Yes, you can totally lose weight without following a strict diet.
Yeah, I know- It blew my mind too!
In fact, I recommend not following a strict diet for long term results. Here are a few tips that will help you establish healthy habits on your weight loss journey.
Instead of choosing a diet plan that restricts specific food groups or deciding to drink your meals for 3 weeks, try making small but impactful lifestyle changes. This may include upping your step count from 7,000 to 7,500 a day or adding more vegetables to your dinner each night. These might sound like small changes, but over time they add up and promote even healthier habits.
Another good habit to pick up is only eating when you’re truly hungry. This might sound obvious, but many of us (myself included) eat out of habit. First, try recognizing everytime you reach for a snack. When you’re getting ready for your favorite tv show, do you head to the pantry because you’re hungry or just because that’s what you usually do? Habits like these are ingrained in us and take a while to unlearn. It might seem tedious at first, but I promise it gets easier. Being able to recognize hunger cues, will make you aware of the extra calories you used to eat without even knowing it.
You should also be regularly including foods you love! This might be a shock but think about it: How much easier would a healthier diet be if you were able to include your favorite pasta dish or dessert? Much easier! I always tell clients to plan ahead for the week and choose when you will include your favorite dishes. Becoming intentional will make you appreciate the foods you love and give you something to look forward to.
Another trick I tell some of my clients is to use smaller plates for your meals. We are scientifically more likely to fill our plate, regardless of size. Grabbing a smaller plate and filling it can still leave you feeling satisfied without feeling stuffed. The beauty of this is, you can always go back for seconds if you are still hungry. But having a smaller plate requires you to check in with yourself before eating more, instead of mindlessly overeating.
My fifth and final tip for you is to stay hydrated. Drink water! If you’re really bad about drinking water, get yourself a water bottle. Then set a goal. Be realistic about where you are and where you’d like to be. If you are lucky to get 2 water bottles full a day, shoot for 3. Then up that until your goal as you go. Have patience with yourself and be consistent. While I don’t believe that we should just drink water when we’re feeling hungry. I do know that sometimes we eat because we’re thirsty. Try having a glass of water 10 minutes before your next meal, and see if that makes a difference.
I hope these tips help you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are good habits. They take time, patience, and consistency. You don’t have to be perfect. You just need to be consistent.