by Yuen Yi Ying
Bake with less sugar, oil and butter
Most cake and cookie recipes call for about a cup and a half of sugar, sometimes more, and if that alarms you, know that most recipes could do with 30 to 50 per cent less sugar without much impact on the taste. However, the compromise is that the outcome could be less moist as sugar helps hold in water. One way to fix that, and also help you cut down on oil and butter, is to experiment with fruit purees and yogurt. These will help bump up the sweetness and moisture without racking up the calories.
All images: Pixabay
Eat more water-rich foods
Studies have found that people who lean towards water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables tend to be able to eat more food, yet still weigh less than people who eat calorie-rich diets. Eat more and cut calories without feeling hungry? Sounds like a win-win situation to us.
Indulge in your love for chocolate
Dark chocolate, that is. In one Danish study, participants were offered equal amounts of dark and milk chocolate, then asked to have their fill of pizza. After eating the dark chocolate, participants felt less hungry and less compelled to eat sweet, salty and fatty foods, thus leading them to eat 15 per cent less pizza than when they had milk chocolate beforehand!
Ditch sugary drinks
You can cut about 112 calories from your diet just by swapping a cup of orange juice with water. If that sounds too plain, you could dilute the juice with water or even ice, which will also fill up the cup, or add sliced lemons or cucumbers to plain water to impart some flavour. You could also swap regular water for the bubbly kind, or even switch to other low-calorie sips such as tea or coffee.
Order soup as a starter
Before you choose an entree, order soup as a starter. Several studies have found that soup, whether chunky, thick or thin, all have the ability to fill you up with relatively few calories. After enjoying a bowl, you may even find that you can skip the main course without feeling hungry.
Have a high-protein and fibre-packed breakfast
Protein and fibre both fill you up and regulate your blood sugar and hunger levels. By having more of these types of food, such as eggs, yogurt, nuts, fruits, legumes and vegetables, you can eat less for lunch and dinner without feeling hungry.
Go for steamed or baked, not fried
Occasional fried treats are fine. In fact, part of their appeal probably stems from the fact that they’re taboo foods, so it may be a smart move to not ban them from your diet completely. For the most part however, it’s best to stick to foods prepared with healthier cooking methods such as steaming, baking and stir-frying. Besides having a lot less calories, you’ll find that dishes like steamed fish and roasted vegetables are just as satisfying as their fried counterparts.