Are you on one of those diet plans where you have to count and track calories for everything you eat or drink? You must have heard that weight loss is as simple as calculating calories in and calories out, right? Cut down on an exorbitant amount of calories—specifically, 3500 calories—and you’re likely going to lose just a pound.
Thankfully, experts have begun to debunk the myth that to stay fit you have to meticulously track your calories, because calorie tracking is not a sustainable or a fun way to go through life.
Not only does strict calorie counting not translate into leading a healthy and stable lifestyle, but it might also add additional stress, confusion, and guilt on top of your messed up relation with food.
Besides, the fact of the matter is that no amount of care in calorie calculations can result in perfect outcomes every time. How your body consumes calories depends on various other factors, such as the type of food you eat or your body’s metabolic system. You can eat the same number of calories as another person yet have completely different results.
You can learn about managing your weight by visiting a health practitioner. If you aspire to be a health practitioner yourself, you can pursue a degree in healthcare administration by enrolling in a master of health administration online, a degree that is going to set you up for management position at any healthcare facility.
So, without further ado, let’s jump into the reasons why calorie counting doesn’t work and you should stop doing it.
Most of the time you are not going to be in a setting where you can track calories for the ingredients used in your food; or use a measuring spoon, a balance, or any weight or volume measuring tool; or have any control over the ingredients used.
When eating dinner at a restaurant, having lunch with friends, or enjoying a reunion dinner you’re your family, you might be having nutritious food that doesn’t come packaged with a list of its ingredients and calorie count.
This is why calorie counting will not work for most occasions in your life. Unless you want to risk looking like a crazy person and carry your scale with you wherever you go to eat, the calorie counting lifestyle is just not practical.
If you are addicted to calorie counting, you might find it hard to let go of the controls and let your instincts take over. The main thing to be aware of is not just exactly how many grams of chicken or pasta you have on your plate, but whether or not you’re controlling the servings per plate and getting the essential macros, like proteins, carbs, and fats (in that order), into your food.
You restrict healthy foods
Remember, the number of calories doesn’t tell you the whole story about how healthy, or unhealthy, a food is. You can eat 2000 calories of any food group with a normal calorie-counting method. You’re not essentially conscious of the nutritional makeup of those 2000 calories. For all you care, you could be eating 2000 calories of packaged or processed food.
On the other hand, 2000 calories of whole foods are entirely nutrient-wise. Therefore, calorie counting is just a really limited method of losing weight that can even stop you from taking nutritious foods, like fruits and vegetables.
It doesn’t solve the basic issue
Are you presently counting calories? Somehow, you have been led to believe that it is the only way you could live a healthier life. That’s not true.
People usually start counting calories when they wish to lose or gain weight. While counting calories might help you alter your weight for some time, It’s only a band-aid solution to a much bigger problem.
Our lifestyles are geared toward gaining weight and remaining unfit. Remaining seated for the majority of the day, we come home to slump on the sofa for the Netflix marathon with a large pack of Cheetos. If you aren’t living an active lifestyle, how do you expect your weight to change.
Sucks the fun out of eating
Food is more than just sustenance. Delicious food brings us joy and pleasure. We love passing food around the table because food is meant to be shared.
Yes, you should look into the nutritional content of your food, but don’t let calculations suck out the joy out of your food. So many diet plans completely ignore this fun element of food. These diet plans advise to cook in batches, as if cooking itself isn’t the fun part of the process. The diet plans can make you feel guilty for even indulging a little in some delicious food from time to time.
Your relation with food worsens as you start viewing food as a means to an end: weight loss or gain. Instead of eliminating the cravings, yours can worsen as you look ahead to the next time you would be able to cheat on your plan.
Labels can lie
You must know that caloric details on most food labels aren’t 100% accurate. Ask yourself, if something is gluten-free, does that make it the best option? You need to understand that food packaging can be misleading.
Most foods that claim to be low on calories are likely to have been pre-packaged. As the common rule, pre-packaged foods are the most processed. As a result, instead of spending time looking at the calorie charts, look for organic foods, as they would be found in nature, such as grains and vegetables.
Forces to ignore body needs
Your body sends your brain signals about its needs. When you’re not in