You need to be at a calorie deficit to lose weight, but do you need to keep counting calories? The answer to this probably depends on who you ask. If you ask me, I’ll say no. I hate counting calories and never have. It’s just too much stress and doesn’t help when you want to be healthy.
This is because it possible to eat junk food and still be at a calorie deficit, but that won’t do your body any good.
Weight loss isn’t just about calorie deficit – not if you want your weight loss to last. This is the most common weight loss mistake.
If you just want temporary weight loss for a few weeks and months then you could get away with counting calories and being in calorie deficit but if you’re like most people, then you will gain all the weight back again within months.
In order to maintain your weight loss, you must change your lifestyle. At the core of a lifestyle change is eating healthy.
Lose weight with healthy foods
When you eat healthy foods you are providing your body with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that nourish your body by giving it what it needs. These foods are naturally low in calories, so for the most part you do not intake too many calories. Someday if you are extra hungry and you help yourself to another serving of nutritious and fibrous whole food, there’s no harm in that either (even if you end up eating a few extra calories). You will most likely balance it out by eating less in the next meal – again, not by counting calories – but simply because you won’t be getting too hungry before the next meal and you won’t be tempted to munch on junk foods in the interim.
Moreover, people who count calories and lose weight while being on a “diet” almost always end up putting all the weight back on again within a few months to a year. People who eat healthy and focus on their health first not only lose weight (albeit a little slower than a “Dieter”), but it is sustainable weight loss which means they manage to keep it off too.
So what foods can you eat that are naturally low in calories? Minimally processed, whole foods! I’ve written a lengthy blog post on that here, do check it out. Essentially, eat a primarily plant-based diet including lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as brown rice, whole grain bread, quinoa etc, beans and legumes and raw and unsalted nuts and seeds.
Foods to avoid? Processed foods, foods containing lots of refined sugar, refined grains and trans fat. These foods add empty calories and almost no nutrients and fibre, leaving your blood sugar levels elevated and with you feeling hungry and craving something shortly afterwards.
I hope this article can help you to lose weight. If you have any questions please comment below.