How do You “Painlessly” Cut Calories from Your Diet?

The tricky part about cutting calories to lose weight is finding enjoyable foods that have fewer calories to replace higher-cal foods. This takes a lot of trial and error. How do you cut calories in your favorite meals? Do you know some tasty low-cal recipe substitutions? Or, have you found a lighter version of a food that tastes just as good as — or better than — its regular counterpart? Please share your favorite “painless” ways to cut calories. Share Your Tips


I have begun not a new diet, but a new lifestyle. This I believe is the best way to view fitness and nutrition. Most of the foods I eat are raw fruits and vegetables, that are tasty to eat and easy to put together for lunches. Yams wrapped in a wet paper towel and microwaved for 5 min are great! Green peppers, cauliflower, bananas, radishes, carrots, etc. are also good. Check the frozen foods section of the grocery store for bags of vegetables that you can throw in the microwave to steam — very easy to cook and nutritious. Most importantly, I cook my own meals, and thus know exactly what is going into them and how to portion them to fit my ideal calorie intake. Since this is my new lifestyle, there will be no exceptions and no days off. The benefits will be leaps and bounds better than the cookies, ice cream and fried foods.
—Guest Dankdafied

Stay focused.

I know it’s hard the whole weight-loss journey, but you have to remind yourself daily of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Always make sure, first and foremost, you’re doing it for yourself. Look in the mirror often — it helps to notice the small changes while staying focused on the big picture.
—Guest longtime coming

Have a salad with a side of dinner. . .

I started having a large salad for my meal and having a side of what ever high calorie entree I prepared for my family- spaghetti, or some nice fall casserole. Also, I plan to start some new tradition this holiday season in that, rather than making six different kinds of pie for Thanksgiving, We’ll try one new dessert ( this year we’ll do a pumkin cheesecake — it is better than a slice of pumpkin, pecan, coconut cream, and bananna cream, with whipped cream. I’ve also started roasting our vegetables rather than boiling or sauteing. And I made up several dinners ahead of time and put them in the freezer, so we can have nutritious home made meals even when there is a time constraint.
—Guest Kell Kell

cut calories

When I go to a restaurant, I ask the waiter to put half of my order in a box to go before he brings me my meal…If it’s not in my place, I woun’t be tempted to eat it!!
—Guest Rocio


I have a terrible sweet tooth and always crave something sweet after I finish a meal. I keep a supply of Tootsie Pops on hand. They’re only 60 calories each and by sucking on them you can make them last a long time. I only allow myself 1 a day but it usually takes care of the sweets craving after dinner.
—Guest Lynn

Frozen Grapes instead of M Ms

I like M&Ms, and frozen grapes are a great swap. I wash the grapes, then portion them off in baggies and freeze them. When I eat them, I let them get slushy, but don’t let them thaw all the way (they get mushy if they completely thaw out). They’re round pieces of sweetness like M&Ms, but unlike M&Ms, they’re good for you.


Make your own dressing — just stir together apple cider vinegar and soy sauce.
—Guest smile

Smaller more frequent meals

I’ve seen this mentioned already, but thought I’d say it again. The easiest way I’ve found to cut total caloric intake was to spread the food out to 5 small meals a day. You never get too hungry and, very soon, the size of you stomach shrinks making you feel full sooner. I’ve found I can actually cut back more than the recommended 500 calories per day for losing weight and never feel hungry. 30 down and 30 to go!
—Guest Steve

Easy to do

Water instead of soda and juice. I still have 1 glass of milk a day for calcium and protein and only drink juice to take my pills. Also watch your portions, just because you can fit half a bottle of juice into a cup/glass does not mean that is 1 serving. Take out a measuring glass and look at what “1 cup” actually looks like.
—Guest Kim

not willing to sacrifice

i love reading how everyone is losing weight-but personally i REFUSE to use artificial sweeteners and all that other “crap” to lose weight. I would rather have the extra calories and have “real food” even real sugar or chocolate vs the fake ones. I just started and it is amazing to see how many calories are in foods you would not think to count-like grapes and bananas!
—Guest tamika

Works for me!

Fresh foods. I quit drinking coffee and soda (for a variety of reasons, sugar being only one of many dietary concerns for me)- and ‘replaced’ my wake up routine with a brisk walk to a coffee shop a bit further away for a small soy chai latte. After that, it’s water (and the occasional glass of wine) for the remainder of the day. For snacks, I keep a variety of berries in the fridge. Blueberries, cherries, raspberries, and even cherry tomatoes. Yumm! There are no chips in my house. At least one meal a day is prepared fresh (or leftovers from yesterday’s makings)- Load on the asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, red belly peppers, tomatoes- add a dash of olive oil, no more then a pinch of salt, lots of pepper, garlic. Toss it around, and eat as much as you want. If you have a friend or partner you often indulge with, consider making a pact to only ‘indulge’ together- and even then, keep it to special occasions. Find people to be around who will support you. Hope this helps :)
—Guest Happily Lost

