how to lose weight without counting calories
If you ask anybody, anywhere, “how do you lose weight?”
Everyone, everywhere will answer “create a caloric deficit.” The question, how to lose weight without counting calories is an entirely different discussion altogether. But it is not a futile one.
Most people think that the only way to sustained weight loss is a strict caloric deficit.
If the requirement to lose weight is to create a caloric deficit, how can you lose a single pound without counting a single calorie?
Those two things don’t even sound like they go together?!?!
You can lose weight without stressing over the tedious task of ticking off calories.
Losing weight, without counting calories is probably the best way to kick off your weight loss journey. Setting a goal to become healthier and going after that goal without being forced to count every calorie just feels right.
There is something natural, innate even about just eating without restrictions, and only guidelines.
And that’s what we are doing today in this post. We are creating some guidelines to help you on your weight loss journey.
When I first began to chip away at the 70 pounds that I’ve managed to lose, I did not do it with total dependency on counting calories.
Related Reading: How I Stopped Yo-Yo Dieting, My 80 Pound Weight Loss Journey
Before we begin discussing the tangible things you can do to learn how to lose weight without counting calories, we should touch base on the basics of a calorie.
What Is A Calorie?
What’s in a calorie? Are all calories created equal? All valid questions that deserve answers.
Technically, yes all calories expend the same amount of energy.
What that food provides nutritionally to satisfy, and hold you over to the next meal is what will make all the damn difference. I put that damn in there so you know how serious that last sentence is.
When you’re on a weight loss journey, trying to lose a significant amount of weight, being held over to the next meal is going to be your bread and butter. *pun intended, because–we enjoy bread and butter over here*
More on that later….
Who Should Count Calories?
There are specific types of people who should be counting calories.
And there are those who can lax a bit on feverishly knowing the caloric content of every nibble, bite, lick & sip of food on their plate.
Counting calories is not restricted to any one set of people. But, when you want to lose weight without counting calories it is good to know whether the concept is a right fit for your goals or not.
The kinds of people who should count calories:
- people with time constraints tied to their weight loss. For instance, you want to lose 10 pounds before a beach vacation or a friend’s wedding in the coming months. Then counting calories would yield the maximum results in the least amount of time and thus, it’s a good idea to do so.
- people who do not have an emotional attachment to food and would not feel stressed when reducing/restricting calories.
- people who just need to get started with losing weight & don’t want to wait for the perfect plan or perfect start.
- complete newbies at making healthy meals.
Who Should Not Count Calories?
Most people will fit into this category, because calorie counting is damn difficult, dawg. It is real rubbish but can be the key to life changing weight loss results for some.
Counting calories, when you’re emotionally connected to food–can become stressful and create an opposite effect.
When I first began counting calories, and I was cutting more than 500 from my daily intake, the effect on my body was so severe that it created intense feelings of deprivation.
Feeling deprived lead way to massive binges. Tread lightly with counting those calories and make sure you’re not one of these people below.
- Anyone with a large amount of weight to lose. These kinds of weight loss endeavors do well with more long term weight loss strategies.
- people who have emotional attachments to food and would find themselves stressed from the reduction of calories.
- Anyone with an unhealthy relationship with food, or struggling through an eating disorder.
Does It Matter Where The Calories Come From?
how to lose weight without counting calories
Eat Whole/Real Foods
The only way losing weight without counting calories is going to be successful, is if your packing your plate with nutrient dense food.
“Eat whole foods they say, it’ll be beneficial they say.”
Do they say that?
I’on know, but what I know for damn sure (there goes that damn word again, that means I’m serious) is that eating terrible takeout choices or junk food ALL day will leave you feeling unsatisfied and hungry.
If you want to lose weight without counting a calorie–you will have to choose your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks meticulously.
lose weight without Counting calories by utilizing 80/20
This does not mean you cannot ever enjoy an occasional treat. Hell, I have a Reese’s peanut butter cup at least (and what I mean by at least is faithfully) once a day.
For instance, packing your breakfast plate with simple carbs, is the fastest way to overeating as simple carbs does very little to help us feel full. Further more, simple carbs raises glucose levels and creates a craving for more simple carbs, sugar, and junk all day long.
When I say simple carbs, you know what I’m talking about. Who does not like buttery pancakes, crispy buttered toast and eggs for breakfast? I do, but this breakfast meal is loaded with carbs, fat and sugar and most likely a lot of calories.
If you aren’t counting calories, being sure you are eating in a deficit is going to be an uphill battle.
But why? Why can’t you eat butter and syrup smothered pancakes every single day and still lose weight? Simply put, the calories. Even a tiny bit comes packed full with hundreds of calories per serving.
Swap the butter loaded pancakes for whole grain protein waffles, sausage for some savory goodness (+ more protein and fats) & side of berries for complex carbs.
When your meals are set up like this, you’ll be slashing calories. You’ll also be creating some sustenance for your body to lean on until the next meal.
Eat foods rich in fiber–whole grains. Because these will keep you fuller longer. And we know how KEY being full is.
Go bat-shit crazy and pack your plate full with side dishes of fruit and/or vegetables. You’ll be able to feel fuller for longer stretches of time allowing yourself the momemtum you need to keep eating without sacrificing much needed un-tracked calories.
Don’t Drink Your CALORIES
Oooh baby, you’re going to want to go ahead, and go ahead and put all the drinks down.
It’s liquid but, it still has a calorie count. And when you’re not calorie counting, every un-tracked calorie counts (say that five times fast).
TLDR? Drink water instead. That’s it, that’s this entire bullet point.
I love water. I can drink an entire gallon every single day.
When I drink water during mealtimes and consistently drink up to a gallon daily, I am not as hungry throughout the day. Drinking more water makes me more likely not to exceed my daily caloric intake.
Water helps me stay in a deficit. Water has ZERO calories.
Related Reading: WomensHealth Mag feature ‘Fitness Influencer Opal Stacie set measurable, attainable weight loss goals.’
If it’s really difficult for you to choose water over juice or soda you have only two options, my friend:
1. Put a cap on how many cups of soda/juice/sugar laden lattes you’ll have or 2. opt for diet/sugar free. No if’s and’s or butt’s about this one.
It’s going to be difficult NOT to track calories if your meals are averaging 500 calories and +200 with beverages. If your goal is 2000 calories daily, you’ll be consuming half of those calories before noon.
Why not save the extra 200+ untracked calories and go for a safe and calorie free water instead? Hate water? Razzle dazzle that water with a lemon wedge or something that tickles your fancy.
Try Intermittent Fasting
After that time has passed, you do not eat again until the next window opens the following day.
Obviously, I’m still eating in a balanced way and not choosing low density foods to fuel with during my window.
Also, another thing I really love about IF is that putting a cap on my last meal for the night, helps me to shut my brain off from it’s natural tendency to keep on eating, past full.
But this only will work if your body is being provided the proper foundation to feel full throughout the day.