If you find yourself counting calories, you are not alone. The world of fad diets, ill-advised nutrition and marketing ploys has led many down this frustrating path. No approach to nutrition should leave you feeling hungry, moody, and irritable.
Food is there to be enjoyed. You should be able to experience sustained weight loss and reach your fitness goals, all the while feeling satisfied with your diet. Counting calories is ineffective and misleading for several reasons.
Here’s why you should stop counting calories:
Not all calories are created equal.
Calories represent the energy provided by food. But it’s not the case that ‘a calorie is a calorie’. Calories provided by cookies are not the same quality as the calories provided by spinach. Otherwise Popeye would have been chomping on choc chip delights!
Nutrients are more important than calories.
A calorie’s effect on your body will depend on whether it comes from a nutrient-rich or nutrient-poor food source. It’s important to get as many of your calories as possible from nutrient-rich foods. This way you will feel full, maintain stable blood sugar levels, and stave off cravings. Processed and refined foods will have the opposite effect.
Counting calories is not that informative.
What good does counting calories do you? Well, you will know how many calories you consumed. That’s all. It won’t tell you about the nutritional value of your diet. You might be eating the ‘correct’ number of calories, but you might also be ingesting harmful chemicals, inflammatory and allergenic ingredients, GMOs, and all sorts of other substances that will leave you feeling awful and possibly cause long-term health problems.
Listen to your body rather than the fads.
Strict caloric restriction is not great in the short-term or long-term. In the short-term, you will probably feel tied, hungry, and moody. And this simply isn’t sustainable in the long-term. So what should you do? Avoid refined carbs and opt for nutrient-rich natural and organic produce. Your body will tell you when you’ve had enough – if you learn to listen to it.
Counting calories doesn’t curb your appetite
If you’ve tried counting calories, you’re probably also aware of your hunger cravings. The answer is to rather eat a healthy balanced diet. Opt for the ‘good’ fats, organic meats and protein, and non-starchy vegetables.
So should you be counting calories? Nope. What should you be doing? Eating nutrient-rich natural and organic produce. Your appetite will adjust to what is healthy for your body. You’ll feel full for longer, banish those cravings, and enjoy greater energy and vitality.
What have been your experiences with counting calories?