Whenever you try to lose weight by reducing the number of calories in your diet, there is a high probability that hunger will make you throw in the towel. Counting calories for weight loss may be difficult and may not work for everybody as we think it requires dedication and commitment. So, what can you do? In this post, we suggest 5 simple changes (confirmed by science) that you can incorporate into your daily life to create a caloric deficit and lose weight in a healthy and durable form.
How to reduce the number of calories without counting?
Calories are simply a measure of energy. Everyone knows that to gain weight, you must consume more calories than you lose. And, conversely, if you want to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. Nevertheless, reducing the number of calories regardless of food you eat is not a sustainable and lasting way to lose weight. It may work for some people, yes, but most of these end up starving and abandoning the diet. For this reason, it is advisable to make some permanent changes in order to maintain the caloric deficit in the long term and not starve in the process.
1. Avoid sugary sodas and fruit juices
Soft drinks and fruit juices are primarily responsible for adding kilos in the current supply. A simple way to start losing weight is to eliminate liquid calories from sugar, for example, soft drinks, fruit juices, milk chocolate, and other sugary drinks.
It is important to know that the brain does not register liquid calories in the same way that it considers the calories present in solid foods. When you take sugary soft drinks, your brain does not automatically counter consumption of these calories with less consumption of other foods.
Sugary drinks are greatly related to an increased risk of obesity. According to a complete 18 months study of 810 adults, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in May 2009, reducing liquid calories in adults is associated with a greater decrease in weight than reducing solid calories.
But that is not all. The harmful effects of sugar go beyond the simple fact of gaining weight: it can seriously harm your metabolic health and increase the risk of all cardiovascular diseases according to the American Heart Association.
Although small amounts of the sugar in food is not harmful, in large quantities from added sugars and sugary drinks, it can cause a catastrophe.
2. Decrease refined carbohydrates intake
Reducing carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates and sugars, is a very effective way to lose weight. A diet low in carbohydrates causes a decreased appetite and automatically eat fewer calories.
According to several studies, following a low-carbohydrate diet can make you lose 2-3 times more weight than a low-fat and a calorie-restricted diet.
And not only that, a diet low in carbohydrates has all kinds of health benefits, especially for those with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
If you do not want to follow a low-carb diet, try eating high fiber carbohydrates and enjoy the quality that comes from whole foods, single-ingredient.
3. Increase protein consumption
Adding more protein to your diet is the simplest, most effective and most delicious way to lose weight with minimal effort. When it comes to losing weight, protein is the king of nutrients. Consuming more protein can reduce appetite, reduce cravings by 60% and increase the number of calories you burn.
One study showed that people who consume 30% of calories as protein are automatically eating 441 fewer calories a day. This means that, by simply adding protein to your diet, you can easily increase and reduce the calories you consume.
According to other studies, the protein also increases the metabolic rate and helps reduce appetite. And there’s more; because protein requires energy for metabolism, a diet rich in protein can increase the number of calories burned to 80-100 calories per day.
Likewise, protein can also help you fight cravings, the worst enemy of people who follow a diet. According to a study, 25% of calories consumed as protein decrease cravings by 60% and by 50% the late night munchies.
If your goal is to lose weight with minimal effort and sustainably, increase your protein intake permanently. Not only it will help you lose weight but also to prevent or at least significantly reduce weight regain if you decide to throw in the towel.
4. Practice exercise and lift weights
When we eat fewer calories, also automatically we burn fewer calories. And this means that a reduction of calories in the long term can significantly decrease metabolism and therefore cause a loss of muscle mass. What can you do about it? Practically, the only proven strategy to prevent this from happening is to exercise your muscles by lifting weights.
On numerous occasions, it has been shown that weight lifting prevents muscle loss and metabolic slowdown over a period of long-term calorie restriction. If you can not go to the gym, you can also do bodyweight exercises such as pushups, squats, sit-ups, etc.
Do not forget that exercising also has other many benefits that go beyond weight loss: a longer life by reducing the risk of disease and gives you more energy and well-being every day.
5. Drink more water
A simple trick to lose more kilos is drink more water. Drinking 2 liters of water a day can make you lose about 96 more calories a day. But did you know that the moment you drink water is more important than the amount you take?
Drinking water before meals can help reduce hunger and automatically push you to consume fewer calories. In a study of the Virginia Tech Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise (HNFE), it has been shown that taking half a liter of water 30 minutes before meals helps to achieve 44% more weight loss over a period of 12 weeks.
Drinks containing caffeine, such as coffee and tea, are also excellent for weight loss because caffeine can help speed up the metabolism, at least in the short term.
Now you know how to lose weight without counting calories and without starving yourself. Try it !