When it comes to weight loss, I’ve experimented with just about every technique you can imagine. Fasting, Keto, Low Carb, Low Fat, Weight Watchers, Lose It, and more.
I’ve learned a lot through these experiments, and I’ll share more details in future posts. But today I want to boil it down to the one simple rule that has worked the best for me: go to bed a little bit hungry most days.
Why does this work? First, while there are certainly some other factors contributing to weight loss, it generally boils down to: consumer fewer calories than you burn. Almost all diet plans (Keto being a possible exception) are various approaches to help you reduce your caloric intake, increase your caloric expenditure, or both. I recall fondly the advice of a vet: feed your dog twice a day; if your dog is gaining weight, give it less food. Notice the vet didn’t say to exercise more or only eat keto-approved foods.
Second, for most adults, gaining weight happens gradually. If you are simply 20 calories over what you burn every day, you put on 2 pounds a year, and 20 pounds a decade. This was effortless. Likewise, you can lose weight in small steps. Cutting 50-100 calories out per day takes very little effort. It means making 1-2 simple choices per day like eating vegetables without extra butter, using a little less dressing on your salad, or leaving a couple of tablespoons of your main course on your plate.
Other things I like about this rule:
- It requires me to be vigilant only once per day. I’m not constantly feeling deprived.
- I can achieve it by either eating less at dinner, or not snacking after dinner, or both.
- It’s moderate – a little bit hungry. It doesn’t mean go to bed ravenous – if I’m really hungry, I’ll have a small snack without feeling guilty.
- It allows for the occasional miss – it’s most days, not all days.
- I can still eat what I want – just a little less at dinner.
- If you're going to be hungry any time of day, it might as well be while you're sleeping.
- Speaking of sleep - you'll generally sleep better without a full stomach.
There are times when you might need or want more rapid weight loss, and there are plans for that. But if you are willing to play the long game, it’s hard to beat this one rule.
So remember: go to bed a little bit hungry most days.
Try it and let me know how it goes!