1. Count your calories
One way to make sure you don’t eat too many calories is to count them.
In the past, logging calories was quite time-consuming. However, modern apps have made it quicker and easier than ever to track what you eat.
Some apps also offer daily lifestyle tips to help keep you motivated. This may be more useful than just logging your intake, as it could help you form healthy, long-term habits.
2. Use less sauce
Adding ketchup or mayonnaise to your food can add more calories than you may realize. In fact, only 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of mayonnaise adds an extra 57 calories to your meal.
If you use a lot of sauce, try eating a bit less, or not using it at all, to reduce the number of calories you’re eating.
3. Don’t drink your calories
Drinks can be a forgotten source of calories in your diet.
Sugar-sweetened drinks, such as soda, are also linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
A single 16-ounce (475-ml) bottle of Coke packs nearly 200 calories and 44 grams of sugar.
One study suggests that drinking a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages not only adds many unnecessary calories to your diet but may also increase your hunger later on.
You may want to cut back on other high-sugar, high-calorie drinks as well. These include alcohol, some commercially produced coffee drinks, and sugar-sweetened fruit juices and smoothies.
4. Don’t add sugar to tea and coffee
Tea and coffee are healthy, low-calorie drinks, but spooning in just 1 teaspoon (4 grams) of sugar adds around 16 calories to your drink.
Though this may not sound like much, the calories in a few cups or glasses of sugar-sweetened tea a day can add up.
5. Cook your own food
When you buy food prepared by someone else, you don’t always know what’s in it.
Even meals you think are healthy or low-calorie can contain hidden sugars and fats, bumping up their calorie content.
Cooking your own meals gives you better control over the number of calories you eat.
6. Don’t keep junk food in the house
If you keep junk food within easy reach, it’s much easier to eat.
It can be especially problematic if you tend to eat when you’re stressed or bored.
To stop the urge to reach for unhealthy snacks, keep them out of the house.
7. Use smaller plates
Today’s dinner plates are, on average, 44% larger than they were in the 1980s.
Larger plates have been linked to larger serving sizes, which means people are more likely to overeat.
In fact, one study found that people with larger dinner plates at a buffet ate 45% more food than those who used the smaller plate size.
Choosing a smaller plate is a simple trick that could keep your portion sizes on track and curb overeating.
8. Drink water before your meal
Drinking water before a meal may help you feel more satisfied, causing you to eat fewer calories.
As an example, one study found that drinking just 2 cups (500 ml) of water before a meal lowered calorie intake by around 13%.
It may also help you lose weight.