When you’re working on weight loss, the following scenarios probably sound familiar: You find and make healthy recipes (check). You know your macro or calorie range and your work hard to stay in those boundaries (check). You exercise regularly but you look the same and the number on the scale won’t budge. So now you’re wondering…“What the heck is going on?!”

Despite feeling like you’re doing everything right and having the best intentions, it’s possible that you may have a few extra calories that are sneaking their way into your diet and derailing your progress. While calories are definitely not the only thing that matter, you might want to take a closer look at your diet if you feel stuck or have hit a weight loss plateau.

what you tracked for weight loss and what you didn't track

When it comes to tracking the amount of calories and macros you’re consuming , there are so many nutrition tracking apps on the market.  These apps make it easy to spot inconsistencies in your diet, especially if you’re diligent with it. The one thing to consider, is that these apps aren’t mind readers, and no one is perfect! It’s so easy to forget to track that oil you used for cooking veggies, or to forget about the extra scoop of peanut butter you had with your snack or even forget about those croutons you ate in your salad at work.  You get the idea! 

Counting calories or macros is a pretty common strategy for weight loss, but not everyone likes tracking or finds success with these strategies. It’s also possible this type of rigorous tracking can act as a trigger, especially if you’ve had/still struggle with issues around disordered eating. If either of the above is the case with you, you’ll be happy to know you don’t have to track your nutrition like crazy in order to see weight loss and results. There are other simple weight loss strategies you can implement to achieve great results, like eating more protein and fiber-rich foods – even getting enough sleep!

Here are a few other simple strategies that have helped me stay on track with my nutrition:

  • When eating nuts, grab a small handful and then put the jar away so you’re not mindlessly eating them. Same goes for nut butter – I put one portion on my plate (for example, 1 TBS) then put the jar away
  • With cooking oils, a little bit goes a long way! I also love Trader Joe’s non-toxic olive oil spray or you make your own oil spray bottle at home – both options help you use less oil
  • Olive oil or avocado oil based dressings are a great way of adding healthy fats to a salad, but you don’t need to overdo it. At restaurants, ask for dressing on the side so you can control how much you use.

The big takeaway here, is that it’s not one extra thing alone that will derail your weight loss.  It’s the compounding of several of these “little bites here and there,” and  “treats,” that start to pack on the extra calories. Remember to focus on minimally processed, whole foods for the bulk of your diet and then pick the extras you want to keep! Plus I always recommend avoiding the toppings you can live without (ie. extra croutons vs dressing etc).

What are some foods you can’t live without? How do you incorporate them into your diet so you can enjoy them but still lose weight?