Make mine a mini. Check out menus for small versions of great desserts, so you can dodge calories and end your meal on a sweet note. P.F. Chang’s Great Wall of Chocolate (designed for one diner!) is 1,440 calories.The Mini Great Wall? A chocolatey yet svelte 150 calories. You’ll save 1,290-calories.
Nix that smoothie a day. A large 32-ounce smoothie can have 800 or more calories. That really adds up if you’re having on-the-go breakfast several times a week. Instead, try a filling lower-calorie starter of oatmeal with brown sugar and banana slices, and a cup of black coffee. You’ll save 518 calories.
Beware the healthy-food trap. People let their guard down when the menu is full of healthy fare, underestimating calories by as much as 35%, research by the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab shows.You’re also more likely to order drinks, sides, and desserts with up to 131% more calories when you have a healthy entrée. Skip caloric sides—a cookie, chips—to save 500-plus calories.
Beware hidden oils. Ask to have your food cooked with a little stock instead of oil, or order steamed or poached entrées: you’ll save 124 calories per tablespoon of oil. Also, have the kitchen skip oils added at the last minute like basil oil or chive oil, and save another 40 calories per teaspoon.
Get enough sleep. A lack of shut-eye can make you snack, new research from the University of Chicago shows. People who got only 5 1/2 hours of sleep noshed more during the day.Snooze more and save about 1,087 calories.
Be the hostess with the mostest. Go grocery shopping for 1 hour, put away your groceries, spend 2 hours cooking a fabulous holiday feast, set the table, and serve. Then toast yourself for the awesome 640 calorie-burn. (A glass of Champagne is only about 106 calories, so you’re still ahead.)