Have you ever been on one of those diets where you’re weighing absolutely everything and tracking your calories in MyFitnessPal? We have, too, so don’t worry.
Tracking calories can be a good way to start better understanding food and the way your body uses it, but too often do we see lifestyles that are adjusted to fit these needs, leaving a big gap for unbalanced living. Tracking every single piece of food you eat might be a short-term fix for those few kilos you want to lose, but it’s definitely not a maintainable or sustainable lifestyle.
Not only does counting calories not support a healthy relationship with food, but it can also lead to feelings of stress, overwhelm and of course, guilt.
We’re long-time believers in ditching the scales and instead, doing these 5 tricks to keep you in shape all year long:
- Prioritise protein
Don’t get us wrong, we love nothing more than a big bowl of pasta and a glass of vino, but not for every meal or even every dinner. Carbohydrates and fats aren’t near as satiating as protein, which means you’ll stay fuller for longer and reduce your hunger levels. Choose lean, high-quality meats like organic chicken and grass-fed beef. Pairing this with your fave fibrous veggies like carrots, beets and broccoli means you won’t need to track your every bite because high-protein diets have shown to lead to consumption of 30% fewer calories.
- Don’t drink your ‘calories’
Liquid calories do not provide the same level of satiety as food, meaning they don’t make you feel full, nor do you get similar satisfaction. Drinks like soft drink, juice, smoothies, kombucha and alcohol don’t contain proteins, fats, fiber or nutrients like whole foods do. Opting for healthier choices like water, tea, or plain coffee, will help you achieve your weight loss goals.
- Focus on whole foods
Whole foods are generally foods that have not been processed, refined, or had sneaky ingredients added to them. They are whole foods, straight from the land, sea or sky and are more nutritional than packaged food like chips, chocolate, cereal, and bread. Think fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, meat, fish, and eggs – all delicious, feel-good components to lead a healthy, happy lifestyle. Making sure your plate has a variety of these foods will make losing weight a breeze.
- Eat mindfully
Too often can we use eating and drinking as an excuse. Got promoted? Let’s go for a boozy lunch! Going through a breakup? That chocolate ice-cream is calling your name. Bored on a Sunday? Large Coke and medium fries to-go. We feel you - food is a way of feeling good and most of the time, is at the centre of a lot of occasions. Being mindful of when to eat, why you’re eating and how much you should consume, is going to help you better understand your natural hungers cue and determine whether you’re eating intuitively.
- Be honest with yourself
If you’re looking at losing a bit of weight, you need to be transparent with yourself. If you’re writing a narrative in your head that you’re doing all the right things, but you’re sneaking food here and missing gym classes there, you’re not doing yourself any favours. Getting a professional on board to keep you on track and ensuring you’re meeting your goals is a great way to staying accountable. Don’t be yourself up because none of us are perfect but keeping it real with healthier choices will help you see results long-term.