Think you can only lose weight effectively by tracking what you eat?
While food tracking can contribute to weight loss, it’s not the only method available. If you’ve tried and struggled with food tracking repeatedly, it might be time to explore a different approach.
In this episode, I’ll share how to determine if food tracking isn’t sustainable for your weight loss goals and which alternatives you should consider instead.
There are a million and one ways to eat healthy and lose weight. The goal is to choose the approach that is the most accessible and sustainable for you long-term.
Hello my friends. Welcome back to the podcast this week. In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss the concept of weight loss without tracking. So this means you are losing weight efficiently and permanently without it being necessary to track any food metrics. And for those of you who are new to this podcast, that is very much what my practice focuses on. It’s teaching high achieving women to become naturally healthy eaters where they do not have to micromanage what they eat.
They do not have to excessively plan or prep their eating decisions. They can move throughout their lives naturally making eating decisions that serve them and their weight goals. And so in today’s episode, I want to talk about how this is possible to lose weight without tracking and why tracking isn’t necessary to lose weight. And I want to preface this episode by saying that there are 1,000,001 ways to lose weight and none of them are wrong per se.
I am a strong believer in finding what works for you. And so my goal for today’s podcast is not to consider that wrong in any way because it is right for a number of individuals, but if you find that that has not worked for you in the past and it hasn’t quite been sustainable, then this episode is going to give you a useful perspective on what can allow you to achieve the permanent weight loss you want. And that is what I want to talk about first is how tracking is one way to create weight loss, but it is not the only way.
And if you have not succeeded with it in the past long-term, then it’s likely not going to be the way for you to lose weight permanently. If you have been trying to force food tracking to lose weight and you haven’t consistently kept following through with it, it isn’t the best approach for you.
I want to offer you in this episode because what’s happening is you continue to choose the path of highest resistance for yourself when you have evidence that it’s not something you want to stick to. Another option, as I mentioned, is to become a naturally healthy eater. And what this means in my work is you focus on mastering the lifestyle skills with food to make healthy eating choices deliberately with ease. So this is where you don’t emotionally eat, you don’t overeat in your life, you honor your body’s needs and you make choices with food that you enjoy and satisfy you.
So that’s the option I want to talk about today. But first off, let’s talk about how to know when tracking is not a good fit for you. And oftentimes for those of us who aren’t a good fit for tracking, this is where it leads.
We will start tracking food because it’s the most offered solution to lose weight. Just watch what you eat, just count calories, just measure the food metrics. If you do that, then you will have the weight loss and the math seems to check out. It’s what we are offered so much of the time, so we go for it. And what tends to happen as well for those of us who are high achievers we’re ambitious, is these solutions will be very appealing to us because it will match with our perfectionism to do it right and to do it correctly.
And this is going to match with our desperation to achieve weight loss quickly and efficiently because we’re having this ambitious mindset oftentimes that the grass is always greener at the end of our goals. It feels like we’re constantly chasing something as ambitious women and combined with our perfectionism, it makes tracking food to lose weight feel very, very appealing and useful.
So what happens is we start tracking and you will succeed with it for a period of time, likely because you are committed, you are dedicated to the weight loss results you want. So you’re willing to be disciplined for your goals with this approach, and you may start creating weight loss results with the tracking. It may be working for you, but then what happens is circumstances begin to occur in your life that don’t really coexist sustainably with tracking.
So things come up at work that require more of your focus and time, or maybe you go on vacation and tracking foods doesn’t really feel available, you travel whatever it is, tracking foods in a set rigid exact way doesn’t feel as accessible in these circumstances. And because that is how you’ve resourced yourself with weight loss, when tracking isn’t available, you fall off track and you feel like you have no stable ground to stand on when it comes to your weight loss results.
And this will trigger the perfectionistic mentality where we feel like we can’t miss a day and we can’t fall off track because tracking foods in the quote unquote right way is the only option we think we have for weight loss. So it creates a very pressuring relationship around the tracking. So what happens is when tracking isn’t a available, we quote unquote fall off track. So you don’t track anymore, you fall off your original plan, and then eventually you find yourself throwing in the towel because you’re discouraged and you really.
Thought this was the time you were going to keep it together. And like I said, this can be very triggering when you have a perfectionistic mentality because you’ll think I failed, I did it wrong. And this is why if you do identify as somewhat of a perfectionist where you have high standards for yourself, this approach emotionally will not feel sustainable to you. The stakes will feel really, really high and you’ll constantly feel like you’re letting yourself down.
