How to lose weight without dieting

By: Sheema Sultan (owner CORE)

If you are somebody who has tried dieting a few times you must know by now that ninety percent of the time dieting fails.  One of the biggest downside of dieting is when we deprive our bodies with some essential food groups; it triggers mental, physical fatigue as well as extreme mood swings. For most of us “Dieting” really equates to short time deprivation of some of our favorites foods and just thinking about it is an unpleasant experience.

Hence we need to move away from fad diets and create a healthy relationship with food which we can sustain long term.  Is it possible to lose weight without really dieting?  Yes it is.

CALORIE IN VS CALORIES OUT

The amount of daily calories required varies person-to-person depending on age, gender, goals and activity level. We cannot negate the importance of calories.  A common mistake most people make is that they overeat “healthy” calories. Creating a calorie deficit is one of the most important factors when it comes to losing weight. It takes 3500 calories to lose a lb of fat hence when you cut down your calories and increase your activity level with exercise you will easily create a caloric deficit, which will result to fat loss.

I personally really believe that one should try to lose weight with good eating habits, which are sustainable and not impossible to follow. The process is slower but results are long term.

Think mindful eating, the timings when you consume your macros are important. Following simple eating tips will help you get to your goals.

  • Have your carbohydrates for breakfast or lunch.
  • Cut down on your processed carbs, not eliminate completely.
  • Limit your sugar and fruit intake.
  • Snack on protein based food like home made shami kababs, beans and eggs.
  • Do a rough calculation of how much calories you are taking in.

80/20 Rules

Ask yourself, who you are and what your goals are? If you are a super model and your livelihood depends on how you always look then yes staying on any kind of extreme diet might make sense. For most of us our goal is to look good, get fit and create some sort of decent muscle definition. Lets be realistic how long can you weigh and count ever macro and calorie?

Here is where the 80/20 rule kicks in, In a nutshell the rule states that you eat clean good quality food eighty percent of the day and 20 percent of your daily calories come from indulgences. This is great way of not depriving yourself and a healthy way to lose weight. If you have a sweet tooth it allows you to have that chocolate but you just need to make sure you don’t over do it. Also when you keep a little bit of indulgences in your diet you don’t feel deprived and likely to have more controlled cheat weekends.

Exercise

When you lose weight you want to maximize fat loss and minimize muscle loss. If you reduce your caloric intake with dieting the chances are you are losing more muscle then fat. Losing muscle also makes your metabolic rate drop and that’s the last thing you want. Choosing the right exercise is also the key; just doing cardio will help you lose weight and muscle but not necessarily fat.

At the end of the day all-physical exercises will help you burn calories but lifting weights will help you build muscle which is the key to long term fat loss because for every pound of muscle you gain you will burn 35-50 extra calories per day.

The frequency of exercise is also important; if you have sedentary lifestyle then you need to commit to 5-6 days per week. Also consistency is the key to your progress,

Adding exercise to your weight loss plan just an icing on the cake, if you slip mid week and end up having that burger and fries, you simply make sure you eat really clean the next day and exercise. It will not hinder any progress.

When it comes to long-term fat loss I believe there are no short cuts. We need to eliminate the word dieting from our vocabulary and make good eating habits as part of our lifestyle. We are humans and we will at times make bad food choices and that’s normal, it doesn’t mean you have failed; the key is to stay focused and committed.