The Alternative to Counting Calories: Mindful Eating With Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is the best alternative to counting calories.

Losing weight without counting calories? It works: with intermittent fasting! Find out why intermittent fasting is the perfect alternative to traditional diets and how to learn mindful eating. First of all, we take a closer look at dieting.

 

Diets Decrease The Metabolism And Increase Hunger

What if all our knowledge about diets was based on faulty assumptions? Well, then all previous dieting efforts might have been doomed to failure from the beginning.⁠

You probably heard this advice: “Eat less, move more. Then you will lose weight!“ Well, it’s not that easy, unfortunately.⁠

The actual cause of overweight is not the nasty calories: It’s your hormone system and metabolism that are responsible for whether and how you absorb and process the energy from food.⁠

Studies such as the Women’s Health Initiative show virtually no success on the scales, even though the participants had reduced calories  over a long period of time and increased their exercise.⁠ Because of the big calorie deficit they just burned fewer calories, their metabolism had simply adapted.⁠

So let’s face it: Diets that only reduce calories mean that you often burn less energy and that you are hungrier. 

 

Healthy Weight Loss With Intermittent Fasting

Overweight is often an imbalance of your hormones, not of calories! So it’s not YOU who has failed, it’s simply that your body has a different logic from the one we have wrongly assumed so far. ⁠

We owe much of this important knowledge to Dr. Jason Fung, who also identified the most important lever for change: insulin.⁠ His motto: Whoever reduces the “fat-storage hormone” lays THE foundation for sustainable success on the way to a feel-good weight.⁠

This is exactly where ⁠intermittent fasting comes into play: By fasting, you give your body a break from the constant production of insulin after eating.⁠ Instead, you set many health-promoting processes in motion, e.g. autophagy and increased fat burning. So you keep your metabolism going and keep your hormones in balance.

Intermittent fasting makes your life easier. Step by step you develop new, healthy habits. Only by eating with breaks! We have two tips on how to determine healthy serving sizes without counting calories and without having to give up anything:

 

Tip 1: Mindful Eating

All you need are your hands. A healthy serving size per meal is when you have…⁠

✋🏼 one palm-sized portion of protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products or pulses and⁠

👊🏼 a fist-sized serving of vegetables per meal,⁠

🤚🏼 add a hollow handful of carbohydrates such as pasta, rice or fruit to your meals and⁠

👍🏼 eat a thumb of fat from butter, oils, seeds or nuts.⁠

This rule of thumb applies to women, men double the amount. Our friends from Precision Nutrition, who have established this rule, take four meals a day as a basis. If you eat only two meals, you can simply adjust the amount.⁠

How to eat mindfully

Press here to download the infographic!

 

Easily Customizable to Your Goals

The great thing about it is that it is already “personalized” by nature. Usually, the size of your hands is proportional to the rest of your body. And unlike a kitchen scale, you always have your hands with you. Pretty handy, huh?

The hand rule is a very helpful starting point and can be adjusted very easily depending on hunger, activity and weight goals. If you want to focus on losing weight, try half the amount of carbohydrates and fat.⁠

Of course the method is not 100% accurate, but neither is calorie counting. And that’s exactly what most people don’t need to do, it would be different for professional athletes. You will see how quickly you have internalized appropriate serving sizes and thus intuitively eat correctly.⁠

The most important thing is that it works for you and doesn’t make your life any harder. Just like intermittent fasting, which adapts to your life, not the other way around.

 

Tip 2: A Healthy Diet Without Sacrifice

Proper eating does not mean giving something up! When doing intermittent fasting you do not eat anything at certain times, but one thing is especially important: Losing weight and fasting do not mean giving up on providing the body with the (right) nutrients it needs during the mealtime!

When starting with fasting, people often do not cover their need for essential, vital nutrients altogether. This can work in the short term, but in the long run it can turn into a real problem.

In other words, the eating window is a great opportunity to eat MORE of the good stuff! The best side effect? Not only does it saturate, but it also does not cause the body to respond with a desire for high-energy, unhealthy food.

You will not only notice the positive effects on your health and energy, but also on the scales. Because a healthy body works much better on all levels. This is a promise!

 

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