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15 Easy Ways to Cut 500 Calories

cut-calories-585Here’s a fact: If you can cut 500 calories from your eats or burn an extra 500 calories a day (or our fave: cut/burn 250 calories of each), you can lose about a pound of weight a week. But what’s the best way to do that without feeling totally deprived or getting obsessed with calorie counting? Fitbie.com recently put together a list of easy, calorie-blasting strategies that will help you lose weight and burn more fat all day long without even stepping foot in the gym. See the list below for all the different ways you can easily cut 500 calories!

15 Simple Ways to Cut 500 Calories

1. Make a trade. Cutting calories is as easy as swapping one food for another!

  • Bagel for an English muffin to slash 220 calories.
  • A glass of whole milk for skim to save 70 calories.
  • Three-egg omelet for one egg and two egg whites.
  • Pork sausage for turkey sausage to cut about 125 calories each.

2. Measure portions. So many of us have serious portion-distortion. Measuring out one serving can save you hundreds of calories and help you to realize what foods give you more bulk for the bite. For example, a cup of granola can have up to 600 calories, while a cup of high-fiber cereal has only about 120.

3. Move on your lunch hour. Walk during your lunch for five days and burn 500 extra calories. Also, try wearing a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day, or about 5 miles—you’ll automatically burn 500 calories without even hitting the gym.

4. Order wisely. Use hummus or mustard instead of mayo, and a roll for sliced bread on your sandwich, and cut about 200 calories. Opt for a salad instead of fries to save another 300 calories for a total of 500 saved.

5. Chew your food. Slow down when you eat! Women who chewed at least 20 times before swallowing ate up to 70 calories less at mealtime. Because it takes 20 to 30 minutes for your body to register that you are full, eating more slowly allows you to get to the point where you feel satiated on fewer calories.

6. Downsize your plate. Simply going from a 12-inch plate to a 9-inch plate will allow you to cut 500 calories without feeling deprived.

7. Wait to have seconds. Wait 20 to 30 minutes to have a second helping. Then if you do opt for seconds, you’re likely to get a smaller helping because hunger hormones won’t be driving your appetite.

8. Make over your sweets. Save up to 400 calories by making grilled fruit kebabs: Slice one peach and one small banana into quarters, thread four pieces fruit each onto two skewers and brush with one tablespoon honey each. Grill each side for about 4 minutes, or until flesh is tender but still firm. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Or, if you want to have your cake and eat it too, cut a thin slice of pound cake, layer on berries and top with light whipped cream for a decadent-tasting dessert for less than 150 calories.

9. Leave something on your plate. Leaving a quarter of the meal on your plate can save up to 500 calories. Leaving a few bites of any potato or noodle dish cuts up to 100 calories alone.

10. Take a stand. Did you know that you can burn up to an extra 500 calories a day by standing rather than sitting? Try standing to make a phone call or read a report or even shut your office door to squeeze in 5 minutes of push-ups or jumping jacks to burn another 50 calories.

11. Drink up. Swapping water for soda can save you about 300 hundred calories a day if you drink two cans. Also, drinking 20 to 60 ounces of water daily might also help boost your metabolism so you burn even more calories. To make water more appealing, try adding sliced cucumbers, or low-calorie flavor packets that offer fizz and a shot of vitamins.

12. Try commercial cardio. Doing some kind of cardio, such as jumping rope or jogging in place, burns about 10 calories a minute. If you watch an hour of TV a night and add cardio moves during the 10 commercial breaks that typically air, you could blast up to 300 extra calories without missing your favorite shows.

13. Sleep in. People who get less than 6 hours of sleep eat up to 300 calories more during the day because a lack of sleep triggers the production of the hunger hormone, grehlin. Each extra hour of sleep could save you 100 calories!

14. Run some errands. Spend an afternoon food shopping and unloading groceries to burn close to 500 calories. Cook dinner to burn 136 more.

