Flawlessly Fit(ish)

Cut Calories Without Counting Them

8 No-Brainer Ways to Cut Calories Without Counting Them

Sharing is caring!

Calorie tracking can be an effective way to lose weight, but there are other ways to cut calories without counting them.

Have you tried to lose weight by counting calories but weren’t successful? Yeah, me too. I’d do ok for a day or two, but the never-ending task of measuring and keeping track of everything I ate was absolutely stifling.

And what about when you cook? It felt totally unrealistic to me to measure out every single ingredient and try to figure the calorie count every time I stepped into the kitchen.

There has to be a better way!

How do I lose weight?

Many of us have some sort of ongoing health goal. According to YouGov, about 50% of New Years Resolutions involve either exercising more, improving diet, or losing weight. Making those resolutions is one thing, keeping them is another. Change can be hard!

There are many different approaches on how to lose weight, including paleo or low-carb lifestyles, fasting, and yes, calorie counting.

how to cut calories without counting them

What is a calorie deficit?

Believe it or not, the magic formula to weight loss is pretty simple – the calories you consume is less than the calories your body needs to stay at its current weight. That difference is called a calorie deficit. I’ve also heard people say “eat less, exercise/burn more.”

Weight loss happens when you expend more calories than you take in.

So really, you don’t need to cut your total calorie count in half to lose weight – you may just need to cut out some extra, empty calories.

It can be difficult to determine exactly how much of a calorie deficit you need to lose weight, but generally speaking, cutting 500 calories from your daily intake should lead to one pound of weight loss per week (Women’s Health Mag).

If you are interested in finding out more about your specific caloric needs, I found this cool Body Weight Planner tool. You can input your stats and activity level to see a specific calorie deficit recommendation for meeting your goals.

Easy Ways to Cut Calories Without Counting

Let’s look at some easy, no-brainer ways to cut calories without counting them. Remember, casually reducing your calories may be a slower approach to weight loss, but it also may be more sustainable than strict dieting. Here are a few ideas…

No grazing

Ugh. I tease that I’d be a lot healthier if I would stop walking through the kitchen – but it’s true! I’m one of those that may grab a handful of this or a few of that nearly every time I’m in the kitchen. And especially when I’m cooking!

Set good patterns of behavior and practice self-control. Strive to have a designated eating schedule with specific snacking and meal times. If it’s not “snack time,” don’t let your hand go for those crackers. Or dark chocolate almonds in my case.

I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many calories I rack up every day just from doing this. I might not want to know, yikes. Which leads me to Tip #2…

Mindful snacking & eating

My husband and I got into the habit once of late-night ice cream and TV after our kids went to bed. We weren’t necessarily hungry – we just felt like our show needed ice cream. It feels kinda silly to even say that. That’ll pack on the pounds for sure.

Someone once gave me the advice to ask myself “are you eating because you’re hungry, or because it tastes good?” (or “because you’re stressed/anxious/bored/etc”). There are very few things that I think taste bad. But just because I think something tastes good, doesn’t mean I need to eat past a point of being reasonably satisfied.

Instead of sitting down with the carton of ice cream, we probably should’ve scooped out a little bit into bowls. Rather than sitting down with a bag of chips (ooof, a dangerous undertaking), take a handful or put a few on a napkin.

It’s possible snack and have sweets – but everything in moderation and with mindfulness.

no-brainer weight loss tips

Portion Control

A nearly effortless way to cut calories without counting them is to watch your portion control.

Did you know there is a difference between a portion and a serving size?

A portion is how much you choose to eat at one time. A serving size is the amount of food listed on a product’s Nutrition Facts, or food label. Serving sizes can be measured in thing like cups, ounces, pieces, or numbers. Depending on how much you choose to eat, your portion size may or may not match the serving size.

Ok, so how do we watch our portion control? Here are a few tips:

  • Eat 1 serving off a plate or napkin instead of continuing to reach in the bag or box.
  • Avoid eating while you are busy doing other things
  • Chew your food slowly
  • Use smaller dishes and plates (trick your brain)
  • Split a plate with a friend or significant other
  • Don’t “up-size” your meals
  • Eat meals at regularly scheduled times to avoid binging
7 healthy lifestyle secrets

Like these tips? Then you’ll love these…

7 Secrets to a Healthy Lifestyle – Without Sacrificing Hours of Time

Here are the 7 secrets you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle without spending hours of time each week in the gym. These secrets are perfect for moms who are looking for small things to do every day that can make a BIG difference!

Watch what you drink

If you really want to cut calories without counting them, check out what you drink on a daily basis. Are you a Starbucks Vanilla Latte in the morning kind of girl? Or do you need a Mountain Dew to get you past 3pm?

The absolute best thing you can drink is water – your body needs it. “Hydrate or die-drate,” as one of my friends says, haha!

Studies show that drinking water can improve your energy and brain function levels, may help and prevent headaches, and can help keep you “regular.” For a quick guess on how much water (minimally) your body needs, divide your body weight by 2, and drink that in ounces. For example, if I weigh 120lbs, I need at least 60oz of water each day.

