 4 grain “servings.”
  • Push the bread bowl away: Either don’t touch it or stop at one piece so that you’ll  have room for your main meal. Don’t arrive at the restaurant so ravenously hungry that you attack the bread and down 2-3 rolls!
  • Dressings/sauces: Ordering dressing on the side can save 100-200 calories. Also choose the light or fat free option over creamy dressings for a lower calorie choice.
  • Substitute sides: Instead of French fries or onion rings, choose steamed veggies or a side salad. You will not only save over 100-200 calories, but you will get the fiber from the more nutritious choices which will help fill you up, eat less, and help with digestion.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation: Going out to eat with family, friends, or for business can lead to 2 or more drinks in one night. A 5-oz glass of wine or a light beer is right around 100-120 calories. Cutting down by 1-2 drinks in one night can save you 100-200 calories--not to mention reduce your risk of cancer by following the moderation principle instead of overindulging.



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Tags: Healthy Eating

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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.