We all know that in order to lose weight you must eat less calories than you burn in order to create a calorie deficit. The idea of calories in vs. calories out is as old as dirt and it’s the foundation to every single fat loss diet plan in the world.
Regardless if you’re eating 6 meals per day, 1 meal per day, keto, paleo, vegan, carnivore, or if you’re following Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Mediterranean Diet, DASH Diet, Gluten Free, or any other diet plan… If you don’t create a calorie deficit – by either eating less and / or burning more – you are not going to lose weight – Period.
Counting Calories does work when you do it properly and consistently. You just have to figure out your numbers and have the discipline to stick to them.
But that’s where the problem lies…
Because most people suck at discipline when it comes to dieting.
If you purposely stop eating before you are full, it goes against your body’s natural appetite sensations. For example, most people feel hungry when reducing calories. And vice versa for people who are purposely trying to bulk up and gain weight, they feel stuffed when increasing calories. This makes it physically difficult to stick to any set diet plan over the long term.
But there is a sneaky trick that you can use to manipulate your appetite – and thus manipulate your caloric intake – without feeling hungry. You’ll actually be able to leave the table feeling comfortably satisfied after each meal, which is what your body wants to do naturally.
It all comes down to how you plan your meals. You see we don’t just eat calories and macro nutrients (protein, carbs, and fats). We eat meals that consist of real foods.
And what do we enjoy the most about eating? The taste of the foods we eat, specifically the variety of different tastes. In fact, our appetite can be triggered or suppressed just by changing the taste of the foods you eat, regardless of calorie consumption or food volume.
There’s Always Room For Dessert…
Let me give you an example that you’ll be able to relate to…
Think of the last time you ate a big home cooked family dinner (i.e. Christmas, Thanks Giving, 4th of July, etc.) You snacked on the appetizers, stuffed yourself on the main course, went back for second helpings, and then sat back feeling like you couldn’t possibly eat another bite.
Then a few minutes later you hear someone say…
“Who’d Like Some Dessert?”
For some crazy reason, even though just minutes earlier you just felt too full to eat another bite of the main course foods (i.e. meat, potatoes, veggies, etc.). Your appetite has all of a sudden been triggered again to desire some sweet tasting food with the dessert.
This situation happens all the time, we always have room for dessert, regardless of how much food we’ve eaten during the main meal. You can literally go from feeling full, to feeling hungry again with the introduction of a new taste of food.
The 5 Basic Tastes…
Sweetness – Sweetness is regarded as a pleasurable sensation and is produced by the presence of sugars. This can include natural sugars from fruit, honey, and maple syrup as well as processed foods that are high in sugar.
Sourness – Sourness is the taste that detects acidity. Sour fruit such as lemon, grapefruit, and limes. The taste of wine and beer. As well as the taste of fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut.
Saltiness – Saltiness is a taste produced primarily by the presence of sodium (i.e. salt).
Bitterness – Bitterness is the most sensitive of the tastes, and many perceive it as unpleasant, sharp, or disagreeable, but it is sometimes desirable and intentionally added to food. Examples include; coffee, dark chocolate, olives, citrus peel, and alcohol.
Savoriness – Savory, or savoriness is an appetite taste and is occasionally described by its Japanese name, umami or meaty. This is the taste of meat, fish, chicken, etc. The amino acid glutamic acid is responsible for savoriness.
There are a host of other various flavors and taste sensations as well, such as; spiciness or hotness, coolness, fatty, starchy, temperature, etc. These things all affect the flavor and taste of the food you eat.
Your Appetite Is Based On Taste – Not Fullness…
Your appetite, isn’t based on eating a certain number of calories or a certain food volume, but rather from the taste of the foods you eat. When you feel “full” after eating, what’s really happening is you have satisfied your desire to eat the taste of that particular food. But if you introduce a new taste, you stimulate your appetite all over again.
This is why you can eat until you’re “stuffed” with chicken, rice, and broccoli – but then easily find room to eat a piece of pie or bowl of ice cream for dessert. Or sit down in front of the TV after dinner and eat a bag of salty potato chips.
Now that you’re more aware of how the taste of food can simulate or suppress your appetite. You can make better food choices to help meet your dietary goals for calories, protein, carbs, and fat intake.
Eating For Fat Loss – Losing Weight…
If your goal is fat loss and reducing calories. Then plan your meals with fewer food choices. Rather than having a buffet style meal where you can pick and choose from multiple different foods and tastes, each of which will stimulate your appetite more and more. Keep your meal menu simple. One source of protein, one source of complex carbs, and one source of vegetable.
Now you can vary your foods with different meals. For example, one meal may include chicken, rice, and broccoli. Another meal may include steak, garden salad, and sweet potato. And another meal may include some sweet tasting foods such as a fruit smoothie with protein powder. But separate them and don’t combine too many different flavor foods into one meal. This will satisfy your appetite more with less food, because you can only eat so much of one type of food before you get “full” from the taste and texture of that food.
Eating For Gaining Weight – Bulking Up…
If your goal is to gain muscular bodyweight and increase your calories. Than you should take the opposite approach and include a wide variety of different foods with your meals. This will make it easier to increase your calorie consumption without feeling overfull and stuffed.
For example, have a couple different sources of protein (i.e. steak and eggs), have a couple different carb sources (i.e. pasta and bread), have a couple different veggie sources (i.e. peas and carrots). Include a healthy dessert such as fruit and yogurt. You can even experiment with different seasoning, sauces, and spices to further enhance the taste and flavor of your food to make it more desirable to eat more.
By having more food variety with your meals, you’ll naturally want to eat more total food because even though you may satisfy your appetite for the taste of one particular food, you’ll stimulate your appetite again with the introduction of a taste of another food.
Simply knowing how many calories, protein, carbs, and fat to eat to meet your personal fitness goals is one thing. But finding easy and practical ways to make them fit into your daily lifestyle without having to rely on grit and will power is the key to long term dieting success.
If you don’t enjoy the way you eat and get eating satisfaction from your meals, then you’re not going to stick with it for the long term.
Anyone can muster up some discipline and will power for the short term. Just think of how many people you know personally who “went on a diet” and lost weight…
However, 6 months or a year later they are back to square one, having regained all the weight they lost, and usually a few pounds more. (If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve probably done this yourself).
Will power alone can only take you so far. Eventually you’ll run out of will power and you’ll resort back to your default habits. That’s why most people who go on a strict diet end up quitting and giving up once they reach their limit of will power and self discipline. It’s a vicious cycle that millions of people go through again and again.
But if you understand exactly how your body works, and learn how to reprogram your default eating habits, you can set yourself up to win by not only losing weight… But more importantly – keeping it off for life!
These tips here about manipulating your food choices to get more eating satisfaction from your meals is just one of many advanced strategies that you can apply to your nutrition program. If you would like some help with creating the optimal nutrition plan to make it easier to reach your muscle building and fat loss goals, than check out my Muscle After 40 Blueprint Coaching Program.
Through this program I’ll personally work with you to design the ideal nutrition and exercise plan based on your specific body type, lifestyle, food preferences, and fitness goals. And the best part is we’ll use advanced dietary strategies to make the process easier to follow and stick with so you can finally get the results you want… Whether that’s to Build Muscle, Lose Fat, and Improve Your Overall Health – Trim Down for a Beach Vacation – Or Go All The Way and Get Ripped For A Bodybuilding or Physique Competition.
Click on the link below for more info about the Muscle After 40 Blueprint Coaching Program.
And if you have any questions, feel free to send me an e-mail to: lee [at] leehayward.com and we can chat.
This content was originally published here.