My personal habit is to drink a tumbler (about 32oz) of water first thing in the morning while I’m getting everyone dressed and out of bed. That may sound like a lot, but it usually goes pretty quick. After that, I allow myself a cup of coffee or something with a little pep in it. Throughout the day, I try to drink at least 3 more tumblers before bedtime. It may vary a little if I’m teaching my indoor cycling class that day or not.

P.S., just because a beverage is “diet” or has 0 calories on the label doesn’t necessarily make it healthy. Watch out for things like artificial sweeteners and high amounts of sodium.

Alternatives to Calorie Counting

Now that we’ve looked at a few generic tips, let’s find some other ways to cut calories without counting them.

Intermittent fasting

Fasting has quickly become one of my favorite hacks for maintaining a healthy weight! According to this article on Healthline,

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It does not say anything about which foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them.

There are several different intermittent fasting methods, all of which split the day or week into eating periods and fasting periods.

Most people already “fast” every day, while they sleep. Intermittent fasting can be as simple as extending that fast a little longer.


Personally, I like the 16:8 method (fast for 16 hours, eat for 8). What’s really great is that most of those 16 hours are while I’m asleep! My eating window is from noon to 8pm.

Because I only have 8 hours to eat my snacks and meals for the day, it’s an easy and realistic way for me to reduce the number of calories I eat each day (assuming I don’t go crazy on the candy at nap time, haha). It also ensures that I cut out those late-night snacks before bedtime.

I’m still relatively new to fasting and am certainly no expert. For an in-depth look at intermittent fasting and what it looks like in real life, check out this post from Femme Fitale Fit Club.

JERF (Just Eat Real Food)

Someone once told me to shop along the perimeter of the grocery store to better stick with healthy food choices. If you think about it, that’s where the refrigerated, produce, and meat sections are – where the real food is.

That’s the kind of food that the JERF diet encourages. You may have also heard it referred to as “eating clean,” “whole foods,” or “paleo.” Benefits of eating this way include

  • Less body fat
  • Better body composition
  • Improve mood
  • Increase energy levels
  • Boost brain function
  • Improve overall health and longevity

The more preservatives and processed a food is, the more “unnatural” it becomes. Real food is products as they were created by nature, without any processing, preserving or adding other chemicals to make them look and taste different. This doesn’t necessarily mean organic.

Our current approach to healthy eating is pretty balanced, especially with two little girls at home. I cook with almost all fresh ingredients and rarely buy anything pre-made or frozen, but we also have snacks like Goldfish and crackers on hand. And yes, even some sweet things.

For a great overview and sample eating menu with the JERF diet, check out this post by Isabella with My Fit Station. She’s even created a 21-day JERF challenge to help get you started!

Get regular exercise

I’m not always great at dieting, but I truly do enjoy exercising! Experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week…or some combo of both. I like the flexibility of knowing you can have more frequent casual sessions, or fewer more intense days depending on your schedule and needs.

Exercise is a great way to not only shape, tone, and strengthen, but to help you achieve that calorie deficit we talked about.

The key to regularly exercising is to find an activity that you love!

For me, it’s indoor cycling. I could spin every day and never get tired of it. If you want to give cycling a try, I’ve written an eBook that is perfect for beginners and will show you how to properly set up your bike, what to expect in both live and virtual classes, and will teach you commonly used terms and phrases.

Beginners Guide to Indoor Cycling Pricing

Download your copy today!

Maybe you enjoy running or jogging? Lifting weights? Taking walks in the evening or on breaks at work?

Fitness classes are a popular way to get your exercise in because of the many social, mental, and physical benefits of group exercise. But if you’re more of an at-home person, check out these ideas for a great low-impact workout at home.


And all the moms just rolled their eyes. I know, I know…sleep can be hard to come by in some seasons of life. Not only that, but sometimes us moms may stay up later than we intend just because that’s the time of day when we can be by ourselves and enjoy the quiet stillness of the house.

According to an article on VeryWellFit, researchers have reported that women who sleep 5 hours or less per night generally weigh more than women who sleep 7 hours per night. Interesting, huh?

This may be because when you’re tired, you may lean on an extra sugary coffee or energy drink to perk you up or be more tempted to order takeout instead of making it to the gym.

WebMD says that when you’re overtired, your brain’s reward centers rev up, looking for something that feels good. I can attest to that! Candy, anyone?

Sleep is like nutrition for the brain. Most people need between 7 and 9 hours each night. Cut calories without counting by giving your brain the proper rest it needs so that it can best support you during the day.

cut calories without counting them

Final Tips on How to Cut Calories Without Counting Them

As I wrap this up, I want to remind you that weight is not the only (or even the best) indicator of health. It’s just one way to measure your body and its changes.

Other non-scale victories can be just as meaningful and indicative of good health, such as

  • how your clothes fit
  • energy level
  • breathing rate when climbing stairs
  • able to do more of what you love
  • better sleep
  • ease of exercise
  • loss of inches
  • improved mood

Use these to track your healthy living progress instead of solely focusing on the number on the scale.

It is possible to cut calories without counting them if you are mindful of your eating habits and routinely opt for healthier food choices.

Related Topics You May Enjoy