I don’t really enjoy the word diet. “I’m on a diet” just has such negative connotations.
“I can’t eat that, I’m on a diet.”
It’s typically something we hate but we feel like we have to do anyways.
“Ugh, I need to go on a diet.”
No, you actually don’t. You’re on a diet. Your diet is whatever you are eating.
What you actually need to do is change up your diet, and the negative feelings you have about it. It is possible to lose weight without counting calories, without going keto, without limiting carbs, without buying expensive premade meals, without starving yourself and without losing your damn mind.
First of all, you gotta start changing the way you think about healthy food. It’s not a punishment. Nourishing your body by making healthy choices for it is a GIFT. Not everyone gets to choose the food they eat, or has access to the high quality food that we are able to get. Taking care of yourself is an investment in your future, and a way to ensure that you will be around a long time to enjoy your life, your family, and your kids. You do not HAVE to eat healthy, you GET to eat healthy. Don’t roll your eyes. I’m serious.
Okay, here are my top tips for losing weight without actually tracking:
- Quit drinking your calories. Soda, juice, high calorie coffee beverages, etc. These things are full of empty calories and they add up, FAST. Switch to water, black coffee (you’ll get used to it), sugar free drinks (if you believe in artificial sweeteners, I do), OR if you really love them and want to hold on to your high calorie drinks, limit yourself to 1 a day or 1 every other day.
- Quit going out or ordering in for lunch every single day. It can be difficult to get a healthy, satisfying meal at a restaurant or fast food place. If you order a salad, chances are either that salad isn’t actually healthy or you’ll be hungry again in 10 minutes. If you order a sandwich and fries, you’re probably overeating or at the very least not getting enough protein. Making your lunch and bringing it to work will make eating healthier so much simpler, and it will also save you a bunch of money. Win-win. My favorite meals to make for lunches are chicken stir fry or turkey chili.
- Make sure you’re getting protein at every meal. Most people who aren’t trying to get enough protein, aren’t getting enough protein. Every meal should have some sort of protein, at least 20g. It will help keep you full longer.
- Increase your fruit and veggie intake. Try for 3-4 servings of vegetables and 3-4 servings of fruit a day. These will help you feel fuller, for fewer calories, and they are full of micronutrients that your body needs. Be smart about this – carrots with a tablespoon of ranch on each bite is not what we’re aiming for. Go light on the dips, or the oil that you’re cooking them in, and skip it when you can.
- DRINK MORE WATER. I think probably every one could benefit from drinking more water. I know I could. The lowest recommendation I can give is half your body weight in ounces daily. I would honestly try for closer to a gallon. Not only do you NEEED water to live, it will also help you to feel fuller and help you get your steps in as you’re running to the bathroom. Try drinking a full glass of water before each meal.
- Eat slower, and chhhhhewwwww longer. If you eat slower, your brain will have a chance to keep up and it will be able to tell you that your full before you overeat and get REALLY full. Also, digestion starts in the mouth with chewing/saliva so you can help your digestion process by slowing down your chewing. If you struggle with this, try putting the fork down between bites. Put your phone down while you eat so you’re not absentmindedly shoveling your food in. Or eat while you’re doing something else and just take bites periodically (I’m working on a bowl of oatmeal right now that I made about half an hour ago.)
- Get honest about your portion sizes. One donut a day? Probably not gonna kill ya. Three donuts a day? I mean… come on. One serving of mac n cheese? Sweet, carbs. Four servings of mac n cheese? Sweet, all the carbs you should eat for one day in one sitting. You CAN eat things that are considered unhealthy. Just watch your portion sizes. Have a little bowl of ice cream instead of sitting down with the container. Have 2 cookies instead of the entire box. Also, don’t eat when you’re not hungry, even if the food is sitting in front of you calling your name.
- Eat mindfully. If there are donuts in the office break room and you’re hungry? Cool, go for it. If there are donuts in the office break room and you already ate breakfast and your mid morning snack and you’re not hungry at all but they look so good? Its just a donut. There will be more. Don’t eat when you’re not actually hungry. Don’t mindlessly snack. Don’t eat a 1500 calorie meal when a 500 calorie meal would’ve satisfied your hunger. Enjoy a few bites of something without feeling like you have to eat the whole thing. And please, please don’t starve yourself.
If you change these things, I guarantee you will feel better. And you will most likely lose weight, slowly but in a sustainable way. If you aren’t losing weight even with implementing these tips, you either need to get honest with yourself about how well you’re implementing them, or you might need to consult a doctor to have your thyroid and other levels checked to make sure there is nothing going on (its a good idea to do this periodically anyways) or you might just need to consult a professional to help you figure out what you can change in your diet (I do offer macro coaching – click here for more info).
Losing weight does not have to be difficult. It does not have to be a chore. It does not have to be something that causes you undue stress and negativity.
It can be as simple as making a few healthier choices throughout the day.
And, changing your mindset from “I NEED to go on a diet so I can lose xx pounds” to “I GET to take care of my body and nourish it with healthy foods and I am lucky to have access to them and to choose what I get to put in my body” can go a long way.
You don’t have to lose weight. You don’t have to go a diet. You don’t have to change anything.
But, if you are unhappy and you want to make a change – you GET to make that choice for yourself, and you GET to create the life you want to live. You just have to make the choices to get you there.
If you want a coach to help you reach your health and fitness goals, I’d love to be that person for you. Check out my Personal Training page to learn more about pricing and how to get in contact with me.