If you're working with a daily calorie intake of somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,400 to 1,600 calories, then yes, every calorie does count. The following little tricks may not seem like they have a huge effect, but when you add up these changes over a period of time, they'll translate into a leaner and stronger body.
Blot. Use a paper napkin to blot a teaspoon of fat off a pizza slice. At a slice a week, that's more than a whole cup of fat you won't eat—or wear—this year.
Drink more milk.
Consuming 1,800 milligrams of calcium a day could block the absorption of about 80 calories. Fill your coffee mug with skim or 1 percent milk, drink it down to the level you want in your coffee, then pour in your caffeine fix.
Buy cut veggies.
They cost more, but they'll pay dividends later—because you're more likely to snack on them than on some other, less healthy food.
Get watered down.
A recent German study showed that drinking water burns calories. Drinking about two cups of cold water—no warmer than 72 degrees—used up roughly 25 calories. Drink a liter a day and you're talking five pounds a year.
Use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate. Studies show that putting your portions on smaller dishes means you'll end up eating less at a meal.
Add water to your fruit juice to reduce calories.
Make your drinks count.
Have a V8 or tomato juice instead of a Diet Coke.
Have a power snack prepared.
Mix three different kinds of beans and sprinkle in some low-cal Italian dressing. Have it as a snack all week.
Think about eating.
Eat without doing anything else—no TV, no reading, no working.
Stop mindless snacking.
Chew a strong-flavored gum like cinnamon while you're cooking. Sneaking a taste of the food will be less appealing.
Tighten your belt.
When you feel a craving and temptation to gorge, tighten your belt a notch—as a reminder of the size you'd like to be.