How to Lose Weight Without Counting Calories

How to Lose Weight Without Counting Calories

How I Lost Weight without Counting Calories

Week of Oct 31st:

1 pound lost. 9 more to go by January 1st


Hello hello hello!

Question for ya this week.

Have you ever started a project with vigor and lose steam after a couple days?

Yep! Me too!

I could say that a little about the Christie Project (already?  Yeah I know).  I set a few goals and headed into the first week of November with excitement, only to quickly get buried in the grind of life and stop paying as much attention to myself.

How did I do on my goals?  As a recap, here’s what I wanted to work on

Weight Loss Goal Sheet | SMART Goals

Did I establish a journaling routine?


Did I assess my hunger levels before and after each meal?

Sort of?

Make a list of weight loss struggles?


Well shit.

Plus side?  I lost 1 pound!  Woot!  So fortunately, my semi vigilant assessment of my hunger before and after each meal did me some good!

Even though I didn’t really seem to achieve my goals this week, I actually choose to use this as a learning experience.  As a recovering perfectionist, I’ve come to realize that everything is an opportunity….it’s just how you spin it.  That’s a blog for a completely different day though.


I will need to take a more aggressive approach to making sure I meet my goals.  In order to do this, I will set aside 5 minutes each evening before bed and 5 minutes in the morning as my little one is eating breakfast to journal, write out my thought and reaffirm what I want to accomplish day day.

BOOM! Goal of establishing a journaling routine?  Done-zo!


Anyway.  Let’s talk a little more about something that I think will be helpful for you: how exactly I lost 1 pound without counting one calorie!

Weight loss without counting calories? Yep! Free cheat sheet to help you do the same!

I still remember the day that I seriously considered taking my ridiculously expensive IPhone and throwing it in the trash. I was looking at my Sparkpeople food logging app and it was telling me that in order to stay on track for losing one pound that week…I couldn’t eat any more calories. I was at 2150 for the day and allowed no more.

What. The. Heck.

I was standing at the kitchen counter with a growling tummy pondering all the ways I could trick my body into feeling full. Celery and a big glass of water. A diet coke and green peppers. Maybe just two diet cokes.

I then looked at the Cheez-Its on the counter, hissed a few expletives, and dug into the box until all that was left was cracker dust.


Ever happened to you?


After the cracker dust had settled, I sat there and pondered my situation. I had eaten very nutritiously that day. Had a great workout. It was clear to me that my body still needed something but I couldn’t have it.

The more that app on my Iphone told that I couldn’t eat something, the greater I felt myself creeping toward turning into the Incredible Hulk.

Never again. I couldn’t continue on in this vicious cycle of restriction and binging. I was no closer to my weight goal than I was when I had start…and I was only more stressed.


Great plan. Let’s lose weight by making ourselves crazy. eye roll


Now don’t get me wrong. As a registered dietitian, I understand the science behind the calorie deficit and weight loss. I also understand that some people need that kind of guidance and structure. If you are able to be successful with using a calorie counting app and NOT think about it every moment of the day, then I encourage you to continue! Everyone’s needs are different…but here are my 3 biggest tips for losing weight without counting calories:


1. Stabilize your blood sugar

If you’ve got a human body, you were most likely born with the innate ability to know when to eat and how much you needed to eat. Outside influences, however, have made it difficult for us to maintain a true sense of hunger. A diet of steady caffeine, sugar and refined carbs have caused our blood sugars to spike and drop on a regular basis. This spike can make us lethargic. The drop can make us hungry (when we really don’t need the calories).
My biggest recommendation here is to STABILIZE THAT SUGAR. By doing so, you will be able to better tap into your hunger cues!!  Now, don’t freak on me here. I’m not going to say you need to cut out your diet pop, your morning latte, or that candy after dinner. Whether or not you do that is up to you! I will tell you straight up though, that you’ve gotta find more balance in your meals. Here are my tips for doing just this:

  • Base your meal on the protein, and garnish with your carbs. Whenever you think of a meal or want to order something, always start first with the question “What is my source of protein?
  • Consider reducing your carbohydrate serving by a smidgen. For example. If your meal would normally have a cup of mashed potatoes, try decreasing to ½ cup and adding a second piece of chicken instead.
  • Make sure you have fiber in your meal. Whether it’s from fruits, vegetables or whole grains, make sure it’s there!

2. Learn Your Hunger Scale.

Your body has the natural ability to tell you when it’s hungry and when it’s full. The truth of the matter is…we just don’t listen to it!

Here is the secret that I work on teaching my clients:

Work on staying between a 4-6 throughout the day.

