Are you trying to lose weight but overwhelmed just by the thought of counting calories? Or, are you counting calories now, but not seeing the change you were hoping for? Do you spend more time counting calories than just enjoying your meal?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, keep reading! Below, I will discuss how you can lose weight without counting calories! Does this sound too good to be true? It’s not, you can do this!
Calorie counting – the good and the bad
There is a reason that for years calorie counting has been used by people looking to lose weight. In its simplest form, weight change can be seen as the difference between calories in and calories out.
When people count calories, it is a math equation. They can calculate how many calories they should eat in the day, and how many calories they should be expending. If they follow this simple formula, then weight change should occur.
The problem with calorie counting is that it is not that simple! There are so many factors that make calorie counting a challenge. Knowing the calories in each food item, knowing the true portion size, remembering to keep track of every bite of food taken, and then also knowing how much you have actually expended.
Another problem with calorie counting is that at times people can become obsessed with watching every calorie they are eating. Unfortunately for many this becomes an unhealthy obsession and takes away the joy of eating.
A 2017 study showed that people who closely monitored calorie intake or energy expenditure were more likely to exhibit behaviors consistent with eating disorders. Worse yet, if people o not see their desired results, they often either get frustrated and give up all together, or they blame themselves and get even more restrictive.
The plate method
One of the best and easiest ways to promote weight loss without counting calories is to follow the plate method. The plate method allows people to balance their meals without measuring cups or spoons, food scales, or a calorie count reference.
The premise of the plate method is that half of the plate should be filled with vegetables, and the other half is split between carbohydrates and lean protein.
Of course it will not always be perfect, and that is OK! But sticking to some basic principles can help along the way sticking to your goals and promoting healthy weight loss.
Principles of the plate method
- Half the plate of veggies! Vegetables are crucial for weight loss because they are low in calories but high in nutrients, helping to create a calorie deficit which is necessary for shedding pounds. Their fiber content promotes satiety, reducing overall calorie intake too! Additionally, vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals, helping to ensure that you receive essential nutrients while managing your weight.
- Quarter of your plate lean protein. Lean protein is helpful for weight loss because it helps to build and preserve lean muscle mass, which can boost your metabolism and increase calorie burning. It also can help promote feeling full and satisfied, which helps to reduce the likelihood of snacking or overeating high calorie foods. Sources of lean protein like chicken, fish, or tofu are typically lower in calories and saturated fats which also help to improve heart health.
- Quarter of your plate carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can aid in weight loss when chosen wisely as part of a balanced diet. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains and legumes provide sustained energy, helping to maintain an active lifestyle. Carbohydrates that are high in fiber also help to promote feelings of fullness. Diets high in fiber can also help promote good digestive health.
In conclusion, embarking on a weight loss journey without the meticulous task of calorie counting is not only possible, but can be incredibly effective.
By focusing on mindful eating, choosing nutrient dense foods like vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, you can achieve your weight loss goals in a sustainable and enjoyable way. Remember, the key lies in building a healthy relationship with food, prioritizing balanced nutrition, and making lasting lifestyle changes that promote overall well-being, rather than fixating on calorie counts.
So, ditch the calorie calculator and embrace a more holistic approach to achieving your desired weight with a healthier and happier you!