5 basic nutrition weight loss tips by a nutritionist that don’t involve counting calories


Creating a calorie deficit is an accepted goal to effectively support someone’s weight loss journey. However, not everyone wants to track, measure, or count calories. Below you will find some tips that are not directly quantifying calories but may help you to manage your calorie intake better.

1. Eat real whole food

Prioritise consuming real whole food at 80-90% of your meals. Processed foods usually have multiple added ingredients, often more ladened with refined carbs and fats, significantly increasing their calorie density. Processed foods are often easier to over consume and are designed to make you want to eat more.

When foods are in their whole forms, even fruit and veg, the fibre and structure of the food hasn’t been broken down yet, so you must do this yourself in order to digest it! This usually results in it being both more energy demanding and more filling, thus it is a win-win.

2. Eat protein at every meal

Protein is the macronutrient that will fill you up the most. Not feeling hungry will ease your weight loss journey considerably. Protein is the macronutrient that requires the most energy to be digested – this is helpful for meeting your calorie deficit.

Consuming enough protein helps for losing fat mass versus lean mass when in a calorie deficit. Retaining lean mass means that you can consume more calories at the same weight!

Shoot for lean protein sources such as chicken breast, tuna fish, haddock, prawns, tofu etc at most meals, since lean protein sources are hard to over consume and will help you achieve your calorie deficit. Other protein sources that are also higher in fats or carb you can and should still consume, but you might need to be more mindful in regard to their portion size. Examples of higher fat and protein foods include eggs, oily fish, certain meats, nuts and seeds. Examples of higher carb and protein foods include the likes of beans and lentils.

3. Volume filling foods

Volume filling foods tend to have a high amount of water and fibre in them and help you to feel full. The opposite of volume filling foods are calorie dense foods – these have a high amount of calories in them and do not fill you up. For example, if you have two 500 calorie meals, a calorie dense meal could be cheese with crackers and jam, whereas a volume filling meal could be a tuna steak, a bowl of cauliflower rice, a side salad and a bowl of Icelandic skyr yoghurt and berries. The volume filling meal is going to keep you full for a significantly longer time and will be visually a much large portion of food!

4. Eat at least two non-starchy vegetables at each meal

This is a great way of including enough fibre in your diet and filling you up, whilst keeping yourself healthy. Whilst you don’t want to be going hungry, you want to go about this in a healthy way rather than filling yourself up with fizzy drinks or lots of artificial sweeteners which may disrupt your gut microbiome or even dysregulate appetite hormones. If possible, try to rotate your non-starchy veg as much as possible, include different colours and go with what is in season and locally produced. Think of non-starchy vegetables, typically as vegetables that grow above ground.

If you sometimes have issues digesting non starchy vegetables, try ensuring they are well cooked before eating or consider getting your digestive health assessed to understand why there might be some intolerance in digesting and processing such foods.

5. Eat enough

Following a nutrition plan where your calorie deficit is not too aggressive is important.

Firstly, it aids the weight loss being from fat rather than lean mass loss – a steep reduction in weight is associated with a greater loss in lean body mass.

Secondly, during dieting the body adapts due to a reduction in energy intake and change in body mass. When calorie restriction is severe and weight loss takes place rapidly, the body can adapt to a greater extent and as a result you may require even less calories than you would have done! Soon enough the diet becomes both ineffective and unsustainable!

Thirdly it will be helpful for your levels of hunger and fourthly to have sufficient energy to lead your life and partake in the exercise you enjoy whilst you are losing weight. Remember to eat enough in accordance with your planned caloric deficit in your personalised nutrition plan.

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