Lost 60 lbs

I think adding salsa to a healthy salad is a great way to add loads of flavor for only a handful of calories. I also add in a small slice of blue cheese (I like the Rosenborg slices, which have 70 calories each). I track my daily calories, drink 7-8 12-ounce glasses of water a day, and do 30 minutes of kickboxing and 30 minutes of Pilates each day. I feel invigorated! It’s easy to get in 30 minutes of activity here and there. When I find myself sitting in front of the TV, I remind myself that I could be doing something more productive, so I shut it off and get moving.
—Guest Sheri


Take out 1 workout day a week which is usually Saturday or Sunday and commit to excersise. I done this: lift weights at any intensity level, take frequent 2-minute walks, and find something fun to do with or without like basketball. For those who need a change from the usual walk can dribble a ball while they walk, so at the end of the day you won’t feel guilty about cutting calories. Cut one thing off when you eat that has high calories and enjoy yourself, congratulations, you’ve earned it.
—Guest thumper

sweetie pie

I use low calorie sugar – made from half natural and half artificial it tastes like the real thing, and saves lots of calories.
—Guest Kathy

Cutting calories and carbs from bread

I love using the Arnold Buns. They are much thinner than your regular buns and come in wheat, whole grain or white and they are delicious and can be used with a sandwich, turkey burger, mini pizza. I normally broil mine first and then add what ingredients. I also buy Ezkeil Bread from the frozen section of my grocer. Wonderful flowerless bread. The cinnamon and raisen can be spread with fat free cream cheese or Polaners fruit and makes a great breakfast.
—Guest Susan

Cut calories and fat when frying, etc.

One thing I do to cut calories AND fat is frying things in apple juice (any other juice that is 100% also helps…adds an unusual element to some recipes, depending on the juice–but apple changes the flavor the least). Heat it up like oil and toss in whatever you’re cooking. I also tend to bake things that are normally fried or sauteed. Like Ratatouille is an excellent dish, except that it is sauteed in oil…so I bake it instead. I also use applesauce instead of oil in baking…use the same amount of applesauce as oil when making cakes, cookies, muffins, bread, etc.

Cut calories

I cut some calories by mixing my salad dressing with salsa or picante sauce. This works really well when eating out. I just ask for salsa on the side and mix it with ranch or thousand island dressing. Taste great.
—Guest Kelly

count calories

I’ve lost 50 pounds over the last year by simply counting calories and exercising. Use a calorie counting website to figure out how many calories you should be eating a day. Keep track of them daily. Exercise, daily if possible. The weight will come off. Don’t cut any foods/food groups out of your diet totally. That’s too hard to live with for very long and leads to failure. If you are counting your calories you can plan ahead and still enjoy little treats. I still eat ice cream almost daily, but now its an ice cream sandwich or one serving of lower fat ice cream, not a huge bowl full. Get a food scale and use it with the nutrition info on the side of all packaged foods. Figure out the calories in recipes you cook to figure out the amount per serving. For exercising I ride my bike 15-30 miles a day or more. At 15 miles a hour, on average, it doesn’t take much time out of your day and is enjoyable.
—Guest Jenny

Careful of snacks that seem healthy.

I used to eat certain fruits that I thought would give me energy and not too many calories, but I was very wrong. Avoid bananas in excess (one medium size contains 105 calories) and honeydew melon. Also, cheese on roasted vegetables is almost always a trap. I thought I was doing okay by eating eggplant Parmesan, but no way no how. Look up the calories of all the food you are eating, even what you think is guiltless and okay. There’s a change you’ll be surprised!
—Guest Lamb

Sugar Free JELL-O!!!

For all you who have that sweet tooth…. I’ve found that Sugar Free Jell-o is a must for me. It’s 10 cals for a 1/2 cup, and you can even put a little cool whip lite on it…. YUM!!!!!!
—Guest Chunky Monkey=-)

Losing weight

Eat 5 small meals a day to keep the metabolism burning, quit eating 3 hours before bedtime and count calories are the biggest tips. Writing every thing you eat down in a book or calendar is pretty easy and there are a thousand ways to get how many calories are in something with the internet available. It’s amazing when you write something down how you look at it later and just decide you don’t want to spend your calories on that, and in effect make a choice not to eat some of the stuff you may have never thought about. On exercise, walking the dog for an hour will do wonders for you and your dog. Eventually, you’ll want to run and before you know it the pounds are just pouring off.
—Guest BCM

Beware of Salads!

