How to Lose Weight If You Hate Counting Calories

There’s no doubt: Counting calories is a tried-and-trusted strategy that can help you lose weight. And with a few tips and tricks, food logging can be surprisingly easy. But life in the real world can be hectic, sometimes you miss a meal, and all that tracking can start to feel tedious after a while. So once you’ve tried the Fitbit food logging feature and have a sense of your stats, it’s okay to turn to other methods to manage your healthy eating. Here are four smart ways to cut back on calories, beyond noting every nibble.

Strategy #1: Count Food Groups, Not Calories

The USDA has created checklists of how many servings you need from each food group. Start by working out how many calories you really need, and then use the table to determine how many servings. This kind of counting can be done quickly in your head … 2 servings of fruit, 3 servings veggies, 6 servings grains, check, check, check! And once you get a handle on what a serving size is, you’ll never have to count above 10 again. Plus, it’s a great way to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need.

Strategy #2: Eat Real Food

A diet overflowing with convenience foods—bars, nuggets, frozen entrees—can rack up calories quickly. Switching to foods that haven’t been processed with unhealthy extras (like sugar, salt, and fat!) can significantly reduce your intake. Start your meal with a glass of water. Then fill half your plate with plenty of fresh veggies and fruit. Make a quarter of your plate healthy carbs, like brown rice, quinoa, or sweet potato. Make the last quarter lean protein, like beans, fish, or poultry. Finally, add healthy fats with a few slices of avocados, a couple of teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil, or a small handful of nuts. Voilà! A healthy plate, with no counting required.

Strategy #3: Simply Eat Less

If your diet is already pretty healthy, but the needle isn’t moving, take a hard look at how much you eat. Understanding portion sizes might be your issue. You can try dishing up 20 percent less food, and simply say no to second helpings. Or you could move your meals to a smaller plate, and eat with a smaller spoon. These small changes may be enough to tip the scales.

Strategy #4: Listen to Your Body

Do you find yourself eating out of habit, boredom, or just because something tasty is put in front of you? Take a moment before you take a mouthful, and ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” Sometimes a glass of water is all you need to help you feel satisfied. Eating slowly at mealtimes can also help you focus on your level of fullness. If you stop eating when you’re 80 percent full, you’ll prevent overeating. You know what that means—turn off the TV, put down your phone, take a deep breath, and really taste your food.

Losing weight doesn’t have to be complicated or involve hours of hard work. By keeping things simple and taking your time to enjoy real food more slowly, weight loss may come easier than you think. If you notice your eating has gotten a little out of control, you start gaining a few pounds again, and you want to refocus, it’s okay to come back to food logging and calorie counting. Once you’ve reset, you can take the insights you’ve gained and put them toward your long-term health and happiness.

34 Comments   Join the Conversation

34 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I desperately need to lose 30 kg and don’t seem to be able to stick with diets so thought logging my food again looking at macros might help – any suggestions or tips?

    • Eat real foods. No fake sweeteners or “diet” foods. No soda. Limit fruit juices to one or two servings per day. Eat lots of fruit & vegetables. Learn how much a portion of carbs is for your favorite foods. Oftentimes it’s carbs that can really pile on the calories as the fiber in fruit and vegetables helps you feel full & protein does the same thing….but you can burn through half your calories for a day in a single plate of spaghetti.

      It’s also about your mindset. When you call it a “diet”, you’re setting yourself up for failure because you see it as a temporary change. Call it a lifestyle change and focus on healthy eating of real foods, getting in 40-60 oz of water in a day, moving more, and being realistic.

      Sometimes your body can become much much healthier without the scale moving much. I only lose a couple of pounds per month but I have to keep buying smaller clothing sizes & my muscles have all toned significantly. I’m still 230 pounds but that’s down from a high of 343 pounds a few years ago. I’ve been intentionally taking it slow so my body adapts to my weight loss…and I do NOT have to starve myself. I still eat over 2000 calories per day and I’m satisfied.

    • You can add food items yourself and/or alter ones in the list by selecting ‘edit’. Many foods also have more than one listing; try selecting a different listing after looking up how many calories it actually has on an alternative site or the side of the bottle.

