4 Tips for Weight Loss That Don’t Involve Counting Calories
I don’t have to tell you that trying to lose weight is frustrating. Almost everyone struggles with it at some point or another.
Part of the problem is that every body is different and the “secret” for one person, may not work for another. There are some basic rules that can’t hurt though. These 4 tips will always help your efforts — for some, they may be the whole picture, for others they may just be part of a bigger process.
The best part? None of them involve counting calories
The last one in the list will probably surprise you.
Weight Loss Tip #1: Eat Plenty of Fiber.
If you’re trying to lose weight, this tip will probably give you more results than any calorie-counting app or ab shredding e-book.
Eat foods high in fiber.
Studies keep showing that people who eat fiber-rich diets generally have healthier body weights.
Fiber keeps you feeling fuller longer, but it’s also easy for your body to digest — which means it keeps things moving along. This can prevent bloating and other uncomfortable effects.
Most people know that fiber is found in fruits and vegetables, but what you may not know is that the fiber in fruits and veggies is mainly in the skin and the seeds. Avoid peeling vegetables and don’t drink fruit juice, which has all of the sugar and none of the fiber — eat the whole fruit.
Other foods that are high in fiber include black beans, chickpeas and lentils, nuts, seeds and quinoa.
Avoid processed foods that claim to be “high fiber”. The original ingredients may be high in fiber, but often the processing grinds it up to the point that it no longer has the desired effect on your gut.
Weight Loss Tip #2: Don’t Rely On Exercise Alone.
If you’re trying to lose weight, sitting around all day isn’t going to make things easier, but there’s no need for you to run a marathon to hit your weight loss goals.
A recent study of 332 adults who live in Jamaica, Africa, and the United States found that, while people who are more active definitely burn more calories on a daily basis, that calorie burning is only effective up to a certain point.
When you exercise too much or push your body too hard, your body learns to accommodate that extra physical demand and use its energy more efficiently over time. This means that it learns to hold onto more fat and calories when you eat.
This takes you right back to where you started. In the end, what you eat and drink are the keys to long-lasting weight loss.
In most cases, your diet will have a much greater effect on how much weight you lose than your exercise regimen. An average slice of pizza is 300 calories. An average person would have to run for 30 minutes just to burn off that 1 slice.
Focus on your diet.
You should exercise but you don’t have to go to the gym, at least not every day. Try changing the way you think about movement in your day. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs. Ride your bike or walk to work instead of driving.
Eat healthy (think whole foods, mostly plants), control your portions and find ways to keep moving all day long.
Weight Loss Tip #3: Hydrate.
You need a lot of fluid to function. Of course, you know that you lose fluids when you go to the bathroom and when you sweat, but your body uses water for almost everything. You lose fluid even just breathing.
Making sure that you replenish that water is essential to your well-being.
Your body is about 60% water. Water is necessary for blood circulation, to cushion your joints, to digest your food and to keep your temperature in a normal range. It’s long been thought that drinking water can help with weight loss, but lots of people don’t know why the strategy works so well.
The reason is simple; your body can’t tell the difference between food and drink. When you drink water, your metabolism kicks in to ‘digest’ what it thinks is food. The colder the water, the better it will work for weight loss because, in addition to ‘digesting’ the water, your body will also be working a little harder than normal to keep your temperature normalized.
On top of helping to raise your metabolism a bit, drinking water helps your system to flush excess toxins. Your liver, kidneys and other organs do this as part of their normal function, but they need plenty of water to make it work.
Plus, if you drink 8-16 ounces of water a day your stomach will feel fuller when you eat, meaning that you are less likely to go overboard with your portions.
If you aren’t a fan of plain water, try squeezing some fresh lemon juice into your glass. In addition to adding a little flavor, lemon juice will help you to digest the nutrients in your food and will boost your vitamin C intake too.
Weight Loss Tip #4: Eat Foods High in Phytosterols and CLA.
Phytosterols are a little-known type of fat found in plants.
Fat doesn’t make you fat. That’s a myth. Certain fats, like these, can actually contribute to weight loss.
Phytosterols actually help control cravings. They stop your brain from craving too much food.
It has to do with how they affect your blood.
Consuming plenty of phytosterols on a daily basis has been shown to limit the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs. This is good news for anyone with high cholesterol because it may offer a natural and easy way to keep those levels in check.
Not only does that food contain phytosterols, it also contains CLA — conjugated linoleic acid. CLA helps your body burn fat.
Studies have shown that the combination of phytosterols with CLA can encourage weight loss, even when the problem is extreme or caused by a high-fat diet.
This potent food has both phytosterols and CLA, making it a nutritious and natural weight loss supplement. It’s an ancient seed celebrated by cultures around the world. It isn’t a ‘magic pill’ for weight loss — there isn’t one — but eating this food may speed things up more than you’d expect.
- “Constrained Total Energy Expenditure and Metabolic Adaption to Physical Activity in Adult Humans.” Pontzer, H; Durazo-Arvizu, R.; Dugas, L.R.; Plange-Rhule, J.; Bovet, P.; Forrester, T.E.; Lambert, E.V.; Cooper, R.S.; Schoeller, D.A.; Luke, A. http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(15)01577-8. Jan 28, 2016.
- “Water-Induced Thermogenesis.” Boschmann, M.; Steiniger, J.; Hille, U.; Tank, J.; Adams, F.; Sharma, A.M.; Klaus, S.; Luft, F.C.; and Jordan, J. http://press.endocrine.org/doi/full/10.1210/jc.2003-030780. Jul. 2, 2013
- “6 Reasons To Drink Water.” Zelman, K.M. http://www.webmd.com/diet/6-reasons-to-drink-water. May 8, 2008.