Many people believe the best way to lose weight is to count calories. However, counting calories often results in weight loss, but the results don’t typically last. What happens when we count calories is we begin to deprive ourselves of most everything we did before we decided to lose weight. What typically happens is once we lose weight, we start back eating the way we did before. We end up putting back the weight and more. This yo-yo dieting pattern will happen over and over unless you do something different. I love this saying, “You can’t expect a different result if you’re doing the same thing.”
A simple and effective way to lose weight and keep it off is to learn your body’s hunger cues. Tune in to what it feels like in your body when you are hungry. For example, when you are hungry does your tummy rumble, do you feel irritable and or experience low energy? Once you tap in to how you feel when you are hungry, fuel your body! One of the worst things you can do is wait to eat. What happens when you wait to eat is you’ll be so hungry that you will crave quick pick me up foods which are typically high in calories and fat. If instead you eat when your body tells you too, you’ll begin to notice that you will eat more often but your portions will be smaller so you’ll keep your metabolism going and thus your cravings will subside.
Part of listening to your body and fueling it is to have healthy snacks readily available. Some good options are nuts, whole grain cereal (I love Kashi Go Lean Crunch), carrot sticks, mozeralla cheese or peanut butter with an apple. Once you get in the habit of fueling your body, you will lose weight and feel good while doing it, all of which is much better than counting calories and depriving yourself. -Sara Holliday MFT, CPT