It’s been proven that to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to starve yourself to achieve your desired weight loss goals!

We all hate the feeling of being hungry, so here are eight simple ways to cut down on portions/calories and to help you lose weight — all without checking the scale or counting down the minutes until your next meal.

Measure accurately

This is always a step that people like to skip. Let's get real, most of us don't actually check the back of the package to determine what the serving size is — we just eat it. But that can quickly get us into trouble. We have all been there, sitting on our couch with a bag of chips, knowing that the recommended serving size is only around 7-10 chips, yet we eat nearly two or three times that amount.

My recommendation is to always check the recommended serving size and stick to it. If you need to, you can make your own single-serving packs to grab when you get hungry. That way, you're not tempted to eat the entire bag. Out of sight, out of mind.

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Drink that H20

Water is always a good idea, especially before a meal. If you hydrate with water throughout the day, you are less likely to overeat come lunch or dinner time. 

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Meal prep

This is one of the most critical steps to keep you from eating out the entire week. Pick a day of the week and a theme for the meals and snacks each you want to eat (i.e. chicken with rice, veggies or shrimp stir-fry, carrots and hummus, apples and peanut butter) and make enough for that whole week. Pack it up, and you are ready to go with your lunches and snacks.

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Substitute sugars/creamers with milk before the coffee

Mostly everyone loves a good cup of coffee in the morning. At least I know I do. 1 Coffee by itself isn't inherently bad for you — it’s the additives like cream and sugar that can make this drink into a sugar disaster for your health goals. My tip is to swap the sugar for Splenda and sugar-free syrups like Torani, and to replace the fancy creamers for nonfat or almond milk. If you are a hardcore coffee lover, you can always drink it black. Plain black coffee is usually five calories or less a serving.

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Measure oil carefully

Oil is not always your friend when it comes to cooking. For healthier fats, try using olive, coconut or avocado oil instead of vegetable and canola oils.

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Control portions when eating out

If you know what restaurant you are going to ahead of time, it’s a wise idea to pick out your meal before you dine. That way, you can scope out some healthier options and estimate how many calories/fat you will be eating and incorporate into your food planning for the day.

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Add Veggie and Fruit Fillers

A good rule of thumb that I like to live by is to have a vegetable and/or fruit with every meal. Replace starchy foods like bread, pasta with veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and carrots and other greens. At the very least, incorporate them into your meal as an additional side or topper. This will not only cut the calories and saturated fats in half, but you will feel less bloated after your meal.

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Finally, follow the 80/20 rule

Life is short. If you want the cake or cookie, eat it. Don't deprive yourself of that luxury. Just don’t go overboard and eat the whole thing. The 80/20 rule is one of the most helpful concepts for overall life management to keep you happy and balanced.

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