|Leer en español|
I know, I know… You are still sceptical that you can lose weight without dieting or eliminating certain kinds of food from your diet. And I understand you; I was sceptical too. But – you may be wondering-, if it is really possible to shed all the extra pounds without being on a rigid and boring diet, how can I do it?, How can I lose weight without dieting? Let me share with you various facts that demystify some of the most widespread information about losing weight, diets, nutrition and forbidden foods.
Forget Counting Calories Once And For All
There was a time in my life in which I took note of every calorie that I had consumed during the day. I thought that it may be the key to finally find out how to lose weight without starving yourself. Of course, I also took note of every calorie that I had –supposedly– burned (yes, from activities such as sleeping and breathing to study and walking… I did research! It’s not by chance that later on I studied a Ph.D. 😛 ). Thus, I ended up with an Excel document which contained several months of daily balances of “calories in – calories out”. And the answer is NOT, it didn’t work at all. I even gained weight!
By the time I didn’t know that the body does not know anything about counting calories. What’s really important is not calorie quantity but calorie quality since it does matter if the calorie comes from tomatoes or candies. As Jonathan Bailor unveils in his book The Calorie Myth, if the calories that go into your body are from poor quality, it will cause a hormonal blockage that removes your ability to burn body fat (Bailor, 2013). So, from now on, please, concern more about the quality of what you eat and less about the quantity you eat.
Concentrate On The Quality Of What You Put In Your Mouth
The key is to consume nutrient-rich foods since they will help to adjust your metabolic and hormonal responses and, therefore, your body will be able to keep a healthy and stable weight naturally, you won’t even have to think about it! And, what foods are considered to be nutrient dense?
Yes, at the top of the list are the healthy fats such as meat (preferably organic), coconut oil, nuts, wild fish and my favourite one: avocados. Try to replace your morning buttered toast by a whole grain bread toast with ripe avocado spread and tomato slices; if you wish, you can try to sprinkle a bit of garlic powder and a pinch of Himalayan or sea salt on it and finish by adding a little bit of oil. You won’t want to go back to your boring buttered toast! 😉
Eating Vegetables Don’t Have To Be Boring
You know it, I know it, and everyone knows that you should eat non-starchy vegetables. And for all of us, it should not be a matter of losing weight or looking gorgeous but a matter of health. Seriously, do you want to live to old age? Furthermore, do you want to live to old age with a great quality of life? Then, eat veggies. As healthy fats, they also help you to satisfy your appetite. Common non-starchy vegetables are, for instance, artichokes, asparagus, beets, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage (green, Chinese), carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, greens (collard, kale, turnip), mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and salad greens (endive, escarole, lettuce, chicory, romaine, spinach, watercress) (you can find much more by performing a simple search on the internet). I also thought that making something attractive of eating all the above on a daily basis was an impossible task, but have you tried, for instance, filling a bowl with a mix of salad greens and chunks of tomato, onion, carrot and beet and season it with a delicious home-made avocado or curry mayo? Or, what about a good plate of roasted peppers, onions, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and sweet potatoe seasoned with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil? Sounds good? It tastes better 🙂 In the end it is also a matter of leaving the paradigm of “vegetables are only for dieters” and look for innovative ways of including them in our eating routine. There are tons of amazing recipes out there. Come on, challenge your taste buds!
Want To Feel Fuller Longer? Eat Proteins
High quality proteins (wild fish, grass-fed, organic meet, eggs, yogurt and plant based proteins) are extremely helpful in reducing appetite with little effort. But have in mind that too much protein is related to several diseases. The RDA recommends a daily intake of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight (or about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight) (Food and Nutrition Board, 2002).
I hope you find these facts interesting and that it helps you to make a good start or continue on the right track towards for a life free from weight problems 🙂
Please leave any comment you want to share with me. I will be more than happy to hear from you!
Featured image of post courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Bailor, J. (2013). The Calorie Myth: How to Eat More, Exercise Less, Lose Weight, and Live Better: HarperCollins.
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. (2002). Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. In N. A. Press (Ed.). Washington, DC.
