You know losing weight would both make you feel and look better.
But, every attempt you’ve made so far has ended up with that you gained the weight back.
The biggest problem has been that all your diets have been 1) very strict and 2) involved counting calories.
Even if they could work, they just make you too obsessive about what you eat.
Besides, who want to live their life counting calories forever?
Luckily, there are many other options that can help you lose those love handles; or to finally fit into that dress you’d always wanted.
And no, none of them involves counting calories – promise!
1. Map out your food habits
Dedicate 4-8 days where you document your food habits, not based on calories but rather how you feel after you’ve eaten.
Write down (1) date and time, (2) what you ate and drink, (3) how hungry you were before the meal and how full you were after, and (4) your emotions associated with that meal:
- Date and time – Monday 10/8 7:30 AM
- Food and drink – A bowl of milk and oatmeal, one cup of coffee
- Hunger/fullness – Super hungry! Very full after eating
- Emotions – Energized and satisfied
The goal of this task is to get an overview and to identify patterns.
- If you eat a small breakfast, do you find it harder to concentrate at work?
- If you skip lunch, do you snack more in the evening?
- Do you eat very differently over the weekend compared to during weekdays?
2. Cut the junk
Yes, those donuts look delicious.
But they are not serving you or bringing you any closer to your goal.
Picture yourself one year from now:
- Where do you want to be?
- What do you want to look like?
- More importantly; how do you want to feel?
Write down the answer to these questions and let them remind you of in which direction you want to go.
You can either remain in the exact same position that you are now, or you can cut the junk (cookies, ice cream, pizza) and be able to:
- Eat without feeling guilty
- Become more energized and rested out
- Become more happy and confident
- Look yourself in the mirror and feel proud
Becoming healthier doesn’t mean that you need to starve yourself. In fact, you can still eat a lot of food; if you choose the right sources:
- Veggies – Broccoli, Spinach, Paprika, Cabbage, Onions
- Protein – Chicken, Turkey, Eggs, Fish, Soybeans
- Carbs – Root vegetables, Legumes, Bulgur, Quinoa, Fruit/Berries
- Fat – Fat fish, Almonds, Seeds, Olive Oil, Avocado
3. Avoid drinking your calories
Many liquids tend to be high in sugar and – even if we don’t like to admit it – way too easy to finish off (another round of shots, anyone?).
Compare this with slowly enjoying a proper meal full of greens, protein, and essential fatty acids.
The second option will keep you full longer 10/10 times.
Replacing your normal soda, juice, and alcohol with water or light-soda is a key to achieving weight loss.
4. Eat enough protein
Protein is one of the most important macronutrients when you are trying to lose weight.
Not only does it help you to lose more fat, it also reduces your hunger and gives you a better appetite regulation.
Some sources rich in protein are:
- Fish: tuna, mackerel, salmon, cod
- Meat: Beef, pork
5. Make your plate more green
Vegetables are one of the best tools for weight loss.
They are nutrient dense, rich in fibers, and saturates well – while containing very low energy.
Feel free to allow them to take up half of your food plate.
Fresh or frozen.
Cook them, wok them, or let them roast in the oven.
Get creative and add more color in your diet.
By eating more vegetables, you’re doing both yourself and the environment a big favor.
6. Eat regularly
While meal frequency seems to be of less importance, eating around the same hours every day can make a significant difference.
By being consequent, your mind and body will adjust to when it’s time to eat or not to eat.
In this way, you will minimize the risk of becoming acute hungry and falling for temptations.
Use your documentation from point 1 – in the beginning of the article – to identify if you already have regular eating habits.
If not, tweak your food schedule so that it’s as consistent as possible.
Don’t let that chocolate craving catch you off-guard!
7. Don’t eat in front of the TV
Love to bring your dinner into the living room to watch your favorite TV-show?
Many of us do.
However, this also leads to that you are less likely to pay attention to what and how much you eat.
Avoid mindless overeating by enjoying your food away from screens.
8. Eat proper food
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the different diet advice that exist today, both on the internet and from people around us.
- Should you eat high-fat?
- Should you eat low-carb?
- Should you avoid eating in the evening?
In the end, what’s most important is the quality of the food that you eat.
Choose fresh and nutrient dense ingredients that haven’t been processed:
100g of apples = 52 calories 100g of crisps = ~530 calories
This alone makes a massive difference when you try to lose weight.
Even better, it allows you to eat MORE.
Losing weight doesn’t require you to obsessively count calories.
Neither does it require your diet to be extremely strict.
Start by doing one or two small yet meaningful adjustments:
- Map out your food habits
- Cut the junk
- Avoid drinking your calories
- Eat enough protein
- Make your plate more green
- Eat regularly
- Don’t eat in front of the TV
- Eat proper food
When you can handle those, do a third.
If you can continue to add positive changes over time, you will reach your goal weight in a more healthy and enjoyable way.