Calorie-Shaving Tips Worth The Effort

Will blotting your pizza really help you lose weight?

By Jennifer Warner
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD

Some go for the pizza blot, others favor the soup skim, and then there are those who swear by the sugared-soda switch out. But which calorie-shaving tips give you the biggest payoff for your dieting diligence? And which ones really aren't worth the effort?

Whether you're trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, there are some simple ways to cut the fat and calories without giving up the foods you love. The trick is finding places to trim calories without leaving you wanting more as a result.

For example, ordering a diet soda instead of a regular one with meals is a good place to start, and saves you about 100 calories per serving. But if you then use it as a rationale to add on a slice of apple pie, you're not doing yourself any favors, says Cindy Moore, MS, RD, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

A Little Here, a Little There ...

To lose a pound a week, a person needs to lose 3,500 calories a week through a combination of diet and exercise, which translates to a reduction of 500 calories a day.

"That's a lot try to do at one meal, and some people might resort to unhealthy practices like skipping a meal," says registered dietitian Leigh Ann Kowalsky, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Instead, Kowalsky says it's usually easier and healthier to cut 100 calories here or 50 calories there to add up to about 250 saved calories at the end of the day and then work off the remainder through exercise.