  • I would like to miss 40 to 50 pounds. I think I Wii do this by ratting less food on a small plate.Denise

    • Watching what you eat is just as if not more important than how much you eat. Eat your veggies & fruit first, lean protein second, and carbs last as you’ll be less hungry by the time you get to the carbs so you’ll eat less of the calorie-dense foods. Also be mindful when you eat. Drink sufficient water so you’re not eating when you’re really thirsty…and ask yourself am I really hungry or just bored/angry/feeling lazy etc. Once you get used to eating differently & being mindful about whether or not you’re actually hungry, it becomes a good habit that takes less work to maintain.

  • I’ve been wanting to loose weight for years now and I e tried working out and eating better, but when my husband and kids are not helping, it makes it so hard and I then resort back to my old ways. I want to be healthier when it comes to food. I’ve even tried meal prepping, but then financial I can’t always do that and buy what I need. This has always been so hard for me.

    • Hang in there don’t give up. Stay committed. Try sitting down with you family and discussing your weight-loss goals and how important it is to have their support.

  • I was able to melt off 32 pounds in 60 days! I did not count calories, worked out 21 minutes a day, and ate a protein, fat, and carb every three hours. Learning how to stabilize my blood sugar by eating real food has been key to my success.

  • I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers. I admit tracking works as i lost 41 pounds. I too find tracking boring. I just listen to my body and drink plenty of water That works.

  • I have a question- I don’t have an appetite at best I eat 1 meal a day. I need to lose weight but I continue to gain. Any thoughts?

  • My Camp Gladiator Trainer suggested logging my food I quickly with workouts lost 50pds and have kept off. My problem is my scale is stuck! So I’ll be trying this food log and hope that scale gets un stuck, I am happy to say that my muscle tone for my body and my age 48 is shaping beautifully, thanks to all my Cg trainers
    (Buda,Tx) for all the great workouts! #cgbirthdayspecial$9only

  • Hi my name is Pascual and I gain 20lb and trying to get that off is not easy with so much on my mind I can’t focus on my work out .

  • My son is 19 years old and has always struggled with his weight. I had him on weight watchers when he was 11 years old and he was losing but became bored with the food. Now that he’s in college he walks but he over eats and he has put the weight back on. Can you give me any suggestions to help him? He’s 6”2 weights over 200lbs

  • I was always eating healthy but I’ve got a problem recently – I don’t feel hungry during a day but then I cannot stop eating in the evening. I thought I don’t eat enough in day time, so I made sure I’ve spread my food intake throughout the day equally. Nope, doesn’t help. I don’t know what to do…

    • Shirin
      you need to add snacks throughout the day, albeit healthy ones. My coach said you should not go without eating pass 4 hours.

  • ok, so I do not have a problem hitting the gym, I workout for an hour and 30 mins each day, 5 times a week. My problem is my carb intake when I am home! I love my carbs and would love to drop 15lm or 20lbs. I am 5’4 & weigh a good 145.5lbs. I am female and my age is 50.

  • These were some great ideas.
    I’ve lost 20lbs since early Summer and noted that I was losing 1-2lbs a week. Then I stopped doing my very moderate exercise,then ounces started creeping up.
    I know the combo of exercise and eating healthy works together, but its hard to be motivated… until I get off the scale lesser than I was the previous week 🙂
    I have to stay motivated and consistent!

  • The main reason I don’t track my food w/ 100% accuracy is I find it difficult to put recipes & meals on the Fitbit app using my computer. Some recipes I have thought I put on & recreated them 2, 3 & even 4 tomes. Then when I go to log them I cant find the recipe.

    Fitbit plz make that process easier. Thank you.


  • Slightly out of date article. Ignore the bit about reducing fats, and reduce processed carbs instead.
    Most people fall into the trap of thinking low fat products are automatically good. Next time you are shopping, look at the label on a low fat yoghurt and it will be about 20% sugars because they add sugars to improve flavour and texture. Other low fat products will be similar. Calories from sugars are processed quickly by the body into energy that the body can’t use so immediately starts to store as fat.
    Get in the habit of looking at labels and rejecting anything high in sugar, and the weight will start to go.
    No white bread, cakes, doughnuts, and eat wholemeal alternatives instead.

  • I’m nearly 60 I have dieted before loosing 2 stones ,feeling great in a size 10 but slipping back into my old ways the weight coming back again.I am now determined to loose that weight again,going to the gum would not be possible,I like walking and have 3 lurcher to keep me busy now.I have cut out chocolate and dairy from my diet,please could you give me some advice on how to achieve my goal.many thanks Marie Benson

If you have questions about a Fitbit tracker, product availability, or the status of your order, contact our Support Team or search the Fitbit Community for answers.

Please note: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately after submission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.