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Some people don't even have the basic knowledge about calorie counting and still they lose weight successfully. So what sets them apart? 

In this article, you will learn the practical ways to create a calorie deficit without counting every calorie you eat. 

Before we go ahead, we should know the reasons why counting calories fails:

1. Calorie counting is a stressful and boring activity that sucks the joy out of eating.
2. It is difficult to count calories accurately outside the lab. 
3. It doesn’t guarantee you are getting the nutrients you need.
4. It might encourage you to eat packaged processed food.

Let's get started with the basics. 

If you have been following my advice, you probably know that a caloric deficit is the foremost requirement to lose weight. You need to make sure that the amount of calories you eat should be less than the amount of calories you burn on the same day.

But things are not that simple when it comes to losing weight.

All calories are not created equal. Food doesn’t just contain calories, it also contains nutrients. You need to focus on the nutrients too. 

For example: In a laboratory, 1000 calories of soft drink and 1000 calories of milk are the same. But this doesn’t apply in living, breathing, digesting systems. The same number of calories from different type of food can have very different biological effects.

To illustrate how this works, let’s compare 200 calories of soft drink and 200 calories of milk.

1. 200 Calories from soft drinks are “empty” calories with zero nutritional value. They are “full” of trouble.

2. 200 Calories from milk are full of vitamins and nutrients. It has around 3.7g Protein, 6.9g Healthy Fats and 0.79g Minerals.

You see same calories have different effects. Our body is a complex biological system, not a math equation. If you shift your focus toward the things that actually matter and treat your body like the complex biological system it is rather than a calculator, you can lose all of your excess weight without counting a single calorie.

How to eat mindfully and lose weight without counting calories… 

Think of your workouts. We are burning calories, but we rarely ever count calories when we are calculating how much exercise we need. Instead, we count miles, minutes, or heartbeats. Start using the same technique for judging calorie intake as well. 

Rule - 1: Lose weight without counting calories by 'reducing bites'.

Portion control is the key. Eat smaller portion. You will create calorie deficit without counting calories if you reduce bites in every meal. Another biggest benefit of eating smaller portions is that your metabolism will work more efficiently (faster) when you eat small meals throughout the day. 

Rule - 2: Identify the foods that don’t love your body.

These foods make you store fat and slow down your metabolism so you gain weight very fast. Avoid empty calories (foods which have no or very less nutrition value). Avoid sugar rich foods, butter, oil, cream, white bread, junk food etc. 

Rule - 3: Focus on nutrition.

When you eat the right foods, you naturally don’t overeat. And when your hormones and metabolism are functioning properly, you can sustain a calorie-deficit — without hunger — as your body makes use of stored fat for fuel. This is an impossibility within the calories-in, calories-out model.

Rule - 4: Pay attention to your proteins.

Eat protein at every meal. The calories from protein are less fattening than the calories from carbs and fat because protein takes more energy to metabolize. If you increase your protein intake, then you start losing fat on autopilot mode because protein reduces your appetite and makes you eat fewer calories. Protein-rich foods like eggs, chicken, meat, fish, tofu, whey, curd and lentils have an impressive ability to curb the appetite, leading to reduced calorie intake.

Rule - 5: Don't overeat healthy food You cannot eat healthy food as much as you want.

Over eating healthy food can make you fat. Control your portion size. Just because a food is healthy doesn’t mean you can eat a mountain of it.

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Written by Sapna Vyas Patel , PhD in Nutrition Science and Dietetics
Sapna writes simple, easy to understand articles that are based on pure scientific evidence. She is one of the most popular fitness professionals in India and is followed on social media by fitness enthusiasts, nutritionists, dieticians, doctors, trainers, and professionals.

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