By now, most of us realize that losing weight means that you have to cut back on your calories. If you need to drop a few pounds, then it’s time to start counting up the calories and focusing more on those nutrition labels. Right? Well, yes and no.
Cutting calories will lead to weight loss, when you’re also eating and exercising properly. But the fact is that not all calories are treated the same inside your body. It’s true that any calorie is nothing but a unit of energy, but the way your body handles energy like white flour, for example, compared to whole grains, is quite different.
The body can easily burst through the white, processed flour, while it takes longer to break down the whole grain. This means, simply, the calories coming from a product like white bread are not the same as the calories you’re getting from a product like wheat bread. Make sense?
This is important to know if you’re already on a calorie-restrictive diet and are not achieving the results you had hoped. It could very well be that you’re ingesting the wrong types of calories.
Whatever the reason(s), however, we will go over 5 ways you can lose weight without needing to cut back further on your calorie count.
5 Tips for Losing Weight without Cutting Calories
1: Exercise More
The most effective way to lose more weight without cutting calories is to exercise more. There are complicated formulas to help you figure out your metabolic rate and your maximum heart rate and even your ideal target zone. But it suffices to say that you should exercise harder and longer if you hope to shed pounds without trimming calories.
2: Complex over Simple
As you read above with the simple bread example, complex carbohydrates will break down slower and burn longer than simple carbs. This means you can replace simple sugars and processed flour products and starchy veggies with complex foods of the same caloric content and actually lose weight.
3: Choose Good Fats
Fat packs in the calories gram for gram like no other substance out there; however, the calories from fat still react differently in your body. The calories from olive oil, for example, are healthier for you than animal fat you’d find on, say, a ribeye steak.
4: Protein and Fiber Change-Out
Protein and fiber are substances that help you feel fuller for longer, and the calories from these substances are not only in high demand in your body (muscles and digestive tract, to name two sources), but they’re also slow-burning like complex carbs. Switching out a 200-calorie serving of chips for 200 calories worth of nuts and/or seeds, fiber-rich veggies, etc, will help you lose weight while still not cutting back on calories.
5: Cutting Sodium
In some individuals, high levels of sodium can cause fluid retention. And if you’ve ever carried a 5-gallon bucket of water, you know one thing: liquid is heavy! Cutting back on your salt intake could cause you to retain less water and thus help you drop some weight. It’s not body fat, but it is body weight.
Cutting calories is always a preferred way to lose weight, but there is only so far you cut them back without sending your body into starvation mode or without going stir crazy over tiny-sized meals before you break your diet completely.
Making a few changes and learning how to lose weight without losing additional calories is just a smart way to go about dieting, especially since proper diets are lifestyle changes and not just simple programs.