Let it be health issues or just a need to feel fit, people are always thinking about workout routines and diets. Learn how to lose weight without counting calories all the time!
We’ve internalized bad advice such as eat less, exercise more; so diet is always associated with that sense of lack of satisfaction after every meal.
People browse through the internet on many sleepless nights to find methods to lose that extra five pounds as soon as possible. But this toxic diet culture of counting the calories steals the joy out of eating. We don’t want that. I have once been lost in this very harmful habit of counting calories every day, and let me tell you it drains your joy and energy. What we propose instead is to diet without counting calories. I know that you may have many questions but all of them will be answered in this article so make sure to read them till the very end!
A diet cannot be defined by a process through which you simply reduce the amount of food intake; a diet should be balanced and it should still supply you with all the nutrients that will keep your body healthy. If your diet goes wrong, there are a lot of other things that could go wrong, ranging from tiredness and languor to damaged internal organs.
Diets are important because they give that extra push for all the work the exercise routines are doing on your body. Eat the wrong kind of food after some heavy workout, the food will drown all the progress you just made. So, it is important to know how to keep a healthy diet and not obsess over the ratio of calories gained to calories burned.
Why you should NOT count calories for your diet?
While you count calories, you are not focusing on the nutritional value that a specific food item can provide. You are solely focused on the number of calories and weight loss so much that this can lead to harmful eating patterns, possibly eating disorders. You might look back in the future and realize what a beautiful body you had but you were too focused on calories that you forgot to enjoy that time. We do not want to leave room for any possible regret, do we?
Contrary to popular belief, counting calories is not a great help while trying to get fit. We will be able to find out the calorie intake but not about how many calories our body absorbed or needs. Sure, the internet will tell you that a male of a certain weight and height needs a certain amount of calories, and a female with a certain height and weight needs a certain amount of calories. But how do you know that this value is right?
Every individual has a different body, and every day, their body performs a unique combination of tasks, and the calories required are unique too. Do you see the danger in cutting your calorie intake based on general data now?
Ways to lose weight without counting calories
Say bye-bye to your bad old habit of counting calories as you eat; there are better ways to lose weight.
Bye Junk Food, Hi Balanced Diet
Don’t get that take-out, don’t get that pizza; you know you’ll not stop there. I know I wouldn’t. Since the advent of food delivery options, you can get any food to your doorstep. Instead of eating junk food, get hooked on the idea of a balanced diet, because why not! Your body takes such good care of you, and now it is your chance to return the favor.
Your body needs a lot of things to work efficiently and stay healthy; it needs things like Vitamins, Minerals, and other nutrients and your body is not going to get them through the junk food take-outs. You already know what you need to do; include proteins, fibers, eat fruits and vegetables, dairy products, etc. Yes, it is as simple as that and your body is ready to work, charged like a powerhouse!
Protein Always Save the Day
Needless to say, proteins are super important. They are instrumental in maintaining the structure and growth of tissues and muscles. This means without proteins, there are no issues, there’s no you and me! The idea of being non-existent made you sad for a second I know, but worry not my friend; instead, make your diet more protein friendly.
Intake of protein will satisfy your appetite, boosts your metabolism, and help in weight loss. Since proteins help build tissues and muscles, you don’t have to worry about muscle loss either, voila!
To sum up, protein helps you lose fat without muscle loss, satisfies your appetite, and gives you better metabolism; what more would you possibly want? So think no more, include protein-rich food items such as dairy products, lean meat, poultry, seafood, etc.
What’s 100% calorie-free and helps in weight loss? WATER!!!! While thinking about what to eat and what to not, do not forget about drinking. Water is the primary choice; it helps remove waste materials from your body and, as if that isn’t enough, it is a natural suppressor of appetite.
Replace your sugary beverages and caffeine-rich daily drinks with water, there you reduce your sugar intake; drink water before a meal and it will help you reduce the food intake, without having to struggle. Also, drinking enough water is important in the fat-burning process. Lipolysis is a process by which fat is burned and this process increases parallel to an increase in water intake.
Drinking water also stimulates a process called thermogenesis. The name says it all; heat/energy production. As the body spends more energy to produce heat, the metabolism also increases. So goodbye to coffee, tea, and soda; say hi to your oldest friend; H2O!!
Small Plate Meals
Imagine a big plate, half filled with food; now imagine a smaller plate filled with that same amount of food. Which looks more? Obviously, the latter does. That’s it, we are going to trick ourselves into thinking that we are eating more than enough while in reality, we are eating only what we need. Don’t take my word for it though, it is backed by science.
