So you want to look svelte for summer—which will, eventually, arrive—but aren’t quite ready to commit to a month of green juice and kale chips. Sharon Richter has a few fresh ideas for cutting calories from your daily routine. Even better? None of them actually involve counting calories at all.
Undress your salad Fat-free dressings are loaded with weird preservatives and sugars to make up for the lack of flavor-enhancing fat. Instead, try spritzing your salad with tons of fresh lemon juice and a tablespoon or two of fresh parmesan cheese. You’ll get a nice tang from the lemon and a satisfying hit of umami from the cheese.
Crisp your own chips The reason this is even an option is because it’s not going to take you more than fifteen minutes to execute. Thinly slice hefty veggies like zucchini, butternut squash, or turnip and arrange them in a single layer on an olive oil misted baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and any extras like garlic or rosemary, and slide under your oven’s broiler for three minutes on each side.
Squash spaghetti You don’t need to be told again that pasta isn’t great for shedding pounds. But what you might be interested to know is that subbing in spaghetti squash or zucchini ribbons is easier than you might think. To prep a spaghetti squash, preheat the oven to 375, prick the squash allover with a knife, and roast for an hour and 20 minutes. Once it has cooled, cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and scrape the flesh out with a fork. Zucchini ribbons are even easier: Just shred long wide strips with a vegetable peeler, then toss in boiling water for 30 seconds.
Feast your eyes When you’re famished and your willpower is at rock bottom, the items right at eye-level should be appealing and healthy. Cut up veggies on Sunday night, pop them in Ziplock bags, and store on the top shelf of your fridge. Keep a countertop or deskside fruit bowl stocked with ripe, colorful choices like kiwi, banana, apples, and mangos. Easily accessible and visually striking options are more likely to satisfy your snacky cravings.
Beware of sneaks It’s easy to overdo it on things we think are healthy. Like, for instance, cereal, which is full of satiating fiber. Rather than pouring yourself a heaping bowl, pre-portion individual serving sizes right when you buy the box. Yogurt is another protein-loaded snack—but some versions are also spiked with high-fructose corn syrup. Stonyfield Farm Organic Greek Yogurt is a great option because non-fat milk is the only ingredient. Top it with the sweetners of your choice, like honey, maple syrup, or fresh or frozen berries.
Get Smart with Sweets Here’s a clever way to satisfy your sweet tooth and get a little nutrition while you’re at it. Freeze a Balance Bar Dark Chocolate Crunch bar, cut up shavings, and enjoy over a bowl of plain frozen yogurt. The bar has a velvety chocolate flavour thanks to real cocoa, and 13 grams of hunger-zapping protein.