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Three Easy Tricks To Never Count Calories Again

Three Easy Tricks To Never Count Calories Again

Ever notice that when things are complicated, tedious, or generally not fun, the likelihood of quitting is higher? When it comes to diets and healthy eating, having to count calories is all of those things. Nobody feels like tracking, measuring or weighing every little thing they eat, but the good old law of thermodynamics (calories in vs calories out) is often hailed as the king of all weight loss rules.

I am a huge proponent of keeping things simple; finding something deeper and more meaningful than just “lose 10 lbs” or “fit back into my skinny jeans” to motivate you, and above all, injecting some enjoyment in to the process. These three things increase the likelihood that you follow through and see results drastically.

The three easy tricks I have for you today will eliminate the need to ever count calories again, yet still get you results. Whether you’re seeking fat loss, more energy, or to address any other diet-related disease or illness, try these tricks out for 30 days and prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

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These tips are mostly inspired by my nutrition training through Metabolic Effect, founded by Dr’s Jade and Keoni Teta, authors of The New ME Diet.  

Trick #1: Follow this simple Label Rule for anything with a label

Reading labels can be one of the MOST confusing (and misleading) parts of healthy eating. We get distracted by words like “natural” “healthy” and “wholesome.” We even assume that just because something is vegan or gluten free that it’s healthy. This isn’t always the case. The Label Rule outlines the only three things that actually matter: Total Fat, Sodium, and Hormonal Carbs.

Total Fat should be less than or equal to 15. Lower numbers are better and you want to avoid foods with hydrogenated oils, trans-fats or mostly saturated fat. Foods that have higher mono-unsaturated fats and omega-3 oils are best.

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Sodium content should be less than or equal to 200mg. Foods with lower sodium numbers and higher potassium numbers are better.

Hormonal Carbs. This is where the genius of the Metabolic Effect approach shines. Unlike the calorie counting approach to losing weight, focusing on hormonal carbs prompts your body to shed fat specifically.

You’ll hear people say “muscle weighs more than fat”, but that’s not true.  Five pounds is five pounds, regardless of what it’s made of. Muscle is more dense that fat though, so it takes up less space. Picture a five pound brick versus a five pound pillow. Get it now? To calculate Hormonal Carbs you subtract Dietary Fiber (including any sugar alcohols) and Protein from the Total Carbs. Choose foods with a Hormonal Carb value less than 15. Lower numbers are better, and negative numbers are best. This means you’ll get the energy you need from the food, but you won’t be left with excess sugar that winds up getting stored in your body as fat when you don’t burn it off. Another great book on this topic is Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes if you’re interested!

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Carbs are not in fact the enemy—it’s just the amounts and frequency with which we consume them that cause problems. Here’s a visual example:

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 6.16.05 PM

    Trick #2: Eat according to this ideal plate at every meal

    The thing I love most about this trick is that it makes eating out EASY. Most of us are pretty good at eating clean in our own little controlled environments at home, but toss a menu into the mix and give us a few naughty options and it’s bad news bears. Once you know what your plate should look like at every meal, you can use this as your barometer when eating out-unless you know ahead of time, it’s a treat meal…in which case, go crazy! (and tag me on Instagram @lizdialto and let me know, I love treat meals!!)

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    The ideal plate is made up of half veggies (the greener the better), a fist sized portion of lean protein (if you’re a veggie, then beans, tofu, tempeh etc. count for you), then just five to ten bites of carbs. The bite rule is what protects you from having to count calories in this trick.

    Remember in Trick #1 how I said carbs aren’t the problem, but rather the amount of carbs? Sticking to 5-10 bites of carbs that fit the label rule puts you in the sweet spot for fat burning instead of fat storing. Here’s an example: it’s a portion of grass-fed steak and a big salad with mixed greens, quinoa, strawberries and balsamic dressing.

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      Now I know what you’re probably thinking because clients give me this objection all the time “only 5-10 bites?!” When you follow this rule you can actually eat more food, it’s just more food that’s better for you. All we’re doing is shifting around ratios on your plate.  More protein and veggies, less carbs. Side effects of eating this way include: fat loss, weight loss, more energy, better looking skin, and frequently allergy and digestive issue symptoms clear up, too.  So give it a try—you’ve got plenty to lose.

      Trick #3: Eat your protein and veggies first, save your carbs for last

      The reason for this is simple: protein and veggies are the best things for you on your plate and they’re more satiating. By saving your carbs for last, you give yourself a better shot at feeling full at the end of the meal and not over eating.

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      Elizabeth DiAlto

      Liz is a fitness and lifestyle coach, speaker and author on a mission to help women live a fulfilling life.

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      Last Updated on March 13, 2019

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

      1. Work on the small tasks.

      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

      2. Take a break from your work desk.

      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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      3. Upgrade yourself

      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

      4. Talk to a friend.

      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

      7. Read a book (or blog).

      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

      8. Have a quick nap.

      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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      9. Remember why you are doing this.

      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

      10. Find some competition.

      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

      11. Go exercise.

      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

      12. Take a good break.

      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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