Repeat after me:
" I. AM. NOT. A. CALORIE. CALCULATOR."
While your gym trainer says you absolutely must count calories, there are much better ways to lose weight without obsessing over calories or your weight.
If there is one rule for a happy life, it's this:
Don’t ever trust anyone who values bananas and skittles equally...
Jokes aside, some coaches are the modern-day preachers of calorie counting.
They give you the shpiel about the "calorie balance" and how "whichever diet you follow, you are losing weight because you're in a calorie deficit".
Then they sell you a meal plan only has 800-1200kcal/day and says you need to eat 11 portions of protein a day, every day, forever, until you die of misery.
And somehow, calorie-counters claim that this is the only magical method that results in weight loss.
Oh, and by the way, that meal plan is the usually same one they give to every other female client, regardless of factors like:
her true health goals
her current eating habits
her food preference
her stress levels
HER WHOLE LIFE.
Those are just unnecessary details.
If you're a woman, you're getting the same chicken-breast-and-broccoli meal plan as every other woman. Done deal.
How to lose weight without counting calories
In the world of real nutrition, though, there are much better ways to lose weight without counting calories. So you can avoid spending your lunch break telling MyFitnessPal what you ate, and instead do more enjoyable things.
Here are the 4 steps to diet-free weight loss without calorie counting:
1. Use a hand-portion guide.
You can use a hand-portion guide to measure your meals and choose healthier food options.
Here is a simple one you can easily use every day:
Source: Precision Nutrition
The good thing about using a hand-portion guide is that you always have it on you.
Because... you know... it's your hand.
So if you really want to give up on calorie counting, a hand-portion guide is one of the easiest tools to use for effective (and sane) weight loss.
2. Eat your 7-a-day.
You can focus on eating 7-a-day of fruits, veggies and salads (avoid cream-based dressings).
This will bring you more satiety for way fewer calories, and keep you full for longer.
Plus, you unconsciously will avoid any unnecessary snacking for the rest of the day.
3. Mini exercise before meals
You can do some small activity before each meal, such as going up a few flights of stairs, doing 30 squats or just speed-walking outside.
This burns more calories and manages your appetite.
4. Eat mindfully
You can also enjoy the damn meal.
Appreciate the badass chef you are (if you cooked it), eat mindfully and stop when you’re around 80% full.
Mini bonus - you’ll love yourself.
You don't need to count calories in order to lose weight. There are lots of other, easier and more modern-day efficient ways for eating healthier to lose fat.
By doing the suggestions above, you will still eat at a negative calorie balance (i.e. burn more than you eat), with no calorie counting involved.
Meaning you will lose fat without getting obsessed over it.
I’m not saying calorie counting doesn’t work. (Though it’s not foolproof - but that’s a topic for another day!). But...
There’s so much more to food than just calories. Food is happiness. So count nutrients, not calories.
What’s your experience with calorie counting?