Do Calories Really Matter for Weight Loss?
The short answer is “yes” and “no”. Your caloric intake will and can affect your weight loss efforts, but before you grab your calculator just yet and start tracking every bite, I’d like to introduce you to two alternative strategies that can be much more effective than calorie counting.
Before we dive into these two very effective strategies for weight-loss (that have nothing to do with counting calories or measuring), I want to first touch on a few concepts that can increase the impact of these strategies even more!
Concept 1. Awareness – being aware of what you are actually eating and connecting the food you eat to how you feel can be incredibly impactful when adjusting eating habits. A great way to start creating awareness is food log journaling.
Concept 2. Openness – the ability to let go of what you “think” will move you towards your weight loss goals (restrictive diets, unrealistic meal prep/plans) and allow yourself to be open to a simpler, more enjoyable way of eating for your personal needs.
Okay, now we get to the STRATEGIES!
Strategy #1: Familiarity with Personalized Portions.
Knowing the right amount of food to eat for YOUR body is crucial when working on a weight loss goal. Many times, we will see a “serving size” on a box, bag or package of a food item and think this is how much of something we should eat. This serving size is simply to let you know the nutrients/macros in a food, it’s not necessarily indicative of the amount YOU should be eating. You might be thinking, Andrea, this is so confusing, how am I supposed to know how much to put on my plate?
Don’t worry, I have you covered! This is where openness, awareness and flexibility are going to come in (if you struggle with this, this is where having a coach to guide you can be very helpful). Your personalized portion or serving, might be less than the standard serving size and it might be more. This is something you can experiment with (use your food log for help here) to identify the amount (serving) that is right for you. The more you can tune in to your hunger and fullness cues the easier and more intuitive this will get.
Strategy #2: Meal Composition.
Switching your focus from calorie counting to building a balanced plate will ensure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs to feel satisfied, energized and to allow your body to function at its optimal level. I’ve found throughout the years from my own experience as well as working with my clients, that focusing on calories only creates a restrictive mindset that leads to cravings and eating more than your body needs (completely derailing weight loss efforts). By creating balanced meals, you will feel confident in your decisions and I promise you it will be much easier and more enjoyable than measuring and counting everything that goes into your mouth.
These strategies can be very effective if you are willing to be flexible so you can figure out what works for you and consistent, so you can get in a groove and feel confident in the decisions you are making without overthinking and feeling overwhelmed.
If you are looking for additional support on how to switch your approach to weight loss from restrictive, cyclical dieting to finding a sustainable method that works for you, Book an Intro Call to see if my 6-Week Program is right for you. I would love to support you with your weight loss journey!