Can You Lose Weight Without Counting Calories?

A new 12-month study found that time-restricted eating leads to successful weight loss without measuring everything you eat.

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • The holiday gift that keeps giving

  • Forget the calories

  • Finish Strong Challenge: Workout #5

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The Holiday Gift That Keeps On Giving

Arnold believes that we all have the strength to lift up the world, and now research suggests that he was right. A recent study found that small acts of kindness have health benefits for the giver and the receiver. 

The scientists examined how people felt after random acts of kindness, such as giving strangers a cup of hot chocolate on a cold day.

As Arnold expressed on Monday, giving makes you feel much happier and can shift a bad mood. But here’s the interesting part: those delivering the kind acts significantly underestimate the impact of their behavior. Those on the receiving end felt happier, more positive, and more hopeful. 

Even better, the emotional boost appears to last for a long time. And that’s true regardless of whether the kindness has any monetary value.

Acts of kindness also appear to create a feedback loop. The more you know that your kind acts help others, the more likely you are to engage in other kind actions, creating a ripple effect of compassion and happiness. 

It’s just one more reason to take the time to do something nice for someone else.

Forget The Calories

Counting calories and tracking macros is an effective way to gain or lose weight, but it’s also stressful, prone to error, and unsustainable for most. If that describes you, a simple diet shift could help you win the scale without losing your mind. 

New research suggests that timing when you eat can be just as effective as calorie counting. 

As we’ve discussed, despite what many people will have you believe, multiple studies have found that intermittent fasting (also known as time-restricted eating) is not superior for fat loss. However, it might be an easier way to get similar results with less thinking.

The most recent study tracked people for a year. One group counted calories, while the others didn’t track and limited their eating to 8 hours per day (from 12 pm to 8 pm). At the end of the study, the intermittent fasting group lost 10 pounds, and the calorie counters lost 12 pounds. 

The reason is simple: when people restrict their calories to only 4 to 8 hours, research shows they naturally reduce how much they eat by up to 500 calories per day. And many people find it easier to restrict when they eat instead of needing to track how much they eat. 

If you try time-restricted eating, don’t sweat the number of hours. Even in the current study, the first six months were spent eating 8 hours per day (to maximize sustainable weight loss), and the next six months eating 10 hours per day (to prioritize maintenance).

Remember, the diet that works best for you is the one that is most sustainable and easiest to turn into a habit. And creating an “eating window” is an easy way to make sure you don’t screw up and enjoy eating with less stress. 

Finish Strong Challenge: Workout #5

Here’s your next workout in the Finish Strong Challenge. 

Remember, at the end of the month, we’ll randomly reward three people with $1,000 who are a part of Arnold’s Pump Club and have shared their workouts on social media. Consider it a little extra incentive to keep training during the holiday season. 

Today’s workout is a full-body plan. We’re back to doing an Arnold favorite — supersets. Do a set of the first exercise followed immediately by a set of the second exercise. Rest for two minutes and repeat until all sets of the superset are finished, and then move to the next superset pair. 

Dumbbell version

Superset 1

  1. Dumbbell straight leg deadlift: 3 sets x 10 reps 

  2. Dumbbell front squat: 3 sets x 10 reps

    Rest 2 minutes

Superset 2

  1. Dumbbell row: 3 sets x 8 reps

  2. Dumbbell chest press: 3 sets x 8 reps

    Rest 2 minutes

Superset 3

  1. Dumbbell lunge: 3 sets x 10 reps/leg

  2. Dumbbell overhead press: 3 sets x 8 reps

    Rest 2 minutes

Bodyweight version

Superset 1

  1. Bodyweight good morning: 3 sets x 10-15 reps 

  2. Bodyweight squat: 3 sets x 10-20 reps

    Rest 2 minutes

Superset 2

  1. Pushups: 3 sets x 10-20 reps

  2. Pullups or Inverted row or Superman pullup: 3 sets x 10-20 reps

    Rest 2 minutes

Superset 3

  1. Bodyweight rear-foot elevated split squat: 3 sets x 8 reps/leg

  2. Reverse crunch: 3 sets x 10 reps

    Rest 2 minutes

Remember to keep tagging Arnold and sharing on social using #Arnoldschallenge.

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell