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The Ultimate Guide to Losing Weight Without Calorie Tracking

Disclaimer: Although this blog post talks briefly about eating disorders. It is not to be used by people who are currently struggling with an eating disorder. If this is you, please only follow nutritional guidance from your doctor and/ or nutritionist. This blog post is only to be used by those who have been given clearance from a medical professional prior to working on their diet.

I work with clients who come from a wide varety of backgrounds. This means that, sometimes, I'll work with someone who wants to lose weight but, for whatever reason, can't track calories.

Usually this is because they have a history of eating disorder(s). Maybe they tried calorie tracking once and became obsessive, or perhaps they were dignosed with an eating disorder and have been warned to avoid any type of tracking in the future.

This can make wanting to lose weight in a healthy and safe way feel like a minefield. We all know that the key to losing weight is being in a calorie deficit, but how can we go about this if we don't want to be looking at the numbers?

Sam Barnes Lifestyle Weight Loss Without Calorie Tracking

Remove Snacks

This is the first place I look when trying to reduce calorie intake in somebodies diet. If a client is consuming three main meals a day plus 2 or 3 snacks (or maybe more), we can most likely remove at least 300-500 calories just by taking out the snacking.

A Smoothie + Two Meals

This is not about replacing meals with crappy, powdered shakes. This is about replacing one of your main meals with a homemade smoothie, containing your favourite fruits, milk and protein powder.

By replacing a main meal (most likely breakfast) with a smoothie, you'll likely be able to cut down on calories. You still need to be mindful of what you're putting in it. If you're filling it up with peanut butter, the calories will soon match that of a meal. But, if for example you opt with milk, banana, strawberries, and a scoop of protein powder, I can gurantee it will be less calories than a huge bowl of cereal and glass of orange juice (which won't even keep you full for more than 30 minutes).

One Macro In Each Meal

This is a good one for learning healthy habits, without having to focus on calories.

For each main meal that you have, try to include a food from each macronutrient group (carbs, fat, and protein) and a serving of fruit or veg. For example:

Protein: Chicken

Carb: Homemade Potato Wedges

Fat: Olive Oil - Use as a dressing on a side salad

This is great for people who tend to fill their plates up without really considering what they are putting into their bodies. It might help you to avoid doubling up on the carbs, or skipping a serving of protein.

Protein Only Breakfast

I like to use this one with clients once they're slightly deeper into a dieting phase, and are maybe starting to stall after exhausting all of the other options (including increasing cardio and steps).

For breakfast, simply have a protein shake with water, or a serving of egg whites. This can then be followed up by a regular meal at lunch and dinner, which will contain servings of all 3 macronutrients.

It's a great way to keep protein up, whilst removing calories that might be leading to the scale stalling deeper into a dieting phase.

If you can, calorie counting is generally one of the easiest ways to lose weight. However, as I mentioned at the start of this post, it's not always a viable option for everyone. So, if this sounds like you, have a go at some of the options in this post and see how you get on!


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