Long Term Weight Loss Tips Without Counting Calories or Macros

Many people wish to lose weight and keep it off, but not many want to count calories or macros. Weighing food, checking every label, and guessing if you hit the perfect serving size is annoying at best. At the end of the day, to lose weight, you have to be in a calorie deficit, but there are other methods to accomplish this without counting. An adjustment to your behavior might be the more sustainable path.

Unfortunately, if you are a competitive athlete, this article may not be practical for you since your goals may be far stricter. I highly recommend competitive athletes listen to their coaches for their nutrition. The typical person should be capable of attaining valuable knowledge from these tips.

Eat Whole Foods:

As mentioned in the last nutritional article, eating whole foods is one of the best things you can do. Highly processed food might be delicious but is not filling. Non-filling foods may lead you to overeat if you do not have sufficient discipline. Whole foods usually do not have this problem as they are typically more filling. Fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of fiber, which is very filling, controls cholesterol, and benefits your digestive system. High-quality proteins take a bit longer to digest and have the highest level of thermic effect, meaning protein takes the most energy to digest. Despite highly processed foods lacking vital nutrients, there is no reason to avoid processed foods. My suggestion would be to minimize or reduce processed foods.

Write down everything you eat:

When my clients sign up for nutritional coaching, I never give them a meal plan. Instead, I have them write down everything they are eating. What journaling all your meals does is show you exactly what and how much you are eating. People do not keep up with how much they are eating. The obvious question is, “how is this different than measuring macros or calories?” Simply, this is focusing on habits, not numbers. While there is nothing wrong with focusing on numbers, improving behaviors is superior because you no longer need to count numbers, at least as far as quality of life. If you have healthy habits, you are more likely to make better diet decisions. For example, I had one client who ate out almost every day. When I had him start journaling, he noticed how much he ate out and ordered each time. He made the switch to eat more home cooked meals. While it helped him eat more filling food, thus less food, it also helped save money.

Eat out less:

Building off the last point, reducing the incidence of eating out will help significantly. Frequently, restaurants do not focus on creating healthy foods, instead, they focus on creating delicious food. This is not a bad thing but can lead to overconsuming calories. Now, this is fine in most cases. Where the problem arises is when this is overly common. When people go out to eat more frequently, we see they have a rougher time controlling their weight. When you usually consume home-cooked food, you have the advantage of knowing what you are putting into it. Of course, you can make home cooked food just as unhealthy or even more so than fast food or restaurant food, but you have the choice. It is exactly like an idea I heard back in high school: Subway is not healthy. Subway has healthy options, but you can make your subway sandwich just as bad as a burger king burger as readily as you can make it a healthy sandwich. The idea here is that when cooking from home (and restaurants that allow you to choose what you can put on your food, you have the choice to make the food healthier or less healthy. And nothing is wrong with the occasional unhealthy food.

Avoid Drinking Your Calories:

A simple way to over consume calories is by drinking calories. As mentioned before, junk food and highly processed food are often not filling. High-calorie drinks are even worse in this department. Nonetheless, not all high-calorie drinks are created equal; some can be incredibly useful. Fruit drinks, while high in calories, often come with antioxidants and vitamins. Sodas are usually high in sugar but lack antioxidants and vitamins. You can consume a soda for a boost in energy. It is not a bad idea to drink a soda before a workout for a quick boost. While diet sodas have been cited to, specifically artificial sweeteners, cause cancer. However, the studies showing this were performed on rats. The doses are so high in rats that it is unreasonable to think any human would consume the proportional amount. There is no danger. Diet drinks can be a great way to stave off soda cravings. And if you are just not comfortable with diet drinks, carbonated water and seltzer are another way to stave off soda cravings. Water and unsweetened tea are two of the best choices for zero-calorie drinks.

Moderation:

The difference between medicine and poison is often the dose. The same can be said for food. Nobody has ever gotten obese eating one or two cookies every once in a while. You can even say nobody has gotten obese over one cookie a day. People will create issues when consuming a significant degree of high-calorie, super-tasty, non-filling foods. Despite some “health gurus” pushing the anti-sugar movement, sugar is not bad for you. Sugar is just a nutrient. The issue with sugary food is the lack of other nutrients. Would you say fruits are unhealthy? Fruits are packed with sugar! And fiber. And vitamins. Compare this to a sugar cookie, which is mostly carbs with few micronutrients. So, sugar is not the issue, it is a food choice. Be mindful of what you eat and how much.

Enjoy what you eat:

Another essential part of reaching and maintaining a healthier weight is enjoying what you eat. If your diet is not a lifestyle change, it will fail. Your diet should be something you can do forever. Of course, some diets should not be done indefinitely, such as keto, but even if they cannot be sustainable forever, they should be something that can be sustained for a long time and returned to effortlessly. If you want to be successful in your weight loss journey, you want to find a nutrition system that you enjoy.

Conclusion:

Weight loss can be difficult, but I believe these tips will help you develop better habits to improve your health. Understanding these tips will point you in the direction you need to help yourself. Of course, you could hire a nutritionist or trainer to take care of this stuff for you, which I also recommend; however, many nutritionists and trainers are unqualified and under-experienced. At the least, this list should help you tell if your nutritionist or trainer is up to snuff.

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Quentin Washington

Quentin Washington

I am an exercise physiologist and online fitness/nutrition coach. If you like what I write here, check out my website: https://greathammerfitness.webflow.io/