Life Style

Three simple hacks to cut calories in the kitchen

My personal online trainer often reminds me that you can’t outrun your fork. Working out hard in your home gym, on the treadmill, or in the streets for that early morning jog will be useless if you’re snacking like no one’s business. 

When it comes to weight loss, the logic is simple: The calories you burn must outnumber the calories you consume. There’s simply no other way around it.  

Now that we’ve accepted this somber truth, I won’t tell you what you shouldn’t do. The more we are told not to do something, the more likely we will rebel. It’s why a bag of chips is so much more irresistible when you’re on a no sugar, no junk food diet. 

Let’s go in a different direction and go for what we should do and how to do it. 

#1 Get shaking!

There’s a reason fitness buffs love their protein shakes and fruit/vegetable smoothies. It makes you feel full without the empty carbs and fuels you to do that 45-minute cardio routine. When I went on a 21-day diet focused on protein shakes, I noticed how my snacking lessened. When you’re satiated with a balanced meal topped off with a shake, you are less likely to munch. 

It also helps that most protein shakes come in various flavors, from chocolate to salted caramel milk tea, and taste like the real deal. This way, it curbs sweet cravings and makes me feel less deprived. When you go for fruit/vegetable smoothies, you concentrate large amounts of fiber, vitamins, and minerals into your system. And there are a million recipes online to accommodate your preference, so the smoothie tastes more like a dessert than a punishment. 

On this note, it’s important to get a blender. A reliable blender will help you create any shake or smoothie that fits your diet and personal choices across various ingredients. 

I find the Oster MyBlend Personal Blender is fit for this purpose. The plastic sports bottle design makes it convenient to make your shake and take it with you wherever…be it the living room you turned into a gym (Funny how the distance between these two rooms becomes Herculean before that Chloe Ting workout.) 

The MyBlend Personal blender is also designed, so you also don’t have to fuss about the kitchen too much for your next shake. There are no buttons to fidget with, given its one-touch blending technique: You twist the bottle in place to activate the blades.  A quick rinse of the bottle and you’re good to make that second (or third) dose within the day. 

Don’t let the fun look fool you; the blade can crush ice if you need that fruit blend to be extra frosty. The size is also good if you’re strictly observing the quantities you consume. 


Oster, available online and via Shopee

#2 Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Another reminder I get daily from my coach: Drink around four to five liters of water per day. Hydration is important in helping your body regulate itself. You also literally drown out the need the desire to down a pint of ice cream with water.

If you’re filled with water, you can’t possibly fill yourself with anything else…even if you wanted to. 

Water is also the secret to great-looking skin. You’ll see the dry patches on your knees and elbows disappear, and you’ll see how all over you’ve got that glow. You think it’s a myth until you do it at least for two days straight. Go ahead, take me up on the challenge, and you’ll see that neither of us will lose. 

My thing is  I can’t deal with room-temperature water. It’s just a quirk I have, but I know a lot of us possess. This is why every time I need water, I need to go to the kitchen. But as I said previously, that trip becomes a little too much. Woe is me. 

The solution is the Hydroflask 32 oz Black 2.0 Wide Mouth. It keeps water cold for 24 hours, so you don’t have the excuse not to finish your water when it turns warm. You can bring it with you to your work table and your nightstand. It can be with you as you do your gardening and right beside your fitness mat as you dominate those crunches. 

Hydroflask, available via Lazada

#3 Snack wisely

If you really must have some nibbles here and there, learn how to make your pantry and fridge equipped to carry only the good stuff. Eliminate junk foods. No matter how disciplined you claim to be, the chocolate bar always wins the moment you see it. We’ve all been there: The trance-like state that grips us when we see the snack we shouldn’t have, the faint “But just this one time” whisper, and the satisfaction of hearing the foil crinkling open. 

Just get them out of your life completely until you hit your target. Delete them from the grocery list. Make pre-cut fruits, nuts, granola, and other nutrition-optimized snacks easy to access. This way, you can still give into snacking…just with the healthier choices. 

The Vaya Preserve is a versatile container for any snack you fancy. It keeps food cold or warm for up to six hours. It’s leak-proof so that you can use it for your yogurt parfaits. The design also makes it stackable and air-tight should you want it on your shelf to keep your nuts and dried fruits. 


Vaya, available online

As with any list that contains hacks on how to reduce your calorie intake, don’t expect miraculous changes. Instead, learn how to create as many habits as possible to create a healthy relationship with food, calories, and exercise. These three are here to serve as a solid foundation for creating more habits that suit your goals and lifestyle. 


YouTube fitness star Chloe Ting addresses the haters with the help of health experts

10 Confessions of a First-Time Blender Owner

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