4 steps to a calorie deficit

It’s the beginning of the year so you and everybody you know are holding fast to some wonder diet as part of their new year’s resolutions. Despite what you read on social media, dieting websites, and infomercials, dropping pounds is not an easy endeavor. Running is one of the best ways to create a calorie deficit. When you run in the morning on an empty stomach, you burn calories and it creates a calorie deficit or negative calories. You’ve burned more than you’ve consumed. Whether your goal is to shed a lot of weight or just squeeze into those new Jordache jeans, here are a few tips that can help you tackle those calories without too much trouble.

1. Screen time is bad for a calorie deficit

Here’s a scenario that you may have run into. It’s late, you’re in about a third of the way through a Netflix binge of Parks and Recreation and you think, “you know what would go good with this episode? A can of rainbow chip frosting and pretzels.” Happens to everyone.   The fact is that you eat up to 288 calories more when you are vegging on the couch watching TV, according to research from the University of Massachusetts. To combat this, cancel Netflix. WHAT??! Are you insane? No, don’t do anything that drastic or stupid. Instead, eat at the table, and sacrifice 1 hour of streaming goodness for a brisk walk.

This simple transition can amount to about 500 calories burned.

2. Control Your Portions

Cutting calories can be as simple as swapping your 12-inch plate for a 10-inch one. With this trade, you will eat about 20 to 25% less—and save up to 500 calories.

calorie deficit

3. Ditch the Bag (or Box)

It takes no less more 10 seconds to pour a portion of chips or snack crackers into a small bowl than to strap on the feedbag and go to town. When you eat directly from the bag or box, you’re more apt to finish the whole thing.  It’s just really easy to do. A chip binge to the depths of a 9-ounce bag is 1,260 calories. Compare this to just eating 1 serving, about 15 chips—that’s 140 calories.  Put it in a bowl and save yourself the extra calories.

4. Leave the clean plate club to get into a calorie deficit

Remember grandma saying that good boys are part of the clean plate club? What she didn’t tell you is that club is now on the Biggest Loser. She meant well. The fact is that you should leave a quarter of your food on the plate at every meal.  Save it for leftovers for lunch the next day. If you normally eat 2,000 calories or more each day, you’ll cut 500 calories.

These are just small tips, but easy to implement. They will help shed some unwanted pounds as continue your half marathon training.