Lose Weight, No Diet Required: Just Take These Steps
If you just can’t take another popular weight loss diet that causes “hangry” symptoms or constipation, here are some super easy steps to help you. These easy steps can help you lose weight without any sort of restrictive diet. These steps are simple actions that anyone can implement to promote weight loss effortlessly and without a structured meal plan. Part of the weight loss process is just finding the mindset to get focused on the process. By starting with these steps first, the weight loss will follow. You’ll get more and more motivated as you lose weight without a structured diet. Then, if more steps are necessary, you’ll be in the right frame of mind to implement them. Having had initial success will spur you on! Here’s how to easily lose weight with no diet required:
No diet weight loss begins by cleaning
Clean more than your kitchen floor! Clean out all your food storage areas as well. If you do not have a bunch of junk food in your house, that will decrease the availability of foods that trip up your weight loss attempts. I’m a firm believer in forgetting about willpower to lose weight.
Go through all food storage spaces: the cabinets, freezer, and refrigerator and eliminate the foods that are hindering a healthy diet and weight loss. Consider taking a few minutes to also evaluate your high temptation “trigger” type foods (salty foods, peanut butter, sweets, or whatever) to capitalize on this first step. Make sure those foods are not stocked in your cleaned up kitchen. By cleaning up your eating environment, you can basically avoid temptation, at least while at home. And, you probably spend at least 65% of your time at home.
Keep healthy staples to allow you to toss together a quick meal. Consider stocking:
- Brown rice and and whole grain pastas
- Cereals that are high in fiber to fill you up. And, cereal that is lower in sugar.
- Canned tuna, salmon, and chicken
- Low sodium soups
- Reduced fat or organic peanut butter or other favorite nut butters. As long as you can watch the serving size, this is fine to add to a healthy eating regimen.
- Rice cakes and popcorn cakes (they have come along way, so consider keeping those in your cabinet as a crunchy snack). There are even chocolate rice cakes.
- Healthy canned juice such as low sodium V-8, which is a great nonperishable vegetable serving and loaded with potassium.
- A source of calcium “on standby” in the cabinet. Consider stocking boxes of almond, soy, rice, or oat milk that do not need refrigeration.
First go through your freezer and toss foods: that you don’t recognize, that you won’t ever eat, or that you know are just bad for you! After that step, you’ll have space to add the right foods to have on hand. Keep the following in your freezer:
- A variety frozen fruits and vegetables that you enjoy eating. They keep for months and the nutritional content is on par with the fresh version. Use the frozen fruits for smoothies when you feel lazy about meal cooking. Many smoothies can be considered a actual meal replacement, particularly if made with fruits, vegetables, and protein such as milk or kefir.
- Consider making batches of healthier muffins along with other breakfast items to store and pull out for a healthy and fast breakfast.
- When you do cook, don’t forget to double up the recipe, portion the leftovers immediately, and freeze for a later date. Always label foods with name and date frozen to make it easier to pull out when needed.
- Healthier frozen meals. The calories, fat, and sodium will be noted and you know exactly what’s going into your body. A good quality frozen dinner is much better for weight management than running to a fast food chain or ordering take out! The nutritional pitfalls of restaurant dining are numerous.
Do the same with the refrigerator, and toss foods that are bad for your health. Stock staples in your refrigerator on a regular basis. Suggestions include:
- Eggs and egg substitutes
- Milk (consider including probiotic rich kefir products)
- Protein rich cottage cheese and yogurt
- A variety of fresh produce that you know you will eat (lettuce, carrots, celery, radishes, cucumbers, berries). Focusing on vegetables is very helpful as they are so low in calories. Here are tips to eat more veggies.
- Cheese (all varieties including string, 2% milk fat American, Parmesan, Bon Bel, fresh mozzarella, Laughing Cow)
- Healthier cold cuts such as lower sodium chicken, turkey, roast beef
- 100% pure juices (I enjoy the freshly squeezed and bottled orange juice)
- Ice tea you brewed yourself so it’s low in sugar and without preservatives
Lose weight, no diet required, just start PLANNING-Action Steps
It always strikes me how easy it would be to eat better with better planning. Winging each meal without thought is not the best way to manage a healthy eating plan to lose weight. How many times have you been out of food, been tired, or just had no idea as to what to eat? Probably more often than you’d like to admit. Although eating is instinctive, what is eaten is not. You must do some planning to make healthy eating happen. When more healthy eating than unhealthy eating occurs, weight loss and weight management are easier.
