There are a lot of different ways to eat less.
Most people take the outside-in approach of forced calorie restriction. They decide how many calories to eat and then just try to eat at that intake. Their relationship with food doesn’t change – just their calories.
But that’s not the only way to eat less. It can also be a more natural process – one that happens by side effect when you take an inside-out approach.
There’s a reason you’re eating more than is necessary for you to be at a lighter weight. And it has nothing to do with whether you’re counting calories or not.
So what is it about your relationship with food that is resulting in you eating more than required for you to be at your ideal body?
Once you identify these eating struggles and work through them, eating less is usually the natural outcome.
For example, if you’re bingeing or overeating on the weekends after a long stressful week of work, then addressing that cause and effect behavior will get you more consistently eating less.
But that’s not what people usually try to do. Instead, they mistakingly take that outside-in approach and try to just eat less on the weekend.
If it were as easy as “just eat less” we’d all be at our ideal body. After all, you’ve likely already set an effective calorie goal before but have had trouble adhering to it.
The issue wasn’t how many calories you were (trying) to eat at. The issue was the upwards pressure on that arbitrary calorie budget that never got addressed.
So your first step is to identify inconsistencies in your eating. Emotional eating, weekday/weekend cycle, struggles with labeling food good or bad and practicing moderation, feeling restricted or deprived, and not being in touch with your body’s hunger cues are the most common struggles people have.
Until these issues are addressed it will always be difficult for you to consistently adhere to a calorie goal. But if you work through these struggles and improve your relationship with food, eating less will be the natural side effect and you’ll feel a downward pull on your caloric intake.