Written by Randy Fritz, co-creator with Diana Herrington at Real Food for Life
One hundred calories doesn’t seem like a lot, but you can easily add at least one or two of these fun, easy strategies and they will add up over time.
I’m not lazy by any means, but in my opinion, if you have to strain or deprive yourself, you may not keep it up. To eliminate calories, you can either burn them up by adding a preferred activity or avoid the calories by making a smart substitution of some common food you are eating.
I have listed only healthy, green tips. Hopefully these examples will help jog your mind to others. What steps do you take to be active and be smart?
1. Dance Skinny
Click on your MP3 player right now, dance with a little passion to just four songs and you will look and feel 100 calories lighter. The new Footloose movie is sponsoring a video dance contest around the globe. It’s never too late to participate!
2. Substitute Sugar with Stevia In Your Coffee or Tea
Stevia has practically no calories and because it is so much healthier than sugar, we consider it a powerfood. It has none of the problems of sugar and is not artificial. It takes no time to reach for stevia instead of sugar and your life could change because of it.
3. Invite Your Friends to Dinner
This sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? But even before your guests arrive you will be working to prepare the meal. It happens that 38 minutes of chopping and cooking will cut 100 calories and make a great meal. You could achieve the same results just for yourself, but you probably wouldn’t bother and it would not be as much fun.
4. Lighten Your Salad Dressing
I find all commercial dressings way too sweet so I just add about half water. This also cuts about two tablespoons of oil which means 100 calories less. Time: 30 seconds.
5. Romancing the Pounds Away
You would think the heart pounding effects of romance would burn the calories off quickly but not so. It would take a full 50 minutes of smooching to burn the first 50 calories and another 30 minutes in bed for the final 50. I doubt if anyone is complaining.
6. Eat Two Apples a Day
Besides keeping the doctor away, an apple is low in calories. Eating two of them instead of of two bananas or two mangos would eliminate 100 calories. Apples are powerfoods with many benefits.
7. Digitally Demolish Those Coke Calories
Microsoft’s Xbox program called Kinect Sports Calorie Challenge tracks your body movements and displays them in a virtual contest against various food items. You can fight against a Coke, for example, or a chocolate bar (177 calories). It keeps you playing and active until the required amount of calories is burned up. If someone one gave me an Xbox and the game, I wouldn’t mind trying it out.
8. Go Fly a Kite!
This is not an insult but one of the quickest and most exhilarating ways to shed 100 calories. Find a beach or grassy hill, wait for a good gust of wind and then run like crazy. You only have to do so for 12 minutes to burn 100 calories. Hint: if you bring a small child with you, no one will suspect you are reliving your own childhood.
9. Balance with Tai Chi
Tai Chi is not extremely active but has tremendous health benefits and once you learn the basic set of movements you are encouraged to do it every day. Doing one set slowly takes about 20 minutes and it takes 24 minutes to get to the 100 mark calorie-wise.
10. Walking Them Blues Away
Studies have shown besides living longer, walkers enjoy improved mental health and spiritual benefits. About 20 minutes burns 100 calories. This is a no brainer.
By now you get the picture – almost everything burns calories – some things just faster or slower than others. Just move in some way and you will feel better and slim down in the long term. Also with a little food planning, you can make big changes in the quality and number of calories you are inputting.
I personally prefer activities that are outdoors. That way you get the sunshine, the fresh air and the big skies around you. Some inside activities can burn up calories very fast (like a rowing machine at just over eight minutes for 100 calories) but I don’t have that machine at home and it sounds like work!
* The above numbers were for a 135-pound woman. The bigger you are the faster you burn for the same activity.
What do you do to escape calories in a healthy way or burn them up?
Some Guilt-Free Recipes: