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Easy Ways to Cut 100 Calories

Want an easy way to lose weight? Burn just 50 calories more and eat 50 calories less each day. Some experts believe that achieving this 100-calorie daily deficit could help you shed 10 pounds in a year. Use these tips to get started.

By Karen Asp

Burn at Least 50 More Calories a Day by: Walking

Walk briskly for 10 minutes. This burst of activity will put you halfway toward your 100-calorie goal, says Susan Finn, PhD, RD, LD, chairperson of the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition. No time? Instead of a coffee break, take a stroll around your office or around the block.

Step it up. Get a pedometer and track how many steps you take each day. Then find fun ways to up your count by 1,000 for that 50-calorie burn. Walk letters to a mailbox farthest from your house or walk the perimeter of the store before shopping.

Burn at Least 50 More Calories a Day by: Doing Household Chores

Clean your house. No more griping about housework—active chores can zap calories. A 130-pound woman can burn more than 50 calories in 15 minutes of washing windows or vacuuming carpets. And 15 minutes of sweeping out your garage or raking leaves will erase almost 60 calories.

Weed off the weight. Nurturing plants or pulling weeds will melt calories: A 130-pound woman can expend almost 74 calories in 15 minutes.

Burn at Least 50 More Calories a Day by: Moving a Little More

Fidget often. ?You can burn calories just by fidgeting,? says Giselle Roque de Escobar, RD, LD/N, a fitness and nutrition consultant and star of Crunch: Cardio Salsa video (Anchor Bay Entertainment). Granted, fidgeting isn't the same as walking for 45 minutes, but every bit counts.

Move while you wait. Add up all the waiting you do during the day—while cooking, shopping and commuting—and you'll be surprised by how much downtime you'll total. So use that time to move. Do calf raises (lift up and down on your toes) or squeeze your abs or glutes repeatedly.

Burn at Least 50 More Calories a Day by: Multitasking

Watch television differently. Instead of sacking out on the couch while watching television, make commercial breaks your signal to move, says Petra Kolber, star of the new video The Trainer's Edge—Cardio Interval Training (Koch Vision). She suggests walking around your family room or lifting weights.

Engage in phone exercise. You're a multitasking maven, so put your talent to work. As you chat on the phone, walk around your house, climb stairs, or do squats and lunges.

Burn at Least 50 More Calories a Day by: Spending Time with Others

Turn off technology. Modern gadgets can make you more sedentary, which is why you should use them less. Rather than sending colleagues e-mail, walk to their offices. Meet your friend for a walk instead of talking on the phone. And ditch the remote and change the television channel the old-fashioned way.

Plan an active date with your spouse or friends. Rather than seeing a movie this weekend, go bowling or dancing. A 130-pound woman will burn 88 calories in 30 minutes of bowling and 67 calories in 15 minutes of dancing, according to the American Council on Exercise.

Give a smack. Who said losing weight can't be fun? According to the folks at the journal Environmental Nutrition, one kiss (and no, not the chocolate kind) burns an average of nine calories. Your goal? Five to six smooches a day.

Burn at Least 50 More Calories a Day by: Adopting New Habits

Get on the clock. When the clock strikes a new hour, that's your cue to move. Get up from your desk and do 8 to 12 push-ups, 8 to 12 triceps dips, and one minute of ab crunches, Kolber says. If you do this eight times a day, you'll accumulate almost 15 minutes of exercise.

Take the stairs. It's no secret that climbing stairs is better for you than riding the elevator. And here's the proof: In 10 minutes of climbing stairs, a 130-pound woman can burn almost 80 calories.

Eat at Least 50 Fewer Calories a Day by: Watching Your Portion Sizes

Ditch the clean plate club. With portion sizes on the rise, don't feel that you have to devour everything on your plate. Instead, resolve to eat only 75 percent.

Downsize your plates. Even plates have grown tremendously throughout the years. So use smaller ones. "You'll be forced into serving yourself less," says James O. Hill, PhD, cofounder of America on the Move and author of The Step Diet Book (Workman Publishing). Combine this with the strategy above and you'll really see results.

Eat at Least 50 Fewer Calories a Day by: Paying Attention to When and How You Eat

Eat more slowly. Racing through a meal could make you eat more. Satiety cues take several minutes to reach your brain, which is why you usually don't feel full until after you eat, Dr. Hill says. So savor your bites, and make your meal last at least 20 to 30 minutes.

Don't sneak bites as you cook. While it's tempting to lick the spoon when you're whipping up a batch of cookies, those nibbles add up. Taste only when you must and drink water or chew gum as you cook.

Snack wisely. Done right, snacking can fit easily into your diet, says Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Just be smart about what you eat. Trade two Oreo cookies for a sheet of graham crackers or ditch the full-size candy bar and opt for one fun-size bar.

Eat at Least 50 Fewer Calories a Day by: Making a Few Smart Cuts

Kick the sugar habit. Three teaspoons of sugar contain 48 calories, so cut it whenever you can. If you must sprinkle sugar over your cereal or in your tea, use a no-calorie sweetener.

Trim the dough. Nobody's suggesting that bread is bad, but one slice contains about 80 calories. Decrease the damage by using only one piece on your sandwiches. Eat open-face sandwiches, suggests Roque de Escobar, and choose multigrain bread. The fiber will help you feel fuller.

Eat at Least 50 Fewer Calories a Day by: Choosing Different Condiments

Get condiment savvy. Trade one tablespoon of mayonnaise for one teaspoon of mustard and you'll save 50 calories. Also, replace stick butter with spray butter and use only one or two spritzes, suggests Roque de Escobar.

Ditch the dressing. Salads don't need to be dressed to be flavorful. Instead, sprinkle spices like Mrs. Dash or squeeze fresh lime or lemon over it.

Copyright © 2010 Meredith Corporation.

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