So you’re starting a new diet and your end goal over the next couple of weeks is to simply lose weight or lose fat. However, as most people believe, you think you are going to end up starving yourself and feeling hungry. Diets can be self-destructive on one’s progress when done incorrectly.
What I mean by this is that many people set themselves up on a diet, that although they may lose weight, is ultimately designed to fail in the long run. The reason why these diets fail so often is because people starve themselves or operate on such low calories and such low volume of food, that they not only lack the energy to continue functioning and resort to snacks and cheat meals frequently for energy but also because they consume such little food that they never satisfy their hunger.
If you are wanting to diet down at first to lose weight and you have been eating such a large volume of food that equates to around 2500 calories per day, you cannot expect to continue eating the same kinds of foods and decreasing calories to 2000 per day to keep you satisfied and full. This would be like filling your gas tank full for weeks and months on end, and now you decided to fill it only to about 70% maximum and expect to achieve the same driving distance out of that same tank and volume of gas. It’s not going to be the same and it’s going to end up slowing down your progress.
Change Your Perspective
First, you need to change your perspective on food. It’s about 2 basic principles when it comes to losing weight: energy consumed vs energy expended per day. If you consume 2000 calories and burn 2000 calories per day, your weight will remain the same. So how do you decrease the calories consumed while keeping the volume the same as if it was 2000 calories or even increase the volume to a higher amount? Focus on lower calorie foods per ounce. You need volume if you wish to remain full and volume of foods low in calories is going to be the goal.
Think about this for a minute, walk into your kitchen and find yourself 2 different foods. Pick any vegetable you might have and pick any “junk” food like cookies or chocolate that you might also have. Compare the labels and layout 200 calories from each one. Chances are if you had a bag of spinach for instance compared to almonds, the same 200 calories are going to look entirely different.
For the almonds, you will have a mere 1.2-1.3 ounces of almonds, or around 40 almonds or so. However, that same 200 calories from a vegetable, such as spinach, would be about 2 whole 16oz packages (32oz) of baby spinach. This would be the typical salad servings to feed about 6-8 people or an entire family for dinner.
Not all foods are the same when it comes to calorie density so it’s important to remember that it’s never about how much you are eating but also about what you are eating.
High Protein, Always
The next thing to learn when it comes to eating large amounts of food daily while still remaining under calories to prevent fat increasing is to make sure that you’re eating a high amount of protein sources. Lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, turkey bacon, fish, and even eggs are sources of protein that contain almost 100% pure protein and little to no carbohydrates and fats as a byproduct.
Protein is also digested much slower than carbs and fats so a diet rich in protein will help make sure you remain full for longer periods of time. By remaining full, as you know, it prevents you from overeating more junk and snack which can lead to weight increase.
Lastly, learn how to swap foods out when cooking. Just because the recipe says you have to use those certain ingredients does not mean that you cannot make the recipe healthier and lower in calories by swapping some of the ingredients for others. For instance, swapping white flour for coconut flour will mean you can use less flour in baking and save about 50-100 calories per recipe. Substituting sugar for zero-calorie sweeteners will also save you calories to be stored while still giving you that same sweet taste.
Using low-fat and fat-free cheeses will be lower calorie alternatives to whole milk cheese which means in the same 4oz serving of cheese, your calories can be cut by around 30% or so. This can all add to up be huge calorie reductions in your daily diet while still enabling you to consume the same amount of food as before, if not even more.
Learn to examine and read the labels on food products and see how much calories per serving or ounces each product has. Just because something is marketed as “fat-free” or “healthy” does not mean the calories are lower. In most cases, these products actually contain higher calories than the store brand product. Any recipe can be made with healthier, lower calorie food swaps to help keep you full so you can also enjoy eating more food to obtain the same calories as before. Focus on learning how to read food labels and how to swap ingredients and dieting will never be hard and leave you feeling full again. If you wish to lose weight, feeling and remaining full will be extremely important in the long run.