Last week, I was watching the National Geographic Channel featuring a special on how Sumo wrestlers live and what they eat.
Every day, they are fed a delicious-looking filling soup, called “chanko” nabe that is very rich in protein, including chicken, pork, fish and beef — which is then washed down with plenty of ice-cold beer and followed by a lengthy afternoon nap.
Apparently, the average sumo wrestler eats around 4500 to 5000 calories a day, while the average American consumes around 3500 calories a day. Sumos are looking to increase calorie count and protein, but I think most of us are looking for easy ways to decrease that count while still eating foods we enjoy — including flavorful, satisfying snacks.
I’ve never been big on counting calories daily since it takes a lot of effort and seems to take away from the experience of enjoying a meal that I prepare for myself. However, I am aware of the general calories in most foods. So I’ll share with you five easy ways to cut back on calories by eating foods that also happen to taste great!
Try These 5 Tips
- Gotta start your day with scrambled eggs on toast? Skinny-fy them by cooking 2 egg whites mixed with one whole egg served on a small pita: 174 calories, 4.5 grams of fat vs. three whole eggs on two pieces of toast: 410 calories, 13.5 grams of fat.
- Are you a pasta queen or king? Then swap out one cup of your cooked pasta (about 1 ounce dry) at 100 calories with one cup steamed broccoli at 40 calories or two cups of fresh baby spinach leaves at 10 calories.
- Want a dipping sauce that’s fresh? Use salsa instead of heavy jarred dressings, 2 tablespoons of tomato salsa is about 40 calories and zero fat while most jarred, store-bought dressings can be up to 120 calories and 11 grams of fat. The veggies will definitely cut back on the calorie load, but green veggies like broccoli and spinach also happen to taste amazing with your favorite jarred marinara sauce.
- Are you an afternoon cracker muncher? Eat one medium apple smeared with one tablespoon of peanut butter (about 140 calories at 8 grams of fat), instead of that package of peanut butter sandwich crackers (200 calories and 10 grams of fat).
- Need some pre-workout fuel? Have one 6-ounce cup of plain yogurt mixed with 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup fresh blueberries, and a tablespoon of chopped fresh mint at 160 calories, 2.5 grams fat instead of that protein bar (250 calories, 5 grams of fat). Yogurt is the perfect snack because it has a naturally fulfilling creamy texture, but is nevertheless low in fat.
- Looking for the secret to eating filling comfort meals the fast and healthy way? You can find delicious recipes and tips in my latest cookbook.
- Learn more about how to manage fat in your diet.
- Worried about protein? The average American consumes about 50% more protein than the recommended daily amount.