1. Planning starts before the grocery store
Get and idea of both your daily commitments, those of your family, and what kind of time constraints you’re up against for each day of the week. By thinking this through, you can plan simpler meals, faster meals (instant pot meals), or plug in the slower cooker in the morning. If you don’t have a plan, then the instant pot meal might not get thrown together and the crock pot won’t be plugged in on time. After you’ve mapped out your dinners (usually the most problematic meal), then start your shopping list. As you need to eat breakfast, lunch, and snacks you’ll obviously plan for those eating events as well.
2. Off to the grocery store (or computer)
Stick with the list. Shop the perimeter of the store if possible. Yep, don’t shop hungry. Add, don’t shop tired and pressed for time, if possible. Being hungry, tired, and pressed for time will usually result in impulse purchases. Limited time to shop? Consider using one of the easy grocery shopping alternatives. Peapod, Amazon Prime Now, Instacart, and Shipt come to mind. Consumer Reports did a recent online evaluation of the more popular grocery services along with offering some insightful guidance. From a dietitian’s perspective, I love that you can: skip the lines, check labels out before clicking, and if need be check if you have the item for a recipe while ordering. I love the efficiency and convenience of this. The time saved is enough to justify the few extra dollars.
3. Follow through on step 1
Use your dinner planning outline and personal calendar to implement a week at a time. Skip heavy or complicated dinners when running to evening commitments. Consider breakfast food for dinner? That’s always a great solution when pressed for time. Consider purchasing a precooked entree such as a rotisserie chicken and using for several days’ worth of meals (dinner as the entree, low fat chicken salad the next day for lunch).
Here’s a free meal planning template from Office 365 to download to start drafting your meals. Or, check this link out for another planner with the shopping list attached. I know people love to put lists into their phones, but some of us are strictly pen/paper visual for things like lists!
Self monitoring to lose weight with no diet
Sorry, at some point you need to be aware of what you are eating and drinking. Mindless eating, stress eating, boredom eating, and comfort eating all take their toll on your weight. Find an app you are comfortable using, and just start tracking your food. My favorite app to use with clients is Myfitnesspal. Most of my clients track their food with this app, and then I review their records at their appointment. I always tell them to be sure to document the bad days as well as the good. This helps with the self monitoring process between appointments. Even if you are not under a nutritionist’s care, you can track your food yourself to get an idea of what goes into your mouth and why!
Yes, this may mean hopping on a scale! Apparently, self-monitoring has not gone out of style as an effective weight loss tool. In one recent study, 74 adults were monitored during a 3-month Internet based weight loss program that focused on behavior. The participants were required to weigh daily with results transmitted to the researchers. They also were required to answer questions each week on mood and behaviors associated with weight. The results indicated that a greater self-monitoring frequency helped participants stay on task. They exhibited better mood, had less temptation to eat poor food choices, and were less bored with weight control efforts. While not everyone can be in a study, you can always seek the services of a health care provider such as a dietitian to assist with this monitoring. If you don’t have the resources for that, get a scale and monitor yourself consistently!
Key points for no diet weight loss strategies
Weight loss can be a struggle. Fad diets come and go. They are usually difficult to adhere to over the long haul. Sometimes, refocusing on issues not related to calories and deprivation can be the jump start to weight loss and even the key to ongoing sustained weight loss.
You must have your “tools” available to succeed-namely, foods that facilitate health and are personally satisfying to you. Clean out your food storage areas of junk and replenish them with healthful food options. After you’ve pitched the bad stuff and purchased better food choices, you need a game plan for eating. For most, healthy eating is not instinctive. Instead, it requires organized thought with a plan. Plan your “problem” mealtimes and snacks. Once you’ve come up with some structured food plan options that are realistic, make sure you follow-through on eating what you planned. Track your food. Check your diet to determine if you are following your planning! And, consider hopping on the scale to keep yourself honest.
Please share your own non-diet strategies and how you lose weight without a diet.
Use this information at your own risk. Although I am a licensed IL dietitian/nutritionist, I am not your dietitian. The information in my blog Chew on This located at www.mydietmatters.com is for educational and informational purposes only. It is also my own opinion and subject to change in the future. Please consult with your own medical professionals for individual treatment.