In today’s blog post I wanted to talk to you about a few strategies to help you lose weight which do not include tracking every calorie you eat. Before we dive in, please keep in mind that weight loss is a matter of an energy equation meaning you must be in a calorie deficit. This means you must expend more calories than you consume. There is no way around that. Below are my 6 favorite strategies to achieve said deficit without meticulously tracking your food..
1. Time Restricted Feeding
Time restricted feeding is better known intermittent fasting. Essentially this means you’re going to have a specific window of time where you eat calories, followed by a time when you’re avoiding calories. The most popular version is the 16/8 where you fast for 16 hours aka abstain from all calories followed by an 8 hour eating window. It could be as simple as skipping breakfast.
Let’s say you wake up, drink some water, have some black coffee and get your day going. You continue with that until 12pm when you break your fast. Starting then you’d have until 8pm to eat and consume all the meals you desire. Once 8:01pm hits you’re back to abstaining from calories. This generally tends to help people lose weight because by condensing the eating window we are eliminating the mindless snacking at night, and quite possibly skipping an entire meal. Here’s a quick video I shot on fasting:
2. Eating on Smaller Plates
The science behind this is unclear but it works. The way we lose weight is via portion control. Eating on smaller plates helps to accomplish that. Psychologically filling up a smaller plate (which will amount to less overall food then a normal plate) is a form of self regulating and calorie control. Obviously nothing is stopping you from getting seconds, but the idea is eating on smaller plates will naturally reduce portion sizes thus helping stay in a calorie deficit without tracking.
3. Mind what you drink. More H2O less alcohol and sodas.
I always tell my clients, before they start snacking, drink a glass of water and wait 15 minutes. Guess what usually happens? They’re not hungry. They were just thirsty. Being in a chronic state of dehydration leads to over consuming calories because we are not properly hydrated. Drinking at least 50% of your BW in ounces of water per day has helped many clients eliminate snacking altogether.
While on the topic of liquid consumption, the more water you drink, and less soda, juice, alcohol aka calories you drink, the easier staying in a caloric deficit will be. This is a pretty simple one.
4. No Snacks
This one is super straightforward. Don’t snack at all. I find that when snacking people generally tend to have less self control and there is no accountability. One of the main reasons people snack is out of boredom or because the make up of their meals isn’t sufficiently balanced. Snacking is a HUGE cause of weight gain. .Stick to 3 square meals per day with plenty of protein as the base. This will help curb your appetite and regulate the hunger hormone ghrelin in your body.
5. Eat at Home
When we eat out, because of the way restaurants prepare foods, there is a possibility that you may be eating anywhere from 20-40% more calories in common foods like steak, fish, chicken, vegetables etc based on the oil and butter that is being used to make the meals hyper palatable. One of the easiest ways of avoiding the excess calories is to cook at home. This way you know exactly how your food is being prepared. Also, it’ll help save money and allow you to learn a valuable skill.
6. Mr Clean Method
Clean your pantries out. I’m constantly asked, “Chris, don’t you like eating cookies and chips.” Absolutely I love them. The foods are made in a way that lends itself to binging and overeating. One of the simplest tricks I implement is to NEVER have them in my house. I mean NEVER. If these food items are in my house, I like anyone else will consume them. Before you tell me that you have them for your kids, remember as the adult you have the power to purchase whatever is in your house. A simple tip would be not to buy all of your kids favorites, and perhaps purchase some stuff that they like and you don’t. I know the concept sounds crazy, but if they like a certain kind of dessert which isn’t appealing to you, it’s the best of both worlds. You get to be supermom or superdad while also sticking to your diet.
The above methods are some simple tips and tricks that I’ve used myself and with clients over the last 15 plus years of coaching. Counting calories is very effective as it’s an exact science but it’s not for everyone. The above methods will help accomplish much of the same without being overly burdensome.
As always if you need help or want to schedule a free nutrition consultation I’m here to help.
– Coach Chris