Usually, when people think “diet”, they think “salad”. However, people also think the best way to have a salad is by including lots of dressing, which ends up making it pretty horrible for you! I cut out unnecessary fat calories by asking for my salad dressing on the side and dipping my fork into the dressing, so only the prongs have anything on them. The amount of dressing that sticks to my fork is more than enough for my bite of salad! It will cut the dressing you use by more than half!
—Guest Brianne

Dun dun dun dun

A few days ago I was in a dressing room. The lighting was poor but it couldn’t distract me from what I saw. In the mirror stood a young girl with cottage cheese thighs. Of course my mother disregards such things calling me “skinny” but I knew deep down that it was time to get in shape no matter how young I might be. Now don’t mistake me for a ten year old because I am most certainly not. My sweet sixteen is just around the corner :) Anyways, long story short I kicked my dimpled butt in gear. I started being more conscientious of what I put in my mouth cutting off junk food. Being a vegetarian at a young age can make you opt to eat food that aren’t good for you. So in conclusion to my story, I started eating healthier, and less, and exercising as well. I feel like a better person just by making the simple decisions as to what I consume on a daily basis. I no longer feel the guiltiness of eating “that” because I simply don’t.
—Guest Laura*

Limit liquid calorie intake

If you switch out soda and juice for tea and water (both of which contain 0 calories,) you will cut 300-400 easily depending on how much soda and juice you regularly drink. Drinking lots of water helps with weight loss and most teas are filled with vitamins and supplements that can further aid in the weight loss process. Try it out! You’ll feel the difference right away.

I lost 50 pounds

I started at 140, had a baby and shot up to a very uncomfortable 175, and after doing the following landed at 126. I am 5’3″, and 35 years old. My tummy is flat, and I feel great. I eat 1200 calories a day, divided into 5 or 6 small meals. Lean protien, fruit and veggies high in fiber, one serving of black beans, one serving of yogurt, and lots of water EVERYDAY. I stay away from sugar, salt, and processed foods like lunchmeat and frozen dinners. During the week, I jog on the treadmill or the eliptical machine to burn 300 calories (monday thru friday). Lift light weights twice a week, just to tone. The more tone you are, the more calories you burn. I also do an ab video as much as I can. It was hard to get used to, but I went from size 14 to size 8 in a month. After about 6 months, I am wearing a size 5, and feel comfortable in a bikini OUTDOORS with other people, which I havnt felt comfy doing since I was a little girl. Hope this helps someone. I life changing.
—Guest boxcar301

Measure it

Buy foods with calories on them. For example, everything at Trader Joes has calories listed. Buy a 20 dollar food scale and some measuring cups. Use them to prepare your foods. Set up a spreadsheet that allows you to input your food every day. Never eat more than your limit. Start eating high fiber cereal (puffins are good), apples twice a day for snacks and potatos. The fiber will help a lot. Chew gum when you get hungry. Run three times a week for 25 minutes. Focus on weekends. We all fail on weekends.
—Guest Measure it

Cutting calories is really, really easy.

The key to losing weight is just to be aware of what you’re eating, and whether or not it’s worth it. For example, most ready-made pizzas have around 1000 calories and ridiculous amounts of fat. But most low-fat low-cal ready meals (e.g. microwave lasagnes) have around 300. If you eat your low-fat ready meal with some veggies and maybe some fruit after, then you’re basically getting a meal just as filling as the pizza – but for three times less calories!! Even becoming aware of what you’re putting in your mouth will inevitably lead you to make more sensible decisions about what to eat. Browse the store, check the calories like crazy. Soon you’ll get to know good diet foods. If you do your research there’s really no need whatsoever to sit at home starving. Dieting successfully can be incredibly rewarding – I myself have lost around 15 pounds in the last 3 months. Good luck to you all, peace out!
—Guest obsessed with calories

Lose weight, stay slender!

Depending on how much you eat you may need to cut back a lot more than just 250 calories. Eat foods high in protein and fiber, watch the carbs and fat. Be picky about what pasta you eat, eat the lower calorie lower carb wheat stuff. Eat celery when you get a craving. Don’t eat too early! This is the mistake some people make, if you eat too early you’ll get hungry right before bedtime, which is BAD. If you don’t go to sleep until midnight I would not eat before 7:30pm!! Watch the liquid calories such as orange juice, when I lost weight I took in zero liquid calories some days. If you cut down to about 1650 calories a day and excerise about 5 days a week, you will lose weight. Eat veggie burgers from the store such as Amy’s brand, you can make a sandwich with them. I’m 163, lighter now than when I was in the 7th grade. I can teach anyone how to lose weight. It’s a lifestyle change, not a diet!!!!!!!!!!
—Guest Brett

eat calorie wise

What I try to do is eat the amount of calories I need for a meal and once I reach that limit I stop eating and if i get hungry I just try to have a few crackers.
—Guest Connor

need a good go-to snak

Destrooper Jules Biscuiterie – they are the answer to a sweet craving and are only 18 cal a sliver
—Guest sunella
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On January 11th, 2011, posted in: Diet by
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