Bad news: The average person gains one to two pounds a year.
Good news: Consuming just 100 fewer calories each day is enough to avert that weight gain.
If you're finding this out a little too lateand you want to actually lose some of that weightyou have to downsize by 500 calories a day. But you don't have to slash them all from your plate.
"You can eat 250 calories less and then burn 250 by walking for 30 to 45 minutes. Over a week, that will produce about a pound of weight loss," says Holly Wyatt, MD, a clinical researcher at the Center for Human Nutrition in Denver. You won't see dramatic changes immediately, but small tweaks like these will pay off over time.
1. Order two appetizers
According to a study at the University of North Carolina, the average hamburger is 23 percent larger today than it was in 1977. Choose a pasta dish and salad or soup from the appetizer column, instead.
2. Visit the vending machine
Nibbling on single servings is better than digging your way to the bottom of a megabag of chips.
3. Start with salad...
and eat less during the rest of the meal, says a study from Pennsylvania State University. When salads were topped with low-fat mozzarella and low-calorie Italian dressing instead of high-fat alternatives, women ate 10 percent fewer calories over the course of the day.
4. Stick a fork in it
If you prefer your salad dressing on the side, dip your fork into it before stabbing your greens. That little maneuver could cut hundreds of calories.
5. Watch coffee calories
The fancy concoctions that are now the javas of choice for many people can contain as many calories as an entire lunch.