At Breakfast Make a trade. Swap your bagel for an English muffin to slash 220 calories, a glass of whole milk for skim to save 70 calories, and a three-egg omelet for one egg and two egg whites, or pork sausage for turkey sausage to cut about 125 calories each.
At Lunch Move on your lunch hour. A brisk 15-minute walk burns about 100 calories, and it gives you less time to eat. Walk during your lunch for five days and burn 500 extra calories. Or try wearing a pedometer to measure out 10,000 steps a day, or about 5 miles—you’ll automatically burn 500 calories without even hitting the gym.
At Dinner Downsize your plates. Rather than depriving yourself of food to drop pounds, simply use smaller plates. People eat as much as is on their dish rather than the amount that their body actually needs. If you shrink the size of your dishes by a quarter, such as going from a 12-inch plate to a 9-inch plate, you’ll cut 500 calories without feeling deprived. The research backs it up: People serving themselves ice cream in larger bowls ate 31 percent more than their counterparts eating from smaller bowls—and both groups reported feeling full, according to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
Eating Dessert Make over your sweets. You won't miss belt-busting peach cobbler or banana splits if you have other good-for-you options to choose from. Save up to 400 calories by making grilled fruit kebabs: Slice one peach and one small banana into quarters, thread four pieces fruit each onto two skewers, and brush with one tbsp honey each. Grill each side for about 4 minutes, or until flesh is tender but still firm. Sprinkle on cinnamon. Or, if you want to have your cake, cut a thin slice of pound cake, layer on berries and top with light whipped cream for a decadent-tasting dessert for less than 150 calories.
Dining Out Leave something on your plate. Restaurant dishes are up to 250 percent larger than a normal portion size, so simply leaving a quarter of the meal on your plate can save up to 500 calories. Leaving a few bites of any potato or noodle dish cuts up to 100 calories alone because they almost always have added butter, oils or other fats. And skip the extras, such as the bread basket, to keep from breaking your calorie bank. Or, if you’re at a Mexican restaurant, forgo the tortilla chips—they can equal more calories than your entire meal.
At the Office Take a stand. You can burn up to an extra 500 calories a day without doing a lot of activity simply by standing rather than sitting. It can make the difference between burning 120 calories an hour versus 60 calories. If you can’t get away from your desk, try standing to make a phone call or read a report. Even shutting your office door to squeeze in 5 minutes of pushups or jumping jacks can burn another 50 calories.
Watching TV Don’t eat and watch. People who snack in front of the television consume an average of 288 extra calories a day because they’re eating mindlessly. If you want to snack, turn off the TV, serve yourself on a dish, and really pay attention to what you’re putting in your mouth to slash calories.
On a Saturday Sleep in. Studies show people who get less than 6 hours of sleep eat up to 300 calories more during the day because a lack of sleep triggers the production of the hunger hormone, grehlin. Each extra hour of sleep could save you 100 calories. So don’t set your alarm on Saturday, and if you snooze, you lose.