Can't Lose Weight Without Starving Yourself - 3 Practical Lifestyle Changes for Weight Loss Going Hungry

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A fat cat lying on the ground
By Bella Baragouin

A BuffDuck Board Contributor

“Diet” does not always have to mean starving yourself to lose weight – but that is what we commonly associate it with today. Like many words in the English language, words may become less popular in everyday language and others might become more relevant. Their generally accepted definition can also change with time. 

When we hear the word “diet” we may have a negative connotation associated with the word, but this should not be the case!

The very first definition of “diet” on the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary is simply, the food and drink that you eat and drink regularly. We should acknowledge that when someone changes their diet, they are not always changing it because there is something wrong with them! Improving your normal diet by making gradual, but permanent changes is a healthier way to lose weight than by starving yourself.

There are some low calorie and fad diets that have recently became popular, but these “diets” are often not scientifically backed and can have serious health implications due to an insufficient vitamin and nutritional intake. Other side effects could be lethargy, hormonal effects, and even dehydration.

Another issue with starving yourself is the intense feelings of hunger and deprivation, which can lead to “cheating” or cause you to binge on a large amount of unhealthy foods.

At BuffDuck, we value studies backed by honest science and evidence, so instead of starving yourself based on the advice of a dodgy blog, here are a few tips backed with trustworthy sources to help you decrease your caloric intake without starving yourself.

Tip 1: Monitor your eating habits

A person writing in a journal to record their eating habits to lose weight

It is very easy to underestimate how much you really eat every day without actively looking out for it. This is because your eating habits have already been established over a long period of time and you do not notice it, leading to the possibility of consuming too many calories. So what is the best way to monitor your eating habits?

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes keeping a written log by recording food and exercise habits is an effective way to start a successful weight loss journey. A written record or virtual journal can reveal your eating tendencies (like eating while watching television or while in the car), triggers (depression, stress, boredom, time of day), which can show areas for improvement. By taking note of your nutritional consumption, you can gather data to effectively analyze and improve your habits.
  • Food labels are there for a reason! A quick glance at a bottle of apple juice may appear to contain 100 calories, but a closer look at the nutritional label will reveal that the bottle includes three servings, which sneakily triples the caloric and sugar content!

Tip 2: Watch the fat!

Olive oil being poured into a bowl

Before completely condemning fats to the third dimension, it is important to remember that not all fats are bad. Catherine Peyrot des Gachons of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia explains how the consumption of olive oil can allow for a reduced risk for cancer, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases and add protection against viruses.

Now before you start chugging a bottle of olive oil, note that fats contain more than twice the calories per gram than carbs (carbohydrates)! There are a lot of “wrong” kinds of fats that you must watch for because they can be more unhealthy and calorically dense.

Here are some tips to improve your practices with fat:

  • During your next meal prep or cooking session, lessen the amount of oil you use by using a non-stick pan and sprayable oil (avoid cheap chemical substitutes and go with real olive and canola oil sprays) to cook with.
  • Soak up some of the fat from greasy foods with a paper towel or napkin. Remember, fats are very calorically dense.
  • Spice up your foods (literally) with some herbs (fresh or dried) and not butter or oil. 
  • When eliminating high-fat and high-calorie foods from your diet, substitute them with some tasty fruits and veggies. These essential food groups are high in fiber and nutrients. Veggies and fruits are great snacks and are easy to pack for your lunch break or afternoon snack. Favor foods that have been the least processed. An oven-baked potato is a far healthier option than a large order of French fries, just as a banana is healthier than a slice of pumpkin pie topped with some vanilla ice cream.

Tip 3: Say no to alcohol! (most of the time)

A person drinking water from a bottle

According to Medline.gov regular alcohol contain 12.75 calories per ounce! Also, I don’t know about you guys, but when I get a little tipsy I start eating whatever is in front of my face and end up consuming way more food than I would have without drinking alcohol.

Remember, alcohol is not a substitute for water!

What Else Can I Do?

In summary, it is important to keep track of your eating tendencies in order to find any potential areas to improve. It is also important to watch the amount and type of fats you consume, and finally, it is very important to lessen up on the alcohol and replace it with water. With these three tips, you should be able to apply them to any current weight loss goals you have right now. Any weight loss journey requires strong, specific, and achievable goals to be effective. If you would like some tips on reaching your fitness goals, check out our article 6 Tips to Achieve Your Fitness Goals.

Bella Baragouin is a writer for the BuffDuck Board and has been writing written pieces for over four years.

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