Before getting into alternatives, here's some reasons why counting calories can actually have a negative impact on your weight-loss program.
1. You Spend Too Much Time Thinking About Food
For starters, you may spend far too much time weighing, counting and measuring your food if you're counting calories. You go from thinking about food to obsessing about it, especially the foods you “can't” have.
2. It Becomes All Mental
When all you're doing is thinking about food, you ignore what your body wants. Remember, you're feeding your body, not your mind.
3. It Doesn't Last
Do you really see yourself measuring and analyzing your food every day the rest of your life? For every meal? It's nearly impossible to sustain that.
But now for the good news. There are plenty of effective alternatives to calorie-counting.
Lift The Ban On Favorite Foods
Let's face it, practically every diet out there requires that you give up certain foods. But research indicates that cutting out favorite foods only makes you obsess about them more, which increases the chances that you'll break down and overindulge. Instead, make all foods permissible; yes, it's best to seek out the healthiest versions, but if that's not possible then just eat a reasonable portion of that food you love.
Give Yourself Time
Studies show that people who eat fast tend to have more weight problems than those who don't. By blazing through a meal, you don't give your brain enough time to engage its fullness signals. Stretch that meal out, say to 20 minutes, and check your hunger signals as you go along.
Know When You're Full
It's not always easy to tell when you're full because it involves a physical heaviness and vague sense of fullness that can be easy to ignore. Try this: Halfway through your next meal, stop and ask yourself how truly full you feel. If you're honest with yourself, you'll start to recognize what fullness really is.
Whole and unprocessed foods are packed with vitamins and nutrients and generally lower in sugar and fat than packaged ones. Foods that are high in protein, fiber, or water can help satiate you faster and for a longer time.
Plate your food differently, like a smaller plate that you can still fill but not feel hungry.
Finding a health and fitness program that focuses on wellness, nutrition, group fitness, and personal training is essential. The trainers at the Downtown Athletic Club of Amarillo can guide you along the way.