So you stop tracking for a time, it’s not a priority. You gain some or maybe even all of the weight back where then you stop prioritizing weight loss at all because of how discouraged you feel that is until you again feel motivated enough to start it all over and recommit to tracking. And I say this with love, I want all of you listening to be really honest with yourself.
I had to do this as well. How many times have you convinced yourself that tracking food is for you when it comes to weight loss? And how many times have you already proven that it is not that it is not sustainable? How many times have you gone in with the best intentions with tracking only to find yourself quote unquote falling off track and not keeping up with it? It’s going to be so important from a compassionate place that we’re so honest with this because what we’ll find is because we wanna achieve highly and because some of us identify as micromanagers or perfectionists, we will gravitate towards tracking.
And I want you to give yourself permission here to be honest about that. If it’s something that you have evidence of not really working sustainably for you. Now what may happen at this point where you know it’s not really working for you is you might feel stuck in that cycle.
And for some of you listening, it may be obvious you’re in that cycle where you pick it up and put it down and it doesn’t really work for you. But I want to offer, for some of you, it’s not going to be very obvious, and I really want you to consider if you’ve ever attempted to lose weight with tracking and you haven’t been able to sustain that weight loss permanently, then you’ve been in this off and on cycle with tracking and it isn’t sustainable for you. It’s so important to remember that it’s not the tracking that is inherently wrong.
For some people, they really love that approach and it works for them. But for you, if it’s not being sustainable, it’s likely not even the approach you want to be taking. And it’s an approach that emotionally requires you to have to use a lot of willpower and it burns you out when you’ll feel stuck is only if you truly believe that this is the only approach available is to track what you eat and to micromanage your eating decisions to lose weight.
And I get this question all the time. Y’all are like, Kat, if I am not measuring everything I put into my mouth, if it’s not calories in and calories out, then how can I lose weight? How can I keep it off if it is not so rigid and exact and math-based? And I really want you to start untangle that in your brain here today where you start to see the possibility that so much rigidity when it comes to tracking food really isn’t necessary to be at the weight you wanna be at.
And this is the difference between holding on really tightly to the eating and the weight loss and leaning back a bit and checking in with your body and learning how to work with your body to create the weight loss you want. And so that is the difference between tracking and naturally healthy eating.
The focus switches from what you eat to how you eat food. When you just focus on what you eat and you’re tracking, you’re not covering all of your bases when it comes to your eating habits. So the focus is just on the food choices. It’s what you put into your mouth, but that’s not keeping your lifelong results in mind. All you’re considering when you do that is the goal weight you want to achieve and what you will need to eat to create that weight loss.
But this is where you’re left without resources. This is why so many of you gain the weight back because once again, tracking is not morally wrong. It can be useful, but for many of you, it’s not something you want to be doing for the rest of your life, which means you will need to develop, whether it’s to replace tracking or in addition to tracking more lifestyle based skills with healthy eating where you learn the skills of naturally healthy eating.
This takes the focus less from micromanaging what you’re eating to simply learning how to be mindful with how you are eating in your life as who you are. So when the focus isn’t on tracking to lose weight, here’s where your focus goals. This is exactly how you lose weight without tracking. You end emotional eating and instead you eat when you’re hungry, when your body is telling you that it needs food, rather than overeating past fullness during your meals, you honor fullness and you eat until you’re satiated, rather than unconsciously snacking throughout the day.
Every time you eat, it is a deliberate decision. Rather than reactively choosing the foods you’re going to eat, you’re going to intentionally choose the foods to the best of your ability that are satisfying to your body and pleasurable to you personally. Now, these are natural inherent life skills that we were always meant to have as humans before we started disassociating with our bodies, our stress levels, and with our food cues.
As a society, we have become extremely disconnected with what it means to eat healthy naturally. And that’s what these skills help you do. It’s eating healthy the way nature originally intended by paying attention to what our body needs and meeting those needs. This is how you make it available to reach the healthiest results with your body, the weight loss you want to have without tracking or external solutions ever being necessary without constant prep, constant planning and constant micromanagement.
Food tracking will never be morally wrong or even negative, but it was never meant to be natural. How you lose weight without tracking is by mastering the lifestyle skills of a naturally healthy eater rather than delegating your success and weight loss stability to the tracking. If you find yourself depending on tracking only to lose weight or keep it off, it’s because you are delegating the naturally healthy eating habits you’re meant to have outside of you.
What I offer is if you really love tracking for your own reasons, that is valid. A number of my clients has this as well. They really see the value of tracking in their life. But what I wanna offer is that it won’t serve you to use tracking as a way to replace the foundational skills of healthy eating because that creates fragile weight loss results. So I want to give you a really specific example, and this applies to many of the women who enroll and own your eating habits.