Jared - November 13, 2014 at 20:15
You make a great point about the quality versus the quantity of the calorie. And the fact that poor quality food does down regulate important hormones (such as leptin). Even knowing that I’m still not sure how this guy lost weight on a twinkie diet…
Luz - November 20, 2014 at 13:10
Oh my! I already read the story… I tried to do the same for a while (yes, naughty naughty, I know… But I have a sweet tooth of epic proportions! :-P). In my case I gained weight but what’s more worrisome is that, by the time, I wasn’t aware at all about the pernicious effects of such food for my body (in fact, I started suffering from some of them). When I made my particular research on it, I started to avoid certain things, not just because I wanted to lose weight, but because I love my body and I love it healthy. Information is power! 🙂
Thank you very much for letting me know about this story!
Muriel - November 13, 2014 at 22:00
Hi! Thank you for writing this interesting blog post! You made me think differently about calories. I make my own salads a lot during the week and I eat some meat. It’s good to know, that the quality of the calories matter and not the quantity.
Luz - November 20, 2014 at 12:59
Sure Muriel! And not worrying about counting calories makes you concentrate more about how you feel, how your body feels when you eat certain foods, which is of crucial importance when you are trying to lose weight. And it’s liberating when you start to eat even more than when you were on a diet, couting calories and restricting foods, and see that you don’t put on a single pound or kilo; what’s better, you star to shed the unwanted inches or centimetres! So keep your good habits and forget about counting calories! 😉
becky - November 19, 2014 at 18:39
Amen! Nice work Luz! And great information 🙂
I’ve maintained an ideal weight for many years by focusing on foods that nourish my body. I still indulge in coffee and sweets every day but only after a healthy meal. I include a lot of healthy salads to go with my meals and love your suggestion of a homemade avocado mayo dressing (yum and healthy!). Would love to know how you make it!
Becky (aka: Bsting) 🙂
Luz - November 20, 2014 at 12:52
Thank you very much for your nice words Becky! I see that you have already reached that point in which you just enjoy food without worrying too much about maintaining or losing weight. Well done! Life’s not about having constant nightmares about food, the scale or sizes… 🙂 The avocado mayo is really easy! When I don’t have enough time, I make it even simplier: just squash the avocado (it has to be well ripe) against the toast with a fork (if you wish, you can first pour a little bit of extra virgin olive oil on the toast); then sprinkle a bit of garlic powder and a pinch of sea salt and add on top tomato slices. Yummy! You can always adapt this super-easy recipe and, for instance, swap the garlic for your preferred spice (or mix of spices), add a splash of lime, leave the tomato out… Hope this helps and you find your brand new breakfast with the avocado toast! 😉
Vince - November 21, 2014 at 06:03
Great information. I tried counting calories one time and it was just way too tedious for me. I don’t know who said it but it’s true, “don’t count calories make the calories count”
Luz - December 1, 2014 at 17:44
Sure! Make the calories count, that’s the point. I’m happy you stopped counting calories, there’s no point in doing it (unless you are willing to beat yourself up!) 🙂 All best
Jolie - December 2, 2014 at 11:15
Hi Luz! I have come across this theory before when I read the book 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss – it does make sense that not all foods are used by the body in the same way, even though they may have the same number of calories. It’s just crazy to think that we’ve been fed this ‘truth’ about calorie intake for so long, and it may be all a lie! I need to do a bit more research personally before I can say either way what I think though.
I agree with eating more veggies, you’ll feel amazing for it, plus you get all the goodness of the antioxidants, vitamins and other good stuff that they are loaded with!
Luz - November 19, 2015 at 11:21
Oh Jolie, I feel very sorry, I missed your great comment! I hadn’t read that book before but now I’m so curious! Gonna get it right now 😀 Thank you very much, Jolie. I see that you are doing a wonderful job too 😉
Jolie - November 19, 2015 at 23:40
No worries at all Luz, your site is looking great since I last was here! Keep up the good work!
Luz - November 23, 2015 at 16:31
Thank you so much Jolie! 😉