Before you start, you need a good idea of your eating habits. Download a free calorie tracker (I prefer LoseIt, available on iOs, Android, and Google Play). Eat as you normally would for a day or two, but log EVERYTHING YOU PUT IN YOUR MOUTH. That includes gum (who knew gum had calories)! Knowing how many calories you’re consuming on a daily basis will give you insight on your current weight struggles.
After you enter your current height, weight, activity level, and how fast you want to shed pounds, LoseIt will tell you how many calories you can eat and still lose weight. TIP: This is NOT a diet so don’t freak out if you go over your calorie limit for the day. As long as you stay within the recommended amount for the week, you WILL lose weight.
As you log your meals and snacks, you may notice a lot of calories are being wasted on sodas, coffee, tea, and juices. Opt for water instead (sparkling or still) and unsweetened tea or coffee., all of which are 0 calories. This will leave you more calories to actually eat!
They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Stick with calorie counting for just 3 weeks, and you’ll find that your appetite has lessened. You won’t crave the “bad foods” as much, and you’ll automatically realize if you’re about to make a poor food choice so you can adjust accordingly!
The hard thing about diets is having to deny yourself foods you’re craving. After a while, you’re eventually going to give in. This is what leads to yo-yo dieting. With a lifestyle change, you don’t have to deny yourself. Craving sweets? A soda? Go ahead! Just realize that you may have to have a smaller dinner, or skip that midnight snack. Your goal is to be able to eat normally without restricting yourself too much.
Exercise isn’t required, but if you do decide to work up a sweat, make sure you log your activity. LoseIt will automatically estimate the amount of calories you burned based on the length and type of activity, as well as your current height and weight. You are free to keep eating as-is to lose even more weight, or you can use those burned calories to treat yourself to a nice dessert!
The only way this will fail is if you stop logging everything you eat and drink. The science is there, and numbers don’t lie! Burn more calories than you consume and you WILL lose weight.
Let me know if you try this so we can celebrate your success together!