How to Lose Weight Without Tracking Macros

Here are different ways to lose weight without tracking macros.

The fitness industry is obsessed with macros. If coaches could get free tattoos of food scales, macronutrients, and tracking apps across their booty, they would. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them own these.

But as the consumer, many people get the impression that you have to track macros to be successful with weight loss. Don’t get me wrong, tracking is great and has many unique benefits, but it’s not a pre-requisite for weight loss.

Just like any nutrition approach, tracking also has it’s own set of drawbacks. The most notable one is that it can be quite cumbersome for people. Yes, anyone can learn and yes, it doesn’t take much time after some practice, but the disdain for tracking is a massive barrier for many whether valid or not.

We can take the guesswork out of nutrition for many simply by not having them track.

How Weight Loss Works

To lose weight, you only need one thing. You need a caloric deficit present. This is simply a long term state in which you take in less energy than you burn off over time. It doesn’t matter whether you’re conscious of your deficit or how much of a deficit you’re in. All that matters is that if you’re in one, fat tissue is being stripped off your body. Cheers to that.

If you struggle with eating the appropriate amount of calories, we can manipulate that by setting up guidelines you follow to tinker with food consumption and behavior.

Glass of water

1 – Drink a glass of water prior to every a meal

Your stomach have stretch receptors and as they detect expansion in your gut, your brain gets signaled for fullness. Filling your stomach with water prior to a meal does the following:

  • It signals for fullness hormones prior to the start of the meal.
  • It promotes mindfulness. By not diving into food right away, you’ll likely eat slower.
  • Most importantly, it will reduce the number of calories you consume each meal.

This can also be done with low or zero calorie beverages as well. In fact, some research finds zero calorie beverages are even more satiating than water. Hot beverages like tea and coffee work deeply well also.

By having some content in your stomach prior to a meal is called a preload. You can preload with fruits or vegetables as well, but for now, let’s keep it simple and drink a large glass of water before every meal.

2 – Eat a lean protein and vegetables at every meal

Lean protein in tandem with a vegetable makes a complete meal. You can add more to this, but at it’s core, it’s this simple. I don’t want to hear any, making meals is so hard bs. Think of your favorite lean protein and think of your favorite vegetable. Eat them at the same meal. Boom.

By doing so, you have muscle building protein and fibrous nutrients at each meal. This keeps you full and nourish which is paramount for staying in a deficit. More lean protein is generally better as many people are overweight from a lack of lean protein and total protein intake.

Eating more vegetables is encouraged too because we live in a world where grown adults lecture their kids about eating vegetables, yet never eat any themselves. In fact, if you want to be in a deeper deficit, you can replace any starch or fat with more veggies. Don’t be surprised if you start feeling better and getting sick less too.

Salad

3 – Eat one giant salad daily

This makes the previous step easier, but also ensures you eat one highly nutritious and filling meal daily that takes the guesswork out of things. There’s something to be said about eating raw veggies daily as well. They retain their full size and take up a lot of space in your stomach.

As mentioned earlier, this pushes against your stretch receptors and keeps you more full. And if you don’t like salads, you’ve simply never made a good one.

 

A little effort goes a long way with making a salad. Use some dark greens and add some variety with tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, fat free cheese, nuts, fruit, and a good dressing. You can even purchase low calorie salad dressings online or from your grocery store.

Have some canned or precooked chicken on hand as well and you got yourself and stupid simple meal each day that will guide you to more fat loss.

As long as your salad has plenty of greens and lean protein, nobody’s going to over eat a salad. Make it ginormous if you have a huge appetite.

Portions

4 – Don’t eat all your food

One of the biggest psychological shortcomings our parents taught us was to finish our plates. I get it, many people grew up poor and wasting food was blasphemous. I grew up the same way from a dictator like Asian mom.

However, this flies in the face of weight loss psychology and physiology. Physiologically speaking, you need to eat less to lose fat and psychologically speaking, we don’t need as much food as we think.

Like imagine how much lighter you’d be if you ate one less bite from every meal in the last year? Do you think sacrificing that last bite made that much of a difference in meal satisfaction? 

Probably not, but by eating a bit less you can save lots of calories over long periods. Many studies find people who get served a certain amount of food simply finish their food regardless of the portion.

So I would practice choosing filling foods like lean protein, fruits, and veggies, but as you eat your meal, learning to stop before everything is finished.

Especially when you’re not tracking macros, added sugars and fat can quickly skyrocket your calories. To be clear, I’m not saying you should avoid added sugar or fat, but learning to eat less is how you guarantee a deficit without tracking macros.

How much less are we talking?

Well, start by eating your meal slowly. This increases satiety. Then as your meal starts to finish, remind yourself that you don’t have to finish everything on the plate. Ask yourself with every last bite, do you really need 1 more bite to be satisfied?

Take time to answer yourself and don’t be afraid to terminate a meal significantly short especially earlier meals where you know you’ll be able to eat again that day.

Pair the above with exercise

To ensure everything goes smoothly, you’ll need to exercise. You knew this was coming cause well, when has a lack of movement ever been good for your waistline?

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be anything crazy. A few 45 minute lifting sessions each week along with some cardio or steps and you’re good.

The exercise will help retain your muscle mass and boost your energy expenditure while the nutrition will trim down your calories and put you in a deficit. The result is fat tissue leaving your body into the realm of the atmosphere.

Some beautiful stuff huh? It is easier said than done though cause fat loss is never easy regardless of the method. This is because by definition, you’re restricting energy. There’s some level of sacrifice whether you’re tracking macros or not.

By not tracking macros, you’re able to work on habits that are more doable for your lifestyle, but you still have to plan out meals, stay consistent, and make the necessary sacrifices.

So while the plan is easy on paper, make sure you’re preparing your meals, getting that lean protein in without compromise, and truly eating what you need each meal without over doing it.

If you can stick to the above at least 90% of time, fat will undoubtedly come off your body revealing one sexy physique. The time span for that will be based on your level of adherence.

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Calvin Huynh
Calvin Huynh is a trainer, online coach, writer, and joyful ruler behind AwesomeFitnessScience.com. His content has reached various top sites and he has worked with a variety of clients ranging from top CEOs, hardcore lifters, everyday desk workers, and stay at home moms. When he’s not working, he spends his time going to church, dreaming of unicorns, and eating whole pints of ice cream on a comfortable couch somewhere in Southern California.