Fitness Trainer Says Do These 6 Things to Lose Weight (Counting Calories Is Not 1 of Them)
While dialing in your nutrition is absolutely essential if you want to lose or maintain your weight, you don't need to obsess over counting calories. Chad Hargrove, a personal trainer and nutrition coach, says do these six things to lose weight and get toned without tracking every little calorie.
Make Sure You're Getting Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep can make it harder to lose weight because it increases your hunger hormones, which increases your cravings, making you eat more the next day. Shut off the TV, your phone, and lights at a reasonable hour. Chad says, "Try and make sleep and wake happen at the same time, and get seven to eight hours nightly."
You don't need to do CrossFit or lift heavy weights five times a week! Even bodyweight exercises and yoga can tone you up, as long as the exercises you're doing are challenging your muscles. Strength train two to five times a week, depending on your goals. This will help you maintain lean muscle as you lose fat and make you feel stronger physically and emotionally, too.
Eat More Whole Foods
Chad says, "More whole foods will give you more energy and hopefully keep you full enough to avoid overeating processed stuff if you're already in the habit of eating too many of those foods daily." Fill your plate with lean protein, healthy fats, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Another easy way to think about your diet is what Beachbody trainer Autumn Calabrese recommends. Eat in a 40/30/30 split, meaning 40 percent healthy carbs, 30 percent lean protein, and 30 percent healthy fats.
Walk More Daily
Chad says, "Walking more will cover the movement you need. Aim for around 10,000 steps daily, or track your current steps and try and continue to add more than you're getting. The extra movement throughout the day will also help you feel more energetic and prevent muscle aches if you have a job where you sit most of the day.
Stress can not only make you want to eat junk, but it also affects your cortisol levels, which can make losing weight harder. Find ways to de-stress. Read a book before bed instead of scrolling through Instagram. Work on that hobby you never have time for like painting, drawing, or playing an instrument. Do more yoga, write in your journal, go for a long walk in nature, or take a warm bath while listening to relaxing music. Aim to do something that makes you feel happy every day, even if it's only for 10 minutes. You'll feel calmer, which can also help you sleep better.
Skip the Junk Food
You already know that eating junk food won't help you lose weight, but knowing why might make it easier to pass up. Processed carbs and sugary foods such as ice cream, cookies, muffins, crackers, bagels, and white bread spike your insulin levels, which causes weight gain. Keeping your insulin levels low will help you reduce your overall body fat percentage.
Aside from being high in carbs, these foods also tend to be high in calories. That's not the only problem, though — eating them doesn't offer your body any nutrition, so you end up feeling hungry, which makes you eat more. Eating sugary foods also increases your cravings for them, again, making you eat more. If you cut down on these types of food, you'll definitely notice a difference in how you feel and how your body looks.