As a holistic health professional, I get asked this question a lot. How can you lose weight without solely focusing on the calories?
When I wrote my book for clients- The Five Pillar System I found I had to count calories in each recipe to begin. After creating 30 recipes for men and women and watching them lose weight just by implementing the recipes weekly, I found that there were nutritional rules contributing to weight loss. And I realised how easy maintaining or even losing weight can be in the long run if we start to focus more on positive lifestyle habits instead of calories.
And the simple answer is yes you can lose weight without the calorie counting. By entering a program or app that helps to improve your lifestyle habits and mindset. It’s called a maintenance program where you get to lose weight as a result of practising balanced mindful eating habits and practising moderate exercise most days of the week (we like tone so up-level your exercise until you exercise less often and higher intensity).
Be careful not to fall into the trap of relying on someone or a program or product to help you lose weight. Weight loss is like learning basic maths or English at school. It takes some time to learn and practice. But as long as you have a good physical exercise coach, are willing to learn from your mistakes and keep trying you ll get there eventually and then there will be no going back.
Calorie counting or counting points like in Jenny Craig, can help us be in tune with how our day looks like with food. But it is not a way of living life. A weekly plan with nutritional meals, being kind to your body while up-levelling it with exercise (try these Yogatone™️ exercises that I created) and empowering support from a health coach would be a better long-term approach.
Find an app or program that helps set you up for success in the long run. You should not feel like you can’t do this on your own once you finished the program. When I see clients for 6 weeks to 3 months max 6 months, they all go away knowing the principles of healthy eating, and a healthy exercise lifestyle.
Indeed weight loss at a scientific level is calories burnt through exercise and calories not eaten with food. In fact, to lose 1 kg of body fat we need to have 7700kcal less a week. However, losing such an amount each week is not as sustainable. It is advised to aim for 1/2 a week. So to lose 1/2 kilo of fat we would need to have 3850kcal less a week. To break 3850 into nutrition and exercise that’s 275 cal less of calories a day from food and burn 275 calories a day through exercise.
How to know you are eating 275 calories less a day without counting calories?
- Lessen your binge sessions. Have fewer times in your week that you emotionally/boredom eating. You should only eat treat food such as a maces meal or lots of cake and pizza, wine or party food once a week. If you can’t just do it once a week because you honestly don’t feel in control or that you need it to survive, I hear you but that’s one habit that would probably take off the full 275 amount! One slice of pizza is 285 calories, so imagine you said no to the extra slice you usually eat (had 2 slices instead of 3 or had half a pizza instead of a full) you are making a significant contribution to the daily calories.
- Eat natural clean food 5 days a week. Creating pre-prep meals instead of eating takeaway and choosing natural snacks instead of sugary one. Can save your body from consuming the empty calories your body just doesn’t need.
- Plan what we eat every day at least 5 days a week. Instead of thinking you are on a diet think you are changing your lifestyle so your body has a change to nourish 5 days a week and enjoy food more 2 days a week.
- Plan for 3 balanced plate meals a say and a healthy snack
What exercise burns 275 calories:
- Do Yoga 45min
- Do gardening 60min
- 1 hour brisk walking
- Tips for weight loss a holistic way:
You will notice results towards a lighter energised body with the following
– better movement
- Lighter in your step upstairs/getting up
- Fewer cravings (takes 2-4 weeks to desensitise taste buds and help the brain adjust to more natural food and less sugar/savoury tasting foods)
- Less bloating in the gut
- Feeling more even with energy and mood as you are eating balanced meals 3 times a day minimum
- More muscle popping out from daily exercise