Cut 500 calories from your daily diet to lose a pound per week.
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Forget the complicated diets. According to MayoClinic.com, weight management is as simple as eating fewer calories than your body burns. This is easy, as long as you know what to eat that's low in calories, otherwise you'll likely feel hungry after every meal. You have several low-calorie options, and you don't need to fear a lifetime of boring, bland foods.
Egg white omelets stuffed with vegetables, fruit salad topped with nuts, whole-grain toast topped with fresh fruit, oatmeal with berries and fat-free yogurt smoothies with fresh produce are low-calorie breakfast choices. Have a glass of skim milk or a bowl of fat-free yogurt with breakfast if the meal didn't include dairy. Control your portions to keep breakfast low calorie. A 1-cup serving of spinach in your omelet adds 25 calories, two egg whites have 35 calories and a teaspoon of oil to prevent sticking adds 45 calories. Adding a 1-cup serving of skim milk brings breakfast to about 200 calories.
A leafy green salad with chicken breast, flounder over brown rice, a tortilla wrap with turkey breast and tomatoes, three-bean salad with lemon juice or tofu lettuce wraps are examples of low-calorie lunches. Be generous with cooked vegetables at just 25 calories in 1/2 cup. Cooked beans have just 35 calories in a 1/2-cup serving, 1 ounce of chicken breast has just 35 calories and 1/3 cup of cooked brown rice has about 80 calories. If you're still hungry, fill up on fresh vegetables or fruit; a small apple, medium peach or kiwi has about 80 calories.
Easy, low-calorie dinners include sweet potato served with pork tenderloin, shellfish with a side of steamed broccoli and a beef stir-fry with bell peppers. Use unlimited vegetables, but limit portions of starches and proteins. You consume 80 calories in just 3 ounces of baked sweet potato, 35 calories in an ounce of shellfish and 55 calories in an ounce of pork tenderloin. Serve a side salad with leafy greens and a dessert made from fat-free dairy and fruit to make your dinners more filling. A 3/4-cup serving of plain, nonfat yogurt has about 90 calories, which is a reasonable dessert when paired with 60 calories from a cup of berries.
Cubed melon, low-fat cheese, popcorn, olives, canned tuna, low-fat cottage cheese and vegetable juice are low-calorie snacks. A 1/2-cup serving of vegetable juice is nutritious and has just 25 calories; 3/4 cup of low-fat cottage cheese has around 35 calories, as does 1 ounce of fat-free cheese; a 3-cup serving of popcorn has 80 calories and eight black olives have about 45 calories. Keep several snack options nearby to cure cravings and keep your mind off junk food.
Generally, fresh produce, lean meats and whole grains are healthful, low-calorie choices. Use oils sparingly, as they typically have more than 45 calories per teaspoon. The exact calorie content will vary depending on the brands you buy, so look at the label to determine how many are in a serving. To keep your servings under control, weigh your food on an accurate scale for at least a month straight. This will give you an idea of what an actual serving looks like, controlling your calorie intake.