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Have you heard of the Covid fifteen? Or twenty? Many of us have packed on the pounds with the quarantine restrictions and some bad eating habits. But there’s hope and it doesn’t mean we have to stop eating the foods we love.

Here are some tips for cutting calories in relatively painless ways. While being mindful of what we ingest, we can still enjoy all of our favorites. Remember, we’re all in control of what goes into our bodies and no one can make the changes for us. So take control and try some of the simple tips listed below:

  • Eat more slowly than usual. Take a bite, chew slowly and thoroughly. Set your fork down once in a while. You’ll find you’re full and satisfied in a given amount of time. Those who eat quickly tend to eat more.
  • Don’t eat or snack after seven in the evening. Those evening treats add up and tend to sit in your stomach overnight as you sleep. 
  • Drink more water. It helps to cleanse the body and fills the stomach with zero calories.
  • Change that lunchtime sandwich into a salad. Rather than use a meat filling with two slices of bread, instead put the meat on top of a healthy pile of greens and veggies. You not only save the calories in two slices of bread, but also save calories on butter or mayonnaise. Balsamic vinegar makes a tasty dressing with very few calories.
  • If you do decide to add a salad dressing or other fatty item such as mayo, butter or oil, have it served on the side and not on your entree. That way you can control how much of the item you wish to eat.
  • You’re in charge of the food in your home, so don’t purchase the things that derail you. If you want a sweet treat or fatty treat, buy a single serving. That way you won’t eat a whole package of cookies.
  • Drink your coffee or tea without sugar and cream. And instead of sugary coffee drinks at the drive-through, buy a simple coffee or tea.
  • Drink water with lemon or lime rather than soda.
  • Walk more. Walking is the single healthiest exercise and it’s so easy to do.
  • In a restaurant eat half of your order and box the rest for later. You can even ask your server to do this before you eat.
  • Manage alcohol intake. One drink can equal the calories of a whole meal.
  • Eat your food on smaller plates. You’ll have the illusion of a full portion, but you’ll eat fewer calories.
  • Remember it’s okay not to “clean your plate.” While it’s not responsible to waste a lot of food, it’s better to leave some food on the plate than to overeat.
  • Try adding one additional vegetable to your meal. Vegetables give wonderful food value, but are usually lower in calories.
  • Choose healthy snacks when you shop. If you enjoy salty treats, choose air-popped popcorn rather than chips.
  • When ordering pasta dishes, choose tomato based over cream based sauces.

We all want to maintain active, healthy bodies. Making good choices meal by meal is the only way to avoid overeating. Be mindful and in control of your choices. Plan healthy, but tasty meals and allow yourself some treats along the way. Don’t be the person who empties a whole chip bag in one sitting; instead be the person who stays in control of what enters your body. You’ll feel ever so much better when you get healthy eating habits into your regular routine.