Calorie-Cutting Tactics

Eliminating those calories (as well as burning more through exercise) doesn't have to be painful.

Starvation and deprivation diets simply don’t work. Instead, the little things are what matter. Here are five ideas to get you started:

1. Eat breakfast.
A study published in the February 2009 journal Obesity Research found that eating breakfast was a key behavior among people who averaged a 60-pound weight loss and kept it off an average of six years. Participants told researchers that skipping breakfast made them so hungry that they overate during other meals and snacked on unhealthy, high-calorie foods.

2. Measure that cereal.
The average serving of cereal is 1 cup. Yet most adults pour out at least twice that.

3. Scoop and Save.
Every now and then someone comes up with such a cool kitchen utensil that you just have to rush right out and buy it. That’s the Lê Scoop. Its function: to scoop out the inside dough from a bagel, leaving you with the outer crust (and, of course, less fat and fewer calories). Fill the inside with nonfat cottage cheese sprinkled with ground flaxseeds for an easy, low-fat, low-calorie breakfast.

4. Buy the smaller size.
The larger the portion in front of you, the more you’ll eat. It’s a proven fact. When researchers sent 79 adults home with a video and either 1- or 2-pound bags of M&Ms along with either a medium or jumbo size tub of popcorn for each family member, they ate more M&M’s from the 2-pound bag than the 1-pound bag, and about half a tub of popcorn, regardless of the tub size.

5. Make smart switches.
See how much you can save by switching from high-fat, high-calorie indulgences to lower-fat, lower-calorie options. Just by making the following substitutions, you could lose 25 pounds a year.