Forget Counting Calories: Do This Instead
If the idea of going on a diet and counting calories sounds like it could be more of a headache than you’d like, this is for you.
The whole ‘energy in vs energy out’ doesn’t really work for the average person starting out because it’s not as simple as counting calories to get results, in fact sources of foods play a huge role in overall health and weight loss. A great way to make progress is simply to eat better on a consistent basis (minus the weekend sabotage) without getting obsessed with weighing things!
The easiest way to start keeping track of your portion sizes is right in front of you, your hands!
Here is a general rule of thumb to implementing this system;
Protein per meal: One palm.
Green vegetables: One to two fists.
Carbohydrates: One fist.
Fats: One thumb unless carbs are low (dinner) when it’s two thumbs.
Using the system above, you can start to create meals that will keep you on the straight and narrow when it comes to your nutrition and from there, you can build an awareness.
As a golden rule of thumb, it’s best to eat within a 4 hour window to keep the metabolic rate high so if you feel that you are not hungry enough to be able to do that, adjust your portion sizes. On the flip side of that, if you are starving then increase portion sizes. Remember, if you are trying to lose weight, the best food group to reduce is carbohydrate since it’s the bodies preferred source of energy, it’s also good practise not to include them at your last meal to minimise fat storage.
Remember, you are looking to keep the ingredients JERF (Just Eat Real Food) which you can find out more about by clicking here.
Here is an example of a day’s eating with the view to get protein, fat and carb at each meal
Breakfast – Oats (fist) with oat milk & 15 almonds (one thumb).
Snack – 1 green apple (fist) with a table spoon of peanut butter (one thumb).
Lunch – baked potato (fist), a chicken breast (palm) with some olives (one thumb).
Snack – Blackberries (fist) with some greek yoghurt (small fist – protein & fat combined here).
Dinner – Salmon (palm) with salad (two palms) dressed in olive oil (two thumbs), salt and vinegar.
After you are able to follow a similar plan for a sustained period of 7-14 days, then advanced dieting strategies will be needed to keep losing weight without hitting a plateau.