How to lose weight without calorie counting

How to lose weight without calorie counting

12 min read


19 Oct 2023

Things you’ll learn in this blog

  1. What are calories, and why do people count them?
  2. Calories and losing weight: what's the link?
  3. How to lose weight on auto-pilot: our top tips
  4. Final thoughts

If you're on a quest to get fit and lose weight, we bet there's one word (among others) that's whirling around your head—calories.

Calorie counting is an effective way of watching your food consumption and shedding the pounds. But, sometimes, logging your calorie intake can take its mental toll. And when that happens, giving up can become all too tempting.

But there is a way of looking good, feeling great, and smashing your weight loss goals without tracking every last calorie. And we're going to tell you how.

Intrigued? Great.

Let's get going.

What are calories, and why do people count them?

FYI: Before we do get going, there's something we want to say...there is no 'ideal' shape or size. 

If you're on a mission to lose weight, we're guessing that you want to look good, feel healthy, and be more comfortable in your own skin.

We're here to empower you to reach your weight loss goals—and everything we're going to cover here is about helping you make sustainable lifestyle changes.

So, before we get to our top tips, let's look at a few fundamentals to help you lose weight without counting.

Calories and losing weight: what's the link?

What is the link between calories and weight loss, exactly?

Well, the bottom line is: if you consume more calories than you burn, you'll gain weight. On the flip side, if you consume fewer calories than you burn, you'll consistently lose weight over time.

So, your calorie intake has a direct impact on your weight. To shed those pounds steadily, week by week, you need to create a calorie deficit.

TOP TIP: Set a daily calorie intake target and plan most of your main meals for the week in advance (although it's always good to leave a little room for spontaneity).

How to set a healthy calorie deficit target

weighing scales

Here's how to set a daily calorie target that will allow you to get plenty of nutrient-dense foods on your plate while hitting those goals the right way.

  • Multiply your body weight by 10 to set your target daily calorie deficit intake. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, your total calories for the day will be around 1,600
  • Aim to eat within this daily caloric range for around four weeks
  • Monitor any weight changes by checking in with the scales
  • Make slight adjustments (up or down) to your daily target to suit your weight loss needs

Calorie dos and don'ts

Setting a daily target will help you maintain a healthy calorie deficit until you reach your target weight.

Rather than obsessively counting calories, you can use this target as a guide that will empower you to adopt healthy lifestyle habits that will help you keep the weight off.

Here are a few don'ts of setting calorie targets to create a deficit.


  • Eat a balanced mix of fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, healthy fats, and proteins
  • Use your target as a positive motivator for getting into healthy lifestyle habits
  • Take your time and make small dietary and exercise changes as you go


  • Stay in your calorie target deficit for longer than necessary
  • Eat too much of the same food type (remember, balance is key)
  • Forget to have fun with it. Remember, dancing around the kitchen counts as exercise!

Should you count calories at all?

That is the question. Okay, this whole guide is geared towards steering you away from the constant calorie counting.

But, while counting calories obsessively can put you under pressure and even impact your mental health, keeping a rough track of what you're consuming will help you stay on target.

With the notion that consuming fewer calories than you burn will cause you to lose weight and armed with a rough daily target, you can make the right lifestyle tweaks or healthy lifestyle hacks (as we like to call them here at Phen HQ)—which brings us onto our next point.

How to lose weight on auto-pilot: our top tips

Now we're getting into it. To help you lose weight without counting calories relentlessly, we're going to look at some top tips that will kickstart your metabolism and help you get healthy without resorting to extreme measures like fad diets.

Let's start things off by looking at the fat-busting value of a good night's sleep.

1. Combat poor sleep hygiene

Getting into a solid sleep routine is one of the most healthy habits you can try for sustainable weight loss.

Why, exactly?

Well, there's a pretty solid link between sleep and weight loss.

Did you know? According to the Sleep Foundation, poor sleep patterns can lead to an increase in appetite.

