Being in a calorie deficit makes you lose weight. However, starving yourself is an unsafe, ineffective, and unhealthy way of losing weight, and you should never do that.
It can put the body in starvation mode which prompts the metabolic system to store more fats and use less energy.
Cutting down on the amount of food that you eat can also make you feel hungrier and less satisfied.
So, the key is to decrease calorie intake while increasing physical activity and maintaining an adequate amount of nutrient consumption.
There are plenty of healthy and safe ways you can lose weight and be in a calorie deficit without depriving yourself.
Your goal should be to look AND feel great, not just to look great while sacrificing your health.
So in this post, I’m sharing some practical ways to lose weight long-term, in a healthy way.
How To Lose Weight Without Starving
Eat natural foods
If you feel like you’re always eating, yet you’re feeling hungry all the time, you might be eating only processed foods with no nutrient value.
Eating natural, nutrient-dense foods actually keeps you full for longer. While you may think that a pizza will keep you full for longer than chicken, veggies, and rice, it’s usually the opposite.
So, eat natural, nutrient-dense foods, so you get all of the nutrients your body needs, and you stay full for longer.
You might think drinking water has nothing to do with losing weight. However, it actually has a lot to do with it.
First of all, drinking water can actually make you less hungry. Also, when your body is thirsty, your brain sometimes reads that signal as if you were hungry – so drinking a glass of water before eating can help you realize how hungry you actually are.
Water also increases calorie burning and it’s necessary for burning fat.
So, drink enough water throughout the day. If that’s something you struggle with, try getting big water bottles and carrying them with you when you leave the house or having them next to you while you’re at home.
Eat a healthy breakfast
As we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It sets the tone for your entire day, so it’s important what you eat for breakfast.
Breakfast should usually be the biggest meal you eat in a day, and the most calorie dense, but you should strive to eat a healthy, nourishing breakfast.
When you’re meal planning, come up with breakfast ideas that have all of the important food groups, and give you enough nutrients and energy for the day. Include a protein, some fiber, healthy carbs, etc.
Eat more protein
Speaking of protein, your diet should include high-protein meals.
Protein will help keep you full for longer, it helps you burn calories faster, reduces appetite, cuts cravings, prevents muscle loss, and has a good impact on your metabolism.
Try to include more protein in every meal and snack you eat.
Make healthy food swaps
The best way to lose weight in a healthy way is to make healthy food swaps. Find alternatives for high-calorie foods, and replace them with some lower-calorie foods and meals.
For example, instead of regular pizza, get cauliflower-crust pizza, or tortilla pizza. Instead of fried chicken, make baked chicken. Instead of white bread, eat whole-wheat bread (that one isn’t about calories, but about nutrients).
Start working out
If you don’t work out, it’s time to start. You can start slow – exercise for 30 minutes per day a few days a week. Then, as your strength grows, you’ll be able to work out more.
If you don’t like going to the gym, there are tons of ways to exercise without doing that – you can work out at home, take up a sport, hike, go to spinning classes, do dance classes, do yoga, pilates, etc. Find something you like.
Exercising will increase the number of calories burned in a day, which will help you lose weight. Plus, physical activity is important for health.
Switch out your workout routine
If you’re already working out, but you’re not seeing results anymore, try switching out your workout routine.
Sometimes if you do the same thing over and over, your body gets used to it, and it doesn’t have the impact it used to have anymore.
Plus, some exercises might not work for your body the same way they work for others.
So, experiment, and try out different exercises and workouts.
Watch your macros
Watching your macros is very important. While calories play a huge part in weight loss, macros do, too.
Knowing how much protein, fat, and carbs to intake on a daily basis, can really help you lose weight in a healthy way.
There are many calculators online that can help you figure out the amounts, so do some research, and see which foods are high in which macro, so you can incorporate that into meal planning.
Consume the right amount of calories
Counting calories isn’t necessary. But knowing how much you should eat in order to lose weight can definitely help. You don’t want to eat too much, or too little.
So, calculate the number of calories you should intake to reach your goal, even if you don’t plan on counting calories. That will help you have a general idea of what foods to eat, and you can incorporate that when you’re meal planning.
Don’t forget to count in both big meals and small meals.
Allow yourself to indulge once in a while
The key to losing weight and eating a healthy diet long-term is allowing it to be a lifestyle, not a form of crash dieting.
Sometimes, that means allowing yourself to indulge once in a while.
If you’re really craving pizza, eat it. It won’t make or break your whole weight loss process, and it will actually help you not binge-eat afterward. As long as you’re eating healthy overall, allowing yourself to eat what you crave every once in a while is not a bad thing.
Learn to manage stress
A big reason for weight gain for some people is stress and stress-eating. So, if you realized you eat too much when you’re stressed, work on managing that stress, and on learning how to disconnect food from that feeling.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is very important for weight loss, so aim for about 8 hours of sleep per night. That’s important not just for weight loss, but for your overall health as well.