So many women who join have a lot of background in nutrition. They know what to eat and they have a lot of experience tracking food. And for some of them, they really like that approach. It’s not the tracking food that they have a problem with, it’s just tracking food has not been enough for them to lose the weight because there are, like I said, circumstances and moments in life where that tracking isn’t always available to them.
So they come to me knowing that and knowing that relying on the tracking in itself isn’t what creates them being well-resourced in terms of their weight loss. They need other resources. So what I tell them is that they need to learn the skills of naturally healthy eating as a life foundation, and then they can add tracking to that, not because they need the tracking to lose or maintain weight, but just as a bonus that they can add to their life to add value, to add awareness to how they’re eating, to have nutrition goals, whatever that is.
But here’s why so many of these women are struggling when they come in and they solve for that is because when they come in, for example, they are tracking what they eat to a tea and they are experienced in that, but they’re still unconsciously snacking through the day or they’re still having emotional urges to overeat the foods that they plan for, or they’re eating foods that don’t feel fulfilling and they feel like they don’t have permission to eat the foods they love.
This is why women enroll in that program, and this is what I want to offer you is you can consider how if tracking weren’t right or wrong, it was just a tool. How would you want that tool to be incorporated in your life? Or do you even want that tool in your life at all? If that’s true, then naturally healthy eating is an approach that can fill that gap for you. And here’s how you’ll know the approach of naturally healthy eating will be effective for you versus tracking.
So first off, if you don’t want a manner of weight loss, that depends on planning, prepping or time. So again, this is why women who consider themselves high achievers create the most massive results with the naturally healthy eating approach. So ambitious type A women initially think, well, because I am goal oriented, I should go for the tracking approach.
But what’s interesting is many of you want to reserve your levels of dedication, focus, and willpower for other goals in your life. You don’t want to have to harness that energy for every eating decision you’re making. You want healthy eating to feel natural, simple and accessible because right, even as a high achiever, you have a limited amount of emotional energy to spend because you are human. And the difference is you just get to decide where you spend that energy.
So if you are a high achiever, you likely have other ambitions and areas in your life where you want to place that attention other than healthy eating. So depending on planning, prepping time and emotional energy to make healthy eating decisions in your life isn’t something you want to do because that’s not where you wanna spend all your energy. So this is one way you’ll know if naturally healthy eating will be more of a fit for you.
It’s an effective approach if you don’t want weight loss to depend on how much time or effort you have available. And the next factor to consider to better understand if naturally healthy eating is a better approach than tracking is if you don’t want to identify as a dieter or as someone who tracks. So women who enroll in my program, a big commonality they all have together is they want to identify as a woman who eats healthy naturally.
It’s how they genuinely want to see themselves. So while they’re type A and while they gravitate more towards tracking, when they think about themselves as the healthiest version of themselves, they picture themselves eating healthy naturally, having this be a lifestyle. And I want you to think about when you lay awake at night thinking about these goals, do you see yourself living the rest of your life as someone who tracks food?
Likely not. So that’s not how you picture yourself going out to beautiful dinners or traveling or moving throughout your workday or spending time with your family or partner. What I know about many of you listening is you want a pleasurable, indulgent, delicious experience of food and healthy eating in your life. This is something that matters to you. You want fulfillment in that area. So if you don’t see tracking fitting into that dream and vision for how you want to live your life, you can put tracking on the shelf.
You can take a different approach. And if you identify with this episode, I want to offer that mastering the skills of naturally healthy eating will be the most tactically effective approach for you. The best program to master this approach is the own your Eating Habits program. So in the experience of that program, you will join a group of like-minded, ambitious type A women all working towards that same goal.
So as a group, what happens is you learn that process. You take the time to master the skills, so you change your eating habits week by week and achieve the weight loss goals together. So for those of you who have been waiting for a program that brings you from the rigid tracking to creating the more fulfilling experience of healthy eating that you want, this program is 100% created for you. So to join us inside, you can apply at katrentas.com/coaching.
But I hope this episode brought you some perspective today. And keep in mind that tracking is not right or wrong. There is no manner of healthy eating that is actually morally right or wrong. The theme of this episode and this entire podcast is for us to find what is most effective for you, what allows solving your food struggles and achieving weight loss to be most accessible right now. All right, my friends, I hope you have a fantastic rest of your week and I’ll talk to you next week.
Hey there! I'm Kat Rentas. I’m a certified life and health coach for women who believes that eating healthy should feel simple and sustainable. I teach hundreds of high-performing women to change their eating habits without the overwhelm. Want to change your eating habits in a way that is aligned with your needs, preferences, and goals? You’re in the right place. You can read my full story here.