Counting points, calories, carbs or protein can absolutely help you lose weight. But this post is for people looking for something different. A way to be accountable, but not by numbers.
If you don’t want to “feel judged” or “get crazy” about going over or under your daily allotments (whether in points, calories, or macros), keep reading.
As always take what you like. Leave what you don’t. This is all about making it work for you.
1. Make time to fuel
Most tracking apps don’t include times, but nourishing your body every few hours is key not only for your body’s energy, but also for your mind’s energy. We’ve been brought up to think less is more when it comes to food. However, that mentality can place the exact opposite effect on your metabolism and your brain.
Want to know my bare-bones basic rule?
Fuel your body within an hour of waking and check-in with yourself every 3-4 hours after that to see if you’re due for some fuel.
2. Check-in with your hunger
Before eating, take a moment to hone in on your hunger level. Ask yourself,”How hungry am I, on a scale of 1 to 10?” One equals faint, in-pain starving. Ten equals Thanksgiving-day stuffed. We want to eat when we’re at about a 3.5 (slight hunger pains, tummy growling) and stop at about a 7 (comfortably full and satisfied).
Before an eating occasion, take a few deep breaths, quiet the mind, rub your tummy, touch your heart, and rate your hunger. Write this number in a food journal.
Taking a brief moment to tune-in to your hunger brings mindfulness to your meal, allowing you to honor your hunger and fullness.
You can do the same thing after your meal to rate your fullness. Overtime, you’ll notice patterns and can make changes, if needed.
Observations are power for change.
3. Look for balance
Forget counting calories – instead count colors and check for balance on your plate. More colors usually means more fruit and veggies… and that means more nourishment. A motto I’ve used for years now to keep it super simple is “protein and produce are musts at meals.” The protein will keep you feeling full (think yogurt, beans/lentils, tofu, chicken, fish, bison, tempeh, eggs, turkey) and the produce (fruits and veggies) is fueling at it’s finest.
When you’re eating real whole foods, in-tune with your hunger, and present in the moment at an eating occasion, your body will naturally signal that you’re done. TRUST the process.
In regards to deprivation and “off-limit foods,” those don’t exist here. If you want it, eat it. It’s that simple. Enjoy it. Savor it. Live it. Be in the moment.
Take the power back.
4. Keep tabs on hydration
Note how much water you drink each day. Our bodies LOVE H20. Staying hydrated helps our metabolism out, flushes the toxins from our system, and allows our muscles and joints to work a whole lot better. To know if you’re getting enough of the wet stuff, look at your pee (yup, I said pee!). It should be clear to straw-colored. If you’re not a fan of water, opt for seltzer water, unsweetened tea (hot or cold), or water with cucumber or lemon or limes. Just keep it sugar and diet-sweetener (aka fake stuff) free:)
5. Be mindful of how you feel
Our emotions can influence what, when, where and how much we put into our bodies. If this hits home, consider writing down your emotional state before you eat. I recommend doing this at the same time you write down your hunger level on a scale of 1 (starving) to 10 (Thanksgiving-day stuffed) before a meal.
Also consider writing down how you feel (emotionally and/or physically) after your meal. Overtime, you’ll begin to see how your feelings feed your hunger. Again, knowledge is power for change.
I’ve crafted a food journal worksheet just for YOU to get you started.
Feel Good in Your Skin Food Worksheet … it’s FREE!
Want to try this out?
I’ve crafted a food journal worksheet for YOU to get you started.
Download it HERE.
I’ve LOVE to hear from YOU! Do you keep a food journal? If so, what works for YOU?!