Losing body fat requires paying attention to what we eat and how much we eat. To lose body fat at a consistent and safe pace, it helps to set a daily calorie target. However, sticking to a calorie target can be challenging, especially when we have a variety of foods to choose from. One simple but effective strategy to help us hit our calorie target is to eat fewer foods.
Fewer options mean fewer decisions to make
When we have a wide variety of foods to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide what to eat. Not knowing much about the nutrition content of foods and which ones are a good choice during fat loss can make the decision even more difficult. Once you do decide, you don’t always have accurate calorie information. And every time you decide on something new to eat- that’s every meal, three times a day or more- you have to deal with all of these details. On the other hand, limiting our food choices to a few healthy options can make it easier to stick to our calorie target.
Eating the same foods reduces temptation
Research has shown that when we are presented with a variety of foods, we tend to eat more. It’s tempting to try a bit of everything! By eating fewer foods, we reduce the temptation to try new and different foods, which can lead to overeating. By sticking to a few options, we can better control our calorie intake.
Fewer foods means easier tracking
Keeping track of what we eat can be challenging, especially when we have to track many different foods throughout the day. When we limit our food choices to a few healthy options, we can more easily track our calorie intake. This can be especially helpful for people who are new to calorie tracking.
Eating fewer foods can lead to more mindful eating
When we eat fewer foods, we may become more mindful of what we are eating. You become very familiar with how the few foods you are eating make you feel. And, how the help with your fat-loss progress. This can lead to greater enjoyment of our food and more satisfaction from our meals. By focusing on the quality of our food rather than the quantity, we can better control our calorie intake and hit our goals.
How many is a few?
Some amount of variety is important to make sure a diet is nutritious. So, eating “fewer” foods does not mean eating literally two or three foods. It is important that all food groups (grains, legumes and beans, dairy, vegetables and fruits, and non-veg foods for non-vegetarians) are covered in a day.
It is also important to have some variety to prevent boredom and keep your diet interesting. Food should be enjoyable, so find the healthier foods that you do not mind eating “on repeat”. And there is no set number- it should be the number that you enjoy, while keeping things simple.
In conclusion, sticking to a calorie target can be challenging, but limiting our food choices to a few healthy options can make it easier to hit our target. By reducing decision fatigue, reducing temptation, making tracking easier, and promoting mindful eating, we can more effectively manage our calorie intake and maintain a healthy diet. So, the next time you find it difficult to hit your calorie target, try limiting your food choices to a few healthy options and see how it works for you!