Can you lose weight without dieting?

To answer the title of this article’s question, I won’t make you read (or scroll) to the bottom of the page; nor will you have to click through a million and one slides. You can thank me now.

To put it simply, ‘yes’, you CAN lose weight without dieting. For our intents and purposes we shall define dieting as restricting certain food(s) and/or food group(s) with the primary objective of losing weight. Diets don’t work. You know how I know? I have never followed a diet and maintained a healthy weight. I ran competitively in college for the Baylor Bears, and never used supplements long term or any special diets to promote optimal performance. If we choose our energy intake appropriately, and there is no medical condition present, we can obtain all the nutrients we need using a #FoodFirst philosophy. This includes enjoying less nutrient dense foods as well…just ask Junie (girl loves her some Gerber cheese puffs! Insert horrible mom comments here, for allowing my child to eat glorified Cheetos 😱.)


(you’re welcome for the promo, Food Lion.)

So, if weight loss and a healthier lifestyle are your goals, lemme share some tools/tips to help you get there:

  1. Adequate hydration how much water is enough? Take your body weight in pounds, divide by two and that is the number of ounces you should be drinking each day.

Example: 150lbs / 2 = 75, you need 75oz/day.

Often times we mistake hunger for thirst. Likewise, if we are consuming more fluids, there is less room in the stomach for solids. Be sure though that you’re fluids are zero or low calorie. Some of my fav drinks: water with fresh lime slices, Bai cocofusion flavor and LaCroix. When I worked for a bariatric surgeon we instructed patients to NEVER eat and drink at the same time, post-operatively. Why? Fluids took up too much real estate in their revised (much smaller) stomach. The opposite then should hold true for folks seeking beneficial weight loss the old fashioned way – fill up on fluids before you sit down for a meal.

2. Everything in moderation anyone with kids knows if you want them to do something, tell them not to do it. If I said you could never have ice cream (or insert your favorite treat) you would most definitely be craving it, am I right? The trick is finding a happy balance. How do you incorporate less than healthy foods, without overdoing it? Here is where we tailor to meet your needs. Do you gotta have a few bites of ice cream every night, or can you get away with an ice cream sundae once/week? You know yourself better than anyone else on this planet. Figure out what works for you, and stick to it!

3. Physical activity when we discuss metabolism three items determine the sum of its parts. Numero uno is genetic predisposition. Unfortunately, we don’t have any control of this aspect. Next, thermic effect of food, which is a fancy way of saying, it takes calories to burn calories. (About 5% of our daily energy intake is used to metabolize food and sustain us at rest). Lastly, is you guessed it, physical activity and this is the factor which we can manipulate in our favor. The more we move, the more energy we use. The bare minimum for which you should aim is at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, 5 days/week. For weight loss, double that duration number to 60 minutes. For the record, chasing your toddler around all day does NOT count! (I wish it did though.)

4. Disassociation in what regard, Sam? How many of us watch Netflix at night and snack? 🙋‍♀️ What about hitting up SBUX for a venti double chocolaty chip frappuccino with extra whip, on your way to work? Or…girls night and ordering one too many CoronaRitas? The solution: learn to dissociate food based on your current habits. Instead of snacking in the evening, try a cup of unsweetened hot tea. You don’t have to entirely give up Starbucks, but instead try a simple cup of java. As for girls night out…you can still indulge, but cut back on your EtOH (that’s medical speak for alcohol…you learned something new!) consumption.

When it comes to weight loss, there isn’t a magic pill that will help you reach your goal overnight. Durable weight loss takes more than a diet, it requires small changes over a sustained period of time and a committed change in lifestyle. It never hurts to have an accountability partner either. Misery loves company, so they say! In all seriousness though, as you start to see physical changes it serves as additional motivation to help you continue pursuing your health and wellness goals. I will be the first to tell you, I have seen many clients over the years, and these four points have been instrumental in helping to keep them on track.

I’m curious, what tips/tricks do y’all use to get, stay and be well?! I wanna know!