On the flip side, getting seven to eight hours of quality sleep every night can actually boost your metabolism, leading to more weight loss during the day. Bonus.

Getting better sleep will also give you more energy in your waking hours while making you feel happier and less irritable not to mention the fact that when you're asleep, you're not thinking about food.

So, what does this have to do with counting calories?

Well, you should view sleep as the very foundation of your weight loss journey. Not only can sleeping well boost your basal metabolic rate, but it will also help you to roll out (as well as stick to) the rest of the non-calorie counting weight loss tips in this guide.

Read: Our practical guide to burning fat while you sleep for insider tips on shedding extra pounds as you snooze.

2. Use a smaller plate

In addition to eating a balanced mix of nutritious foods (we'll get to that soon), using a smaller plate is an effective way of eating fewer calories per meal (unless you pile it sky high)—but it will also make you more mindful of what you put on your plate.

Yes, using a more modest plate at mealtimes is likely to ensure you put a more balanced mix of wholesome foods on your plate.

The result? You'll be more energized and feel fuller for longer while eating fewer calories than you usually would. It's a form of something that we like to call, 'mindful eating.'

Here are a few more 'mindful eating' tips to help you on your weight loss journey...

  • Eat your meals at a slower pace. That way, you'll savor every meal while giving your brain time to register that you're full (goodbye cravings).
  • Chew your food a little more to engage your senses and avoid overeating.
  • Avoid distractions while eating (like scrolling on your phone) to pay more attention to your meal and make mealtimes more of a ritual when you can. Doing so will make you less likely to regularly binge on bad foods or rustle around the snack cupboard more than you should.

Read: Our handy guide on eating out and staying healthy.

3. Get your fill of healthy whole foods

whole foods

While it's true that in terms of measurement, a calorie is a calorie. But not all calories are made equal.

What? You say.

What we mean here is that certain calories will nourish your body better than others, making you feel fuller for longer.

So, rather than 'counting calories is the way to go'—here's a new motto for you:

'Making every calorie count will get me where I need to be. And keep me there.'

It's all about what you put on your (small) plate. And whole foods will fill you up without overdoing it with calories.

Here are a few quick foodie tips that will help you lose weight without obsessively counting calories.

Strike that nutritional balance…

If you eat too many ultra-processed foods, you'll have less energy. These almost 'empty calories' will leave you feeling sluggish, unsatisfied, and reaching for the snack drawer.

So instead, you should eat foods packed with the macronutrients and the micronutrients you need to succeed.

To strike that perfect nutritional balance and lose weight without constantly tracking calories, you should aim to get a rounded mix of all your essential food groups every day—including:

  • Healthy fibers like whole grains, nuts, seeds, kale, eggplant, artichoke, and leafy greens.
  • Good fats (yes, you should add a decent dose of healthy fats to your diet) like coconut oil, olive, olive oil, nut butter, cashews, flax seeds, and avocado.
  • Lean proteins like chicken, lean turkey mince, salmon, egg, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, lentils, Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese.
  • Complex carbs like brown pasta, brown rice, oats, chickpeas, legumes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beans.

Read: Our ESSENTIAL rundown of healthy (yet mouthwatering) weight loss snacks for women. *LINK to the article when it's published.*

Fiber is your friend

We've just mentioned fiber, but it's important—so it's worth a second shout-out. Guidelines suggest that this magnificent macronutrient should make up 30% of your diet. And when it comes to losing weight the right way, here are the reasons to make friends with fiber...

  • Fiber fills you up
  • Fiber stabilizes your energy levels
  • Fiber will help to balance your energy levels

So, get your fill of fiber and you'll be one step closer to losing weight without counting calories.

Did you know? Eating a balanced mix of proteins, carbs, and, yes... fiber helps to suppress your hunger hormones.

Eat more protein

Not only will eating plenty of quality protein help on your quest for natural weight loss, but it can also help you develop lean muscle mass. A nutritional win-win.

Protein is the most filling of all macronutrients—it will also help to prevent unwanted spikes in your blood sugar and curb stomach-rumbling hunger pangs during those hectic days when you just can't catch a break.

