It might sound like heresy coming from a nutrition professor, but you need to stop counting calories.
Body weight considerations (including weight loss, gain and maintenance) are complicated. A healthy weight for you should take into consideration not just your gender and height, but also body composition and metabolic fitness – a fancy way of saying the most important factors are that you are physically active, have more muscle than fat, and have optimal health measurements such as blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose.
If you are overweight, losing just 5-7% of your body weight can improve these measures! To lose that weight:
1. Listen to your body’s signals for when it is full. Stop eating before you are full (at about 80% - you’ll get familiar with this feeling the more you try it).
2. Eat smaller portions and make sure what you are eating is real food - not bars, diet foods or processed foods like chips, cookies or candy. Fill up on vegetables, lean proteins, legumes, and fruit.
Just One Thing to do: Instead of counting calories, eat smaller meals, fewer snacks, and only real food (see above). Get specific tips here.
Just One More Thing to do: Read a personal perspective about calories here.