I used to believe that weight loss was just a matter of taking more calories from food. I was convinced that I had to eat less in order to consume more. Then I moved on to a more healthy lifestyle. If you’ve ever noticed that you start eating more food when you make a change in your life, you understand how hard our food world is when you’re looking to lose weight. But is it possible to lose weight without eating more calories?
For the past 2 ½ years, I’ve been trying to figure this out. I wanted to see if eating more calories on a calorie deficit makes weight loss go faster — and with less of a caloric deficit!
My study included 30 obese people who were trying to lose between 50 and 80 pounds. The study was completed over 3 years.
Before the study, I had tried several nutrition and weight loss diets that used very low calories. Each time, I found myself wishing I lost the weight by doing the weight loss differently. I was looking for more natural methods.
I was also concerned that my research findings would make people believe that you “cave” to willpower to lose weight (i.e., eat less than you burn in calories). At the very least you should be able to lose weight at home by eating fewer calories and focusing on how you feel more and less in the hours after eating than you did before eating. In my study, my subjects ate more at dinner and less at midday. And they had fewer side dishes.
I decided to see how much eating less calories made this diet go faster. Since dieting can be an overwhelming endeavor, I wanted to make sure I could actually track how much more calorie you had left in your plate after eating fewer calories.
It’s a fascinating world. Here’s how easy it really is to lose weight without eating more calories.
What were the things I was tracking?
Dieters entered individual numbers for their calories at a given meal, ranging from a low of 25 calories to a high of 75 calories. They also reported how much they were burning as a calorie compared to a baseline.
At a given meal, the subjects reported what they were eating, how much they were burning as a calorie and how many calories they’d eaten. By keeping track of all of the data and trying to keep an overall record of calories consumed and calories burned in the long term, I was able to do all of the following:
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