Why counting calories isn’t enough

More often than not I am approached by girls that are tracking their calories but are finding it hard to stick to their prescribed calorie amount. They usually manage it Monday – Friday when will power is high then bail at the weekends eating back all the calories they lost over the week. Or they feel are feeling hungry all the time and unsurprisingly can’t stick it out longer than a day. This combined with excessive cardio is the most common unsustainable way I see girls trying to lose weight.

The good news is that it’s not hard to change and actually with a few small tweaks it’s a lot easier than you think.

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  1. Are you eating enough protein? Even when I ask people this question they don’t take seriously how important this is for weight loss. Protein helps with satiety (feeling full) and prevents muscle loss (which is important in a calorie deficit as you lose muscle as well as fat). A good place to start is with around a gram of protein per pound of body weight and then you can make the rest of your calories up with fats and carbs at your preference. Even if you are not tracking your calories/macros  eating more protein can aid with weight loss without you even noticing. There is a reason why you have heard of the low carb/low fat diet but never the low protein diet.
  2. You are not eating enough fiber. Fruits and veggies are the best way to keep full whilst cutting your calories. Especially the green veggies. Not to mention they are super nutrient packed. Even when people think they are eating enough vegetables they are more often not eating enough. Eat your greens!
  3. Your dieting calories are not the same as your maintenance calories. So many times people reduce their calories too much and they think that they have to stay at those calories forever more. You can reduce your calories by just 200 everyday and slowly lose weight and just to put that into context that’s just over 2 table spoons of olive oil. The same however works in the reverse. More often than not people don’t gain a lot of weight over night. It’s often that they have been in a small calories surplus for a long time. Dieting does not have to be all or nothing.
  4. Prep your food. If you prep your food in advance and even include the treats you will have you are much more likely to stick to your diet. The amount of willpower and decision making you will need in the day drastically decreases and therefor compliance is much higher.
  5. Learning how to cheat. If you are going out for dinner you can think ahead and just eat veggies and protein in the day. This way you can live your life without blowing your diet and you can still reach your goals.

So next time, before getting down about not being able to stick to your diet, make sure you consider the above and don’t underestimate what a difference these things can make.

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