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I hear people say all that time that they don’t believe in cutting calories, and that exercise is the way to lose weight.

While exercise is a great way to tone up, it’s not always the best way to shed pounds. If you are looking to lose weight or tone your body, you should definitely create an exercise regimen, but combining your time at the gym with calorie-cutting techniques will get you the best and fastest results!

No one likes dieting (especially me) so if you need to cut calories, the best way to start is slowly and with small things.

Believe it or not, you are consuming a ton of calories in little ways every time you step foot into the cafeteria. You may or may not be aware of these things, so get informed and adjust your lifestyle today so you can achieve all of your fitness goals (spring break is coming up, people).

Standing on Scale

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1. Drink water, not juice or soda

If you tend to go for sugary drinks like sodas, sweet teas or juices, cut those drinks out by replacing them with ice water (or plain tea) and you will cut about a 100 calories (or more) per glass.

A glass of soda will typically run you around 150 calories so imagine how cutting at LEAST one of those out of your diet each day could affect your overall diet? If you drink more than one glass of soda a day, those calories definitely add up.

Replacing a sugary drink with water will also keep your feeling more hydrated and provide you with more energy.

2. Cutting condiments

If you love mayo, ketchup and all those other fatty condiments, you are adding a ton of calories to your daily meal.

Every time you eat french fries (or potatoes, eggs, etc) are you dipping them in ketchup? Are you eating sandwiches or burgers with loads of ketchup? If so, you are adding a lot of extra salt and sugar into your diet which is not going to help your overall fitness goal.

The same goes for mayo; if you slop it on your sandwiches, burgers, or whatever else, you are adding calories there, too. You could potentially be consuming more than 100 calories in the mayo on your sandwich alone each day.

Instead of using ketchup or mayo, try mustard on your sandwiches or burgers as mustard only has about 10 calories/tablespoon, but it is full of flavor and zest!

3. Avoid creamy dressings

We all love bleu cheese dressing and Ranch, no one is denying that, but what I also can’t deny is the fact that these dressings are packed with fat and calories that will not help you in your weight loss mission.

Avoid these types of dressings on salads or when dipping vegetables. Try a vinaigrette instead and cut about half the calories, not to mention the fact that olive oil and vinegar are healthier fats than the saturated fats found in creamy dressings like Ranch, Thousand Island, or whatever you like.

If you order a sandwich or salad that comes with a creamy dressing, ask for it on the side or without it. A tablespoon of Ranch dressing has about 75 calories in it, but I am sure you are using more than a tablespoon so every time you dig into that salad or sandwich, the dressing alone is probably weighing in at over 100 calories.

4. Pick healthier sides

Instead of grabbing a plate of french fries, bag of chips, creamy soup or some other unhealthy side, why not go for a salad or something that will benefit your body?

Try brown rice instead of white, a salad instead of fries or chips, clear broth soup instead of a creamy one, or fruit instead of pudding.

The better choices you make, the fewer calories you will consume and thus, you will reach your fitness goals much faster. And it’s not just about the calories either; the healthier foods you eat, the more healthy your body is, too.

With all of the damage you do to your body in college (partying, not getting enough sleep, caffeine overload, etc), you need all  the help you can get. By choosing healthier options, you are really helping your body in the long-run.

5. Cut back on dessert

I was never much of a sweet tooth growing up or even in college, so I never understood people who always needed something sweet after their meals. HOWEVER, now that I have gotten a bit into my twenties, I now consider myself a “sweets person” and find myself craving a tasty treat at the end of every meal.

This is hard habit to break (especially if you have been doing it your whole life), but if you force yourself to cut out (or at LEAST cut back) on the amount of sweets you are consuming, this can help you and your diet IMMENSELY!

Sweets pack so much sugar, fat and calories into tiny portions that you can easily get carried away and consume several hundred calories in one sitting without even noticing.

Walk past the dessert line (or ice cream bar) with confidence and grab a piece of fruit instead. If you really NEED your fix, there are a few things you can do: either limit yourself to one or two days a week where you allow yourself dessert from the cafeteria, OR you can keep small treats in your dorm room which will give you the ability to walk past the dessert tray with confidence.

The only problem? If you have no self-control (which I do not), keeping sweets in your dorm can be dangerous as you may end up eating an entire bag of bite-size snickers before the week is done (which defeats the entire purpose of you skipping the dessert tray in the first place).

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