Losing weight without counting calories, is that even possible?
A few years from now, spring season meant to me counting calories to “get summer-ready”.
If you read my previous posts, you would have known that counting calories made me develop an eating disorder called binge eating.
Food had become an obsession, and I lost control of my body when it came to eating.
When I found out where it came from and that I went over it, I promised myself to never go back to counting calories again.
Even though I found myself tempted by it, I never went went back at it.
Because you know, even though I am a body-positivity and self-love advocate, gaining some weight can sometimes make us feel heavy, too tight in our clothes, and less agile.
And that’s not a comfortable feeling.
So if you gained some weight during a certain period of time (for me, it’s always in winter) and you want to get rid of it, please know that you don’t need to follow a drastic diet.
Nor do you have to deprive yourself of what you enjoy eating or weigh everything you eat. Simple steps will suffice.
I’m obviously not saying that you should lose weight for summer or any other period of the year. Do what makes you feel better, physically, AND mentally.
Cook at home
Cooking your own meals is in my opinion essential if you want to have control over your diet.
Ready-to-buy meals are most of the time packed with unnecessary substances: sugar, high amounts of salt, preservatives.
There’s no need to be a chef to cook delicious food to take with you at work or school.
The internet is full of easy and healthy recipes you can be inspired by (pssst, I have some recipes on my blog too).
Not only you will choose and know what you eat, but you will also save some money!
Eat better, not less
We tend to link weight loss with the act of eating less, but I don’t agree with that.
Take a look at your actual eating patterns and ask yourself what you improve.
Do you eat enough fruit and veggies? Do you drink enough water? Do your proteins, carbs, and fats come from good quality sources?
Here are some tips to help you eat healthier:
- Always add a portion of vegetables to your meals
- Prioritize whole grains instead of refined ones
- Do not neglect your legumes
- Include fruits in your breakfasts or in your snacks
- Get your fats from nuts, seeds, fatty fish, avocados
- Replace white sugar with natural sources of sugar: dates, agave/maple syrup, honey
- Drink at least 2 liters of water a day
Look at the ingredients’ quality, not at their calories
The problem with diets and counting calories is that we focus too much on numbers and neglect nutrition.
Instead of going for products labeled as “light”, “reduced in calories” or “fat-free”, focus on fresh, unprocessed foods.
Fruit, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are high in fiber and water, which will keep you fuller for longer.
Moreover, your digestive system will benefit from them, just as your overall health and levels of energy will benefit from the vitamins and minerals in there.
Because yes, more energy will enable you to be more active and therefore burn more calories.
Even though one of the most popular researches on Google and Pinterest is “How to love weight without exercising”, moving your body is required to burn calories.
Exercising doesn’t necessarily mean lifting weights, running a marathon, or doing high intensity workouts. Walking for 30 minutes a day, dancing, or doing pilates at home also count as physical activities and will help you reach your goal.
Find something you enjoy and adapt frequency/intensity according to your progress.
If you already work out regularly, there is no need to train for even longer; focus on intensity instead.
If you have time to talk to people or check your phone during your workouts, they might not be intense and effective enough.
This being said, it is important to find a healthy balance. Overtraining or very intense workouts can cause stress to your body and prevent you from losing weight.
Listen to your body’s signs
This might sound logical, but our body’s signs are important indicators. If you are hungry, eat. If you are full, stop eating (yes, even if it’s delicious).
There’s actually no need to starve yourself in order to lose weight.
Actually, when your body notices that not enough food is provided, it goes into starvation mode and will prevent weight loss.
Have you ever eaten your meal whilst looking at your phone or the tv, and suddenly noticed that your food was already gone?
If yes, then you might not be bringing enough attention to your meals. Therefore, they kind of go unnoticed and you might feel like you’re still hungry afterwards.
Make an effort to put away your phone when eating and fully focus on your meal. Chew slowly, be aware of the different tastes and texture… Enjoy the moment!
We already know this, too much stress can cause many issues to our bodies. Amongst them, hunger and the inability to lose weight.
That is when holistic health comes into play. You might have a perfect diet and not miss a workout, if you are stressed AF or don’t sleep enough, you won’t make any progress.
I am going through the different types of stress, how they affect the body, and how to treat them in this article.
Do not restrict yourself
So of course I recommend you stay away from sugary, fried, and processed foods, but that doesn’t mean you should never have them again!
Restricting yourself from a certain food or food group makes the process of losing weight (and your life) unrealistic. It will actually higher the risk of developing an eating disorder.
Your mental state comes obviously into play to feel good and stay in line with your goals.
You can have an irreproachable diet and a perfect-looking body, but if you’re not in a happy place mentally, you won’t be a healthy person.
There you have it, my tips on how to lose weight without counting calories! These recommendations are the ones I use for myself whenever I’m not feeling the best in my body anymore.
Obviously, these tips won’t be applicable in certain situations. If you are overweight or need to lose an important amount of weight for health reasons, I recommend you go to a professional.
If you applied these steps into your lifestyle, I would love to learn how they helped you. Leave me a comment below or come chat with me on Instagram!