How to lose weight without trying to eat less

Posted: Feb 03 in Weight loss, Weight Management Strategies by

It seems like every year there are a handful of best-selling books, aps, and web sites promising to teach you to eat a certain way and lose a miraculous amount of weight. From low-fat to low carb, low glycemic-index to adjusting macronutrient percentages, intermittent fasting to ketogenic diets – each suggests that their way of eating will provide large amounts of sustained weight loss.

At the end of the day, it is true – you can certainly lose weight through these approaches. But how about another strategy that doesn’t focus on what you eat at all?

According to Reuters, “Americans drink a daily average of 38 ounces (0.67 liters) of water, which contains no calories. Sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks and teas were next on the list, at 17.5 ounces a day. Americans consumed an average of 7.5 ounces of milk and 8.9 ounces of coffee on a daily basis.” When looking at the calories we consume, this equates to 22% of our average daily intake!

Why not a new weight loss approach this year that doesn’t focus so much on how much, what, when or why you eat, and simply focuses on drinking more water and no other stuff. No soda. No beer. No milk shakes. No juice. No cream in the coffee. No diet sodas either, although that may be a topic for another day. Perhaps we should make an exception for meal replacements, which contain your body’s complete nutrition for the meal – again, a topic for another day.

Back when Barbara Rolls published “Volumetrics,” I heard her present at the Blackburn obesity course offered through Harvard, and she showed a lot of the data from studies done at the Penn State University food lab. They’d have people take lunch, and monitored how much they ate based on what they drank. They found that the calories in the drinks did not impact the calories eaten. Whether somebody had water, milk, juice or soda, they ate the same number of calories at lunch – the body did not seem to register the calories in the beverages.

Which leads me back to a simple way to decrease your calories by 22% without changing what you eat:

Don’t drink any calories.

Try it for a month – see how you feel, and see how it impacts your weight loss journey.

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