Weight loss is a journey that doesn’t have to include restrictive dieting. This post will guide you through 8 healthy habits to lose weight, and with healthy recipe suggestions too!
To begin, I want to make this clear: Weight loss journeys are not “quick and easy” no matter what you see on social media. I know a bunch of people that have been struggling for years – I mean years! – to lose weight.
The frustrating bit is that they’ve been on many different diets (I can’t tell you how many they’ve tried because I’ve honestly lost count).
And while most online diet trends involve restricting calories, we all have unique bodies and we all react to calorie restriction differently. It might work for your friend (and her other friend) but it might not reap the same benefits for you.
And that’s OK. It doesn’t mean you should lose hope of losing weight. Because based on my personal experience, weight loss is possible without severely restricting your daily calorie intake.
In this post I am going to share how you can shed those extra pounds with mindful eating, and of course…healthy recipes by yours truly!
Can I Lose Weight Without Dieting?
Yes, you can lose weight without dieting. I’ve written this before and I’ll write it again; restrictive dieting causes a yo-yo effect (you lose, you gain, and so on). Additionally, having a restrictive diet mindset can cause you to gain even more weight.
What really helped me in my weight loss journey was thinking long-term, staying active, and becoming more mindful about what ingredients I use in the recipes I make.
Is It Possible To Lose Weight While Eating Fast Food?
While mindful moderation is suggested, you can lose weight without always eating healthy. I’ve seen people eat fast food semi-regularly and they still managed to lose a lot of weight. Shocking? Well, it really all comes down to calorie in and calorie out.
Women usually require 2,000 calories per day to maintain their weight and around 1,500 to lose a pound weekly. While men need an average of 2,500 calories per day to maintain their weight and 2,000 to lose a pound a week.
If you plan to keep fast-food in your diet, keep in mind that just one meal can take up your entire daily calorie allowance! Make sure you’re still sourcing from all food groups and that you include some exercise as well. This is important for your body, whether you are on a diet or not.
How to Stop Dieting and Actually Lose Weight
If you feel like all those fad diets aren’t working out for you, please don’t lose hope. You can lose weight without restricting yourself. Trust me, I’ve been exactly where you are now. I was frustrated for years and literally tried every new fad that popped up.
You got this! Believe in yourself and try these tips.
These healthy habits for weight loss will show you exactly what works and what doesn’t:
- Ditch the diet mentality: Enough is enough! While there are so many diet programs that claim to help you lose weight fast, trust me in that they don’t work long term. Not that I’m against all fad diets, you may find some of them helpful. But after years of trying and testing, restricting calories, taking out important food groups, and abstaining from my favorites…I realized that these diets set me up for failure. So today, let’s trash the word “diet!” and start over together!
- Slow is good: Are you always scarfing down your food? Many people eat their food quickly and carelessly. Studies show that people who eat fast tend to be heavier and gain more weight. Let’s try something different! Remember that your brain takes 20 minutes for it to process all that you’ve eaten, so be kind to your system by savoring each bite and avoiding mindless eating.
- Plate wisely: Plate and portion sizes have increased over time so you may be eating more than you realize. Yes, that new plate set you got a few months ago might actually be causing your weight gain. So switch it up and use smaller plates (by around 20%) to trick your brain into thinking you’re eating more than you actually are. Ever wonder why appetizers are always served on small plates? While we may dream about a giant platter of mozzarella sticks, they are best enjoyed in smaller amounts.
- Drink water: As I’ve mentioned countless times, drinking water is crucial if you want to lose weight. Drinking water regularly can help keep you full and avoid overeating especially if you drink a glass before a meal. So instead of having calorie-loaded drink, opt for water instead. But if you’re really craving a cocktail after a long work week, check out my complete guide on the 7 Healthiest Alcoholic Drinks To Fit You Healthy Lifestyle!
- Eat lots of protein: Protein has a positive effect on a person’s appetite. Want to know why? Well, protein affects several hormones in our body that affect hunger and fullness such as ghrelin and GLP-1. If you’re an oats for breakfast kind of person, I suggest that you replace them with eggs. Research even shows that women who eat eggs in the morning ate fewer calories during lunch. If you’re not a fan of eggs, there are many other options you might enjoy (like chickpeas, quinoa, Greek yogurt, and many more).
- Develop an eating schedule: This one really changed things for me and I’m so happy to share it with you. The old me (who cooks, bakes, and blogs all the time) would often get caught up and forget to eat. I used to think, YES! This will help me lose weight. I was wrong. Skipping meals is never a good idea. If you want to stop dieting but still lose weight, you should eat frequently throughout the day. Create a schedule and make it part of your daily routine.
- Stop buying unhealthy foods: Yes, junk the junk literally! Instead of buying a cheat snack to constantly think about in the pantry, why not avoid that altogether? Having unhealthy foods nearby will create temptation. It’s simply human nature, our cravings can get the best of us. So try exploring alternatives. Buy salt-free and butter-free popcorn, prepare a delicious mix of fruit and nuts, or satisfy your hunger with a high protein snack!
- Eat fiber-rich foods: I will never understand why, but when people hear fiber they immediately think, “oh gosh, fiber means a salad doesn’t it?”. Nope! Fiber also includes fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Eat them all. Fiber has various benefits such as increasing fullness, slowing down digestion, preventing constipation, and increasing nutrient absorption. Click here for 21 high fiber foods you can start enjoying today.
Keep in mind that no two bodies are the same. If you want to know more about my personal healthy eating journey (and see how I struggled with my weight) check out this post here.
Now going back to you: I’ve created a guide on how to lose weight without any dieting involved.
Ready to take things to the next level? Try out my Meal Prep Plan that’s super easy to do.