How to eat more and lose weight. I know. Sounds like click bait, right? 😛 But with summer fast approaching, and having been cooped up and snacking too much due to corona virus (boo!), these tips might be useful to you.
When it comes to weight management, common sense would dictate that in order to lose (or maintain) a certain body weight, eating more food isn’t the best idea.
There is some truth to this practical way of thinking, to be sure. When you consume more calories than your body burns, the excess must be stored somewhere (remember the law of conservation of energy from high school?).
However, there are actually a few gimmick-free ways that allow you to consume more food, or feel like you are, without experiencing unwanted weight gain.
Here are the 5 tricks:
Equal Size Does Not Mean Equal Calories
When it comes to different food options, the same serving size of two different items in no way means they contain the same amount of calories. I imagine you know this 🙂 A fist-sized portion of lean chicken has nowhere close to the caloric content of an equal amount of chocolate cake. Rats.
So what does this mean for you as far as how to eat more and weigh less? Without suffering the consequences of indulging? You guessed it. Choosing foods that are relatively low in calories in relation to serving size will allow you to eat more food volume while keeping your calories in check.
Experiment With Different Eating Windows
Eating all of your daily calories within a relatively short window of time is more of a mental trick to make you feel like you are eating “a lot.” Technically, this approach is called intermittent fasting. There are various protocols for IF, as it’s abbreviated. 🙂 A common one that I use and that’s not too hard is eating in an eight hour window, fasting for 16 hours.
Not eating for stretches of time may be hard at first. Over time, however, you get used to it. Eating your day’s calories in a shortened time span, you will likely feel like you are getting to “eat a lot” while still not maxing out your caloric budget. Plus there are lots of health benefits to fasting periods.
Don’t Spend Your Calories On Liquids
One of the quickest and easiest ways to go overboard on calories is through high calorie drinks such as soda and frozen beverages. Without even realizing it, you can easily consume half a days worth of recommended calories in only a few of these items! If your goal is to eat more food without gaining weight, high calorie drinks have to go. Good ol’ water or other calorie -free drinks like tea and coffee are the way to go.
Whole Foods Versus Processed
There are many reasons why whole foods are superior to the processed foods. The fact that they almost always contain fewer calories is one of them. When food is consumed in its natural form, it is spared the refinement process, which usually involves the addition of high calorie sweeteners and preservatives.
Simply put, as far as calories go, you get much more bang for your buck by eating whole foods. While stuffing your face with fresh produce may not be quite as enticing as a Snicker’s Bar, at least you can eat more volume! And the less you indulge in processed foods, the more you get used to and are satisfied with better-for-you whole foods.
Lastly, You Guessed It, Exercise
Remember the energy laws from before? Well, the more you move, the more energy you use. Exercise causes the body to need more calories to burn as fuel. However, exercise does NOT have to be structured or boring. General activity counts for a lot.
This approach is quite the opposite of the other choices we have discussed in that instead of being mindful of your total caloric intake, you can “subtract” calories, so to speak, by moving more.
To be fair, the amount of exercise required to burn a significant number of calories is pretty high. Eating till you are stuffed and trying to undo the situation on a treadmill is not very efficient. However, getting enough exercise on a consistent basis will allow you to eat more while reducing the amount of calories your body stores.
For more information on fitness, check out the Fit for Life area of this site.
Or look for my book on amazon 🙂