Ten Ways to Reduce Calories and Help Control Weight

1. Monday morning weigh in

A good way to help you control your weight is to keep checks on it weekly. It's important to know what's happening with both your body weight and fat percentage. If you're going to weigh yourself, do it on Monday morning when you'll see the results of what you did over the weekend. If we're going to cheat, most of us do it on the weekend. Knowing that you're going to weigh yourself on Monday can help keep you on track over the weekend. Or, if you do slip over the weekend, a Monday morning weigh in can help give you that little incentive to get back on track.

2. The party plate plan

If you go to a party that has snacks (and what party does not?), Make sure you put your snacks on a plate, and do not put more than two foods on your plate at one time. Putting lots of different foods on your plate will usually cause you to overeat. By putting only two foods on your plate you are forcing yourself to choose what you want to try. And often, you'll be satisfied after only one refill.

3. The popcorn snack

When you're watching TV and you feel like you just have to have a snack, try air-popped popcorn. Four cups have about the same calories as 15 potato chips. If you think air-popped popcorn tastes too bland try flavoring it with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or some other flavor that you like.

4. A trick for those of us who are chocoholics

If you must have some chocolate, try dark chocolate dipped strawberries instead of chocolate truffles. The strawberries have about half the calories and are filled with anti-oxidants. But try to remember that even though the strawberries are better for you, do not over indulge.

5. The middle of the cake

Many birthday parties have a sheet cake as part of the celebration. Ask for a piece from the middle rather than an overly frosted end, and you will save yourself 100 calories or more.

6. Halloween treats

Many of us enjoy giving out treats to the kids on Halloween. Unfortunately, it can be hard to resist eating as many of those little candy bars as you give out, or saving a bunch to snack on for several days after the event. Try handing out small packages of raisins or a little trinket instead.

7. The lozenge substitute

The self control to keep from grazing on hors d'oeuvres can be very allusive at times. If you think you're going to have a problem resisting the hors d'oeuvres at a party, you may want to try sucking on a menthol flavored lozenge. Each one has less than 20 calories and they'll last up to half an hour each. Additionally, the menthol flavor will usually be strong enough to keep other foods from tasting good.

8. Drink the bubbly

Parties are one of the largest temptations most of us have when it comes to ingesting extra calories. Not all of those calories come from the food we eat. Festive drinks can be a big calorie problem. Instead of having that 300+ calorie margarita, try having a 90 calorie glass of champagne. Or better yet, drink sparkling water with some lemon and you can help your friends by being the designated driver.

9. Hot dogs do the trick

Protein helps to satisfy our hunger for about 3 – 4 hours. When you're getting ready to go out somewhere that you know you'll be tempted by food, have a couple of fat free hot dogs without the buns before you go out. They will greatly reduce your desire to eat too much while you're out.

10. Eating in courses

Instead of serving all the food at dinner at once, serve it in courses. Have a nice salad first, eating it slowly to enjoy all the different flavors. Then serve the main course. Encourage talking while eating to slow things down. Finish off with a light dessert of fruit. By serving dinner in courses and trying to eat more slowly you will give your body time to actually register the fact that food has been ingested. This will give you a full feeling sooner, and help to keep you from over indulging.