"Strategies like that can help," she said, "Just stay persistent and consistent, and don't cut out the nutrient parts that are needed each day."
Eating For Nutrients
Berry said taking the focus off of food can help people cut back calories. She recommends thinking about food as a way to refuel your body and to notice the nutrients you are putting in it.
Rather than counting every calorie you pop into your mouth, use general rules of eating, such as controlling portion sizes and fat content.
"This helps you control calories without having to count them," she said.
She encourages people to pause and think about what they are consuming. If you make a mistake, correct it with your next meal.
Don't Just Cut The Number
If you decide you need to lose weight, it doesn't mean you should just cut the number of calories you ingest.
"Counting calories will not necessarily solve problem," Berry said. "You have to eat the right kinds of foods."
Berry said people cutting back don't eat foods that are nutrient dense.
"If you eat all of your daily calories in sweets, you are not going to lose weight," she said. "Empty calories make your body work without providing a lot of nutrition."
Even though they may have the same calorie content, eating things high in fiber like oats is better than a bagel, because your body is getting nutrients while it is working. She recommends filling up on colorful vegetables, fruits, proteins and good fats like avocados and olive oil.
Berry said it is also important to stack your plate the correct way to control your portion size. Your plate should be half high water-content veggies and the other half should share protein and starch.
You can watch your portion size by checking the size of your palm. Berry said a serving size of protein or starch should be about that size. The veggies on your plate should be about twice that.
When you are full, Berry said to listen to your body and stop to avoid taking in excess calories.
"Most people are heads dragging bodies around," she said. "People don't pay attention to bodies and are overeating."
If you find yourself still hungry, add more veggies or drink more water.
"We can't hurt ourselves by packing ourselves with vegetables," she said.
Cole said becoming aware of what she was eating and thinking of food as fuel helped her avoid consuming so many calories. She dropped 15 pounds.
"I just have a different outlook, and food and my weight is no longer an issue in my life," she said.
Berry said once you become familiar with things like serving sizes and the right foods to eat, you will know what your body needs to stay healthy without having to do the math.