This relative perception is known as Delboeuf Illusion, which is an optical illusion. In 2012, two scholars named Brian Wansink and Koert van Ittersum published a paper about the effect of relative perception and Delboeuf illusion in weight loss; the paper is titled ‘Portion size me: Plate-size induced consumption norms and win-win solutions for reducing food intake and waste’.
The paper talks about the role of visual consumption norms in food intake, something that has been long ignored. Their study finds that people have a visual ‘plate-fill level’ that they adhere to while determining how much to eat, and by using a smaller plate and the same percentage of plate-fill level, one can easily reduce their food intake.
Intermittent fasting is gaining so much attention nowadays; mainly because it doesn’t ask you to count calories. Phew, finally! Intermittent fasting is an umbrella term because there are so many varieties.
Essentially it involves meal timing schedules, a particular period window where you can eat and for the rest of the time, you’re fasting. It is said to have the same effects as calorie control, but without having to count calories. According to two studies of 2019, regular fasting reduces the risk of heart failure and helps you score a longer life span.
There are three major types of intermittent fasting; namely, alternate day fasting, whole-day fasting, and time-restricted feeding. Alternate day fasting, the name speaks for itself. In alternate day fasting, you will fast for one whole day and eat what you want the next day. Whole-day fasting or periodical fasting involves fasting for more than 24 hours, where you consume less than 500 calories on fasting days. Since we do not count calories here, just incorporate all the methods I’ve dictated yet into your fasting days to reduce the calorie intake.
The small plate illusion, drink more water and try to follow a balanced diet, rich with fruits and vegetables. The time-restricted feeding method is more popular as it involves fasting for a certain hour in a day; the 16/8 method is very popular. 16/8 involves eating in an 8-hour window and fasting for the rest of 16 hours. Let the clock begin the ticking now.
Put down that phone!
There is no doubt about the fact that this is the age of technology; it surrounds us everywhere we go. We read, play, live, and sleep with technology and gadgets accompany us wherever we go. It is like that nursery rhyme about Mary.
Except that now Mary is accompanied either by her laptop or smartphone everywhere she goes. Let’s not let this toxic habit seep into our eating as well. Keep away your gadgets and eat in peace. Be aware of every bite you take; savor every bite and be aware when you are full.
Let me tell you what happens when you eat as you watch a movie or casually scroll through Instagram, even though you may already know. You concentrate more on what is happening in the movie or on the screen and less on the eating process that you must be concentrated on. You become less and less aware of what you ate and how much you ate. This could lead you to feel like you haven’t had enough food; you will get seconds and more seconds.
Stop that. Eating should become a mindful process too; be aware of your food, the process of eating. You’ll see that it is much more satisfying than the dinner date with your phone and Netflix.
You don’t have to be sweet!
No, I’m not talking about how you should interact with that nosey neighbor; there’s something about clickbait huh! I am saying, know your sugar; and cut it off brutally. Sugar-based drinks are your arch enemies if you want to get healthy or lose weight. It is a no-brainer that when you cut sugar, the calorie intake will drop a significant amount.
When you cut sugar from your diet and replace it with more proteins and fiber, the results will be immaculate. A less sugar diet has been proven effective in weight loss; be aware of the words I’m using. I said a low-sugar diet and not a no-sugar diet. Don’t ge5t your sugars wrong, honey.
If you’re reading this article for the wrong reasons, let me save you years of self-loathing and feelings of insecurities. If you scroll through photoshopped pictures of celebrities and then look at your own body with disgust, stop. I know you know that those photos are far from reality.
Those photos are worked upon for hours and hours by professionals, editing every single thing they can on it. Adding curves at certain places, taking curves away from certain places, you name it. I have had these issues for years and now I realize how lucky I am to be alive and thriving, to be healthy and able to do whatever I want to do. And for that reason, my body is beautiful and will be forever.
The same applies to your body too. So let me tell you beautiful soul who is reading this article right now, do not follow diets if your goal is to attain that ‘perfect Instagram model’ body. Do it because you want to be healthier; work out because you want to challenge yourself because you want to keep your body fit, just like a mechanic would oil machinery parts.
If you are here for the right reasons, let me tell you anything is possible. It is possible to be able to do 100 push-ups even though the first one seems like a herculean task. It is possible to get rid of your caffeine addiction; it is possible to shed that extra pounds to reach your goal. Just keep going.