15. Switch it up. You can burn up to an additional 250 calories in a half-hour, or 500 in an hour, by incorporating intervals instead of just exercising at the same pace. Increase the calorie burn by picking up your pace to the point where you are so out of breath that you can’t even talk for 30 seconds, then slow down for one and half minutes to recover. Repeat for as long as you can!

See? Easy! What are you favorite ways to cut and burn calories? —Jenn

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


  1. Ivori says:

    I don’t know about the bagel one. My English muffins are 100 calories for 1 whole English muffin.

  2. What a great post! I spend a lot of time sitting at a table reading/writing email when there is a bar a few feet away. I’ve now cleared off a spot there where I will stand while working–great, easy advice. Lots of excellent tips here.

  3. Donna says:

    Thank you… although I know and follow most of these a little reminder is always good and I can and will step it up:)

  4. Teresa says:

    Thank you, great food for thought!

  5. sparky says:

    …I think it means trade your bagel (about 250-300 calories) FOR an english muffin because the muffins are lowr in calories than the bagel (mine is 100 too)…:-)

    1. Jenn says:

      Yep! That’s right! 🙂

  6. Mama Maureen says:

    Being aware of portion control is the absolute best thing I’ve done for myself. I’ve bought several sets of measuring cups and spoons for home and the office to help.

  7. Marti Miller says:

    Good ideas and ones that need to be repeated every once in a while. As someone else commented, I know these things but it helps to have my memory jogged. Thanks!

  8. I would really like to know more about how can you burn 500 calories by just standing. Lately there has been a lot of buzz about standing as a great calorie burning hack. I am a college student so studying and standing can go hand by hand.

  9. pbastian says:

    These were good tips. Thanks.


  10. Deb says:

    Thanks for the healthy tips,

  11. JulieJoel says:

    Good Tips. I found a Bagel Thin is a good way for me to still get the bagel taste with 110 calories, less carbs, and increased fiber.

  12. Irma says:

    Great tips, portion control is good, but I have a hard time with sweets. The idea of fruits on top of pound cake is cool. Thanks!

  13. Dottie says:

    Thank you for sharing this info. I’d like to print it out and put on my refridge. This will be very helpful for me and my three teenage daughters.

  14. Stephanie says:

    I like the tips you gave and I actually live by these. I would like to mention that eating something every three-four hours keeps you feeling full and will get rid of that starving feeling. You just want to make sure that you are getting enough calories though. Getting too few calories can have the opposite effect that you are trying to get. It is also not healthy. Just make the calories you eat count and make them healthy.

  15. Traci says:

    I do the commercial workout thing, and it really works! I’m more relaxed when I go to bed, and I sleep better. I also have my daughter help me by having her dish out my portions at mealtime. She gives me less than I would give myself.

  16. Noelle says:

    I hate this misnomer that egg yolks and whole milk are bad for you. Calories aren’t everything. Egg yolks are full of nutrients while egg whites are mostly devoid of them. Studies have shown that people who eat whole eggs regularly have lower cholesterol and promotes weight loss. Whole milk is full of nutrients and the natural fats are broken down naturally by the body and are not turned into adipose tissue in the body.

  17. Brenda says:

    Leave 1/4 of the food on your plate…..how about not putting it on there in the first place. I think that is an insult to all of the starving people in the world.

  18. Hailey says:

    You should never cut calories from your diet to loss weight! It has serious long term, and short term, health effects. And if you lose weight this way, then you will have to always, for the rest of your life, eat this way to keep the weight off.

  19. Isabelly says:

    The math on this is so off and a lot of the numbers of calories burnt/saved from eating are just made up. For starters: “Doing some kind of cardio, such as jumping rope or jogging in place, burns about 10 calories a minute. If you watch an hour of TV a night and add cardio moves during the 10 commercial breaks that typically air, you could blast up to 300 extra calories without missing your favorite shows.” Where did you get 300? xD

  20. Gopi patel says:

    Amazing article, Thanks for sharing!

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