Sneaky calories are a primary culprit when unwanted pounds stay put. Finding ways to save calories can help you meet your weight loss goals without feeling deprived. Try the following tips to help whittle your middle and still feel satisfied.

Drink Water

Calories count even if you don’t chew them. An easy way to save calories is by substituting two soft drinks daily with water. One can of regular soda has about 140 calories; a glass of wine has 125 and there are 100 calories in a serving of sweet tea. Skip two of these each day for a savings of at least 225 calories. Over the course of 16 days you will save enough calories to lose one pound. Add lemon or cucumber slices to the water for variety. Alternately, you can add club soda to save calories when you enjoy wine or switch to a diet version of your favorite soft drink.

Bake instead of fry

Skip the calories but keep the crunch by coating the meat with crushed corn flakes or wheat germ.

Don’t choose cheese

Love Mexican? Choose salsa over cheese dip to save at least 100 calories. Better yet, if you are snacking at home choose baked tortilla chips or dip with veggies to save even more calories.

Choose kale chips over potato chips

Homemade Organic Green Kale ChipsKale chips are actually pretty tasty. They are extremely low in calories and high in fiber, which helps you stay full. That means less overeating. Make kale chips by removing the thick stem and tearing into bite sized pieces. Use an oil mister to spray the kale lightly. Finish with a dash of sea salt and bake on a tray at 350 for about 15 minutes. Bet you won’t be able to stop at just one.

Trade your toppings

Spread your bread with low fat margarine or preserves instead of butter. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of heavy, full fat salad dressings. Top baked potatoes with Greek yogurt instead of butter and sour cream.

Snack on air popped corn

Choose fruit instead of fruit juice

You will get more fiber and fewer calories.

Plan your plate

Aim for ½ fruits and vegetables, ¼ whole grains and ¼ in lean proteins.

Try turkey

Switching from pork bacon or sausage will save up to 100 calories per serving. While you are at it trade ground beef for ground turkey, too.

Dress your sandwich with mustard instead of mayo

Do even better by mixing a teaspoon of flaxseed into the mustard. Flaxseed has omega 3’s and fiber to help you feel full and eat less.

There are countless ways to save calories at every meal. Perhaps the most important way is to check in with yourself each time you begin a meal or snack. Ask yourself:

  • Am I really hungry?
  • How does the food I am about to eat support my weight loss and health goals?
  • Is there another choice I can make?

Saving calories is an easy way to lose weight. With a little planning and patience you can make changes that count.