How to eat without the stress of weighing, measuring and tracking your food? Is it even possible? It sure is. You do not have to track!
People ask me often: Okay, if I want to stop calorie tracking, how am I supposed to know what and how much to eat?
Good question, because measuring, counting, tracking and following a plan is the only way we know. But it doesn't have to be.
Instead, remember 4 simple words that all start with the letter S, and you're able to make perfect food choices without counting calories but trusting your intuition. Following this system helps you make the right choices. Most of your meals should meet all of them.
The 4 S System Sustainable Eating
Here are the 4 S's to keep in mind:
Savor. We have to actually like the food we eat! We should not eat bland or gross food, or something we've had over and over again and can't even look at anymore. Start thinking: What would I actually want to eat right now? And eat that thing.
Support. Out food has to support our lifestyle, give us energy (both physical and mental). Ask yourself: What is the food that would do that for me right now?
As you're eating, check in with yourself and see: Does that support me? Is that enough?
Satisfy. The food we eat should satisfy our taste buds and hunger. It's possible to get full from a large meal but still feel empty inside because the food wasn't what we wanted, or it was simply high in volume but low in density. It happens a lot when we eat large salads and nothing else. It doesn't satisfy.
We also want to make sure that our taste buds are satisfied.
Sustain. A good meal should keep us full 3-5 hours. If it didn't, it wasn't big enough or didn't have enough protein or fat in it. This is a lesson for the next meal — make it more satisfying.
This guideline is for full meals; you don't have to feel full 3-5 hours after having a snack.
Are You Following the 4 S System?
Start asking yourself these questions when you eat: Do I savor this, does it support my health & my goals, am I satisfied when I finish my meal, does it sustain me for several hours?
And remember, this is not another rule. We've all had too many rules already. This is a guideline. Keep these 4 S's in mind most of the time and your eating gets much easier, and you don't have to count and track your calories.