At a 4, your hunger starts to awake but you aren’t fixated on finding a meal. This is a good time to start eating before you get out of control

Stop when you are a 6, or are just feeling physically satisfied. (*NOTE, remember…this is where the whole “it takes 20 minutes to feel full” thing comes in. Take your time ith your meal so you have a chance to feel “just satisfied” and don’t bypass it…cuz it can happen faster than an Ugg wearing mama heading to Starbucks on Pumpkin Spice Latte day! Here’s a little picture to give you a closer look!

Learn how to use your Hunger Scale to lose weight

3. Enjoy the freedom and go easy on yourself

Using your hunger scale to lose weight can be a tough thing for people to adopt. To some, it can feel like a loss of control because there are no extensive numbers to keep track of. The only number you watch is a single digit which is really just a way to quantify your level of hunger.

With a positive mindset and TIME, you will naturally gravitate to the body weight you are meant to be. Will my weight loss happen fast? Not always. Could it happen quickly? Possibly!

You really have to allow yourself some slack here. Intuitively eating, as we call it, it a foreign concept to some and takes practice and patience.

I’m still not perfect on my journey to weight loss using hunger cues. There are days where I feel a drug addict trying to resist the fix – I just feel the pull to count those calories! Sometimes I give in and go for it. I’ve actually embraced those times because they serve a reminder of the lifestyle I don’t want to live! I don’t have the time and energy for that shackled existence.

Something tells you might not either.

Hope this is helpful.  Wish me luck with my goals this week!

Here are some of the goals I have for this week on my journey to lose weight!



  1. Download a printable HUNGER SCALE form to put on your fridge
    Click HERE TO get your new and improved Hunger Scale worksheet! (more…)
Why Overeating May Not Always Be Your Fault

Why Overeating May Not Always Be Your Fault

Tips for Overcoming Sugar Addiction

Tips for Reducing Sugar Intake

Take Back Control!

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Yes. You read that correctly.  Overeating might not always be your fault.  I mean. Doritos anyone?


All kidding aside, one of the things I hear a lot about it is that people can’t seem to control themselves in the presence of certain foods.   Usually carby, starchy, delicious stuff. I can’t say I’ve ever had anyone tell me they binged on grilled chicken. I guess it’s possible…

I thought I would actually take a minute to go all Bill Nye for a second and try to explain why our bodies might be working against us when it comes to overeating.   Now…don’t take this as a free pass to eat candy every day, all day.  We definitely all have some responsibility in the matters of our eating.  But there may be another nefarious reason at work.


Sugar and Carbohydrate Addiction Can Cause Overeating.  Why?


1. Your Insulin Levels are Out of Whack

America is full of processed foods.  We know this.  Sugar is everywhere.  We have created foods that are packed full of additives, sugar, starches…and they are lower on the protein and fiber end.   When we eat a food or a meal that is super high in sugar or carbs (with often little protein or fiber), that glucose (the digestive byproduct of these foods) hits our blood stream faster than a bunch of women at Starbucks the day the Pumpkin Spice Latte goes on sale.

The result is an extremely high spike in blood sugar….followed by a drastic drop (usually within an hour or so).  That drastic drop leads to that feeling you have that you just can’t function…you need a nap…your tired…and then you may be hungry again (even though your body doesn’t need any calories)

This constant up and down over time really has an effect on your ability to really understand your body’s TRUE hunger.

2. Your Ghrelin and Leptin are Out of Whack

Your what is out of whack?

Aside from these really sounding like the names of Trolls living under a candy coated bridge, ghrelin and leptin are the two hormones that tell you when you are hungry (ghrelin) and full (leptin).

Insulin regulates these two trolls.


If your insulin is out of whack…ghrelin gets secreted when it shouldn’t.  Leptin doesn’t get secreted enough.  Everything is all jacked up.

The result? Your body’s physiological response that makes you want to eat when you really don’t need to!


How To Fix the Problem

This is a loaded question – one that I could teach whole classes on.  In the interest of brevity and your need to keep moving with your day, I’ll keep the highlights short:

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25gm of added sugar per day (women – 6 tsp) and 35gm per day for men (9 tsp)

  1. Educate yourself on hidden sugars
  2. Work toward reduction or elimination of high sugar foods
  3. Ensure you are getting a balanced meal when you do consume sugars or carbohydrates (protein, fiber etc).  This will stunt that sugar spike I talked about earlier and keep your hunger levels more even keeled

Interested in more tips to SLOWLY and PAINLESSLY reduce your dependence on sugar? (thus regaining a normal sense of hunger)

Tips for Reducing Sugar Intake

Take Back Control!

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I’m interested in your struggle with this as well.  Do you find that your hunger levels are out of whack after eating any certain foods?  Or at certain times of the day?  Comment below!