FYI: As a guide, moderately active women should aim to get around one gram of protein per kilo of body weight per day—and moderately active men should aim to get around 1.2 grams of protein per kilo of body weight daily.

So, take your pick from the lip-smacking protein sources above—and use our 30-minute meal recipes for a little fat-busting culinary inspiration.

4. Eat breakfast...even if only a little

While some fitness enthusiasts say that skipping breakfast is an effective way to lose weight without counting calories—we think a little meal in the morning will go a long way.

Several studies show that eating a modest yet nutritious breakfast can aid weight loss by kickstarting your metabolism, giving you a solid energy boost, and making you feel fuller as you tackle your to-do list. In turn, you'll naturally snack less during the way while reducing the need to count every last calorie you put into your body.

One of the best morning meals you can have to help you with your weight loss journey is two eggs with a slice of wholemeal toast. Lean protein, carbs, and slow-release energy in one 390 to 400-calorie package.

TOP TIP: Staying hydrated throughout the day will help you burn more calories while keeping you sharp and focused. So, drink water as much as you can—and drink fewer creamy or sugary drinks.

5. Move a little more

woman walking with dog

Another way of losing weight without the need to count calories is to make movement a stealthy habit. Basically, if you find ways of moving more during the day, you'll burn more calories and feel more spritely.

Regular exercise will boost your mental health, make you fitter, and flood you with positivity. So, go running, hop on your bike, join a weekly exercise class, do a little weight training, hit the swimming pool...the choice is yours.

In addition to enjoying a little formal exercise, you can forge easy little habits to help you get moving—these include...

  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Hop off the bus a stop or two earlier
  • If you have a desk job, stand a little while you work
  • Go for a brisk walk on your breaks
  • Dance in the kitchen (that'll get your metabolism going!)

TOP TIP: Listen to our motivational workout playlist to get your body moving.

6. Know your calories...roughly

Okay, this may sound a little counterintuitive when it comes to losing weight without counting calories, but trust us—it'll help in the long term.

Knowing roughly how many calories are in certain foods, ingredients, and products will give you a natural compass when it comes to knowing what to eat to match your total daily energy expenditure.

Some calorie-dense foods are packed with nutritional value, while others will just leave you feeling tired and hungry. And, there are countless foods between the two extremes.

Focusing on a healthy diet will get you where you need to be. But, having a good gauge on the rough calorific content will benefit your weight loss efforts by helping you make food choices consistently without completely cutting out the things you love.

To get to grips with the calorific content of foods, you can:

  • Use an app to check the nutritional content of foods and memorize them over time
  • Do a quick Google search to understand the calorific content of different whole foods
  • Look at food labels and pay attention to what's included in various products

Know your nutrition, and you'll eat fewer calories without constantly counting them.

TOP TIP: Join the official PhenQ Facebook group to tap into our supportive community and connect with tips on how to maintain a healthy weight and eat foods that make you feel good. Together, we've got this.

Final thoughts

All of the tips and hacks we've mentioned here are designed to help you step into the lifestyle habits you need to consistently lose weight and smash your fitness goals without worrying about every last calorie—day in, day out.

There's nothing wrong with keeping tabs on your caloric intake using an app or tracker. In fact, it can help you get into good habits during those often tough initial weeks of your weight loss journey.

But, rather than living religiously under the thumb of your calorie counter gadgets, trying these simple yet effective approaches to weight loss will help you get where you need to be while living your life to the max. 


Smash your weight loss goals with PhenQ 

If you're looking for a little something to help you lose weight without counting calories and burn body fat the healthy way, we've got you covered.

Backed by science and packed with proven natural ingredients, PhenQ is a diet pill that will complement a healthy lifestyle by improving your mood, boosting your metabolism, and reducing your appetite. Everything you need to succeed.

So, Join countless people just like you and smash those fat loss goals once and for all. 

Try PhenQ today and wave bye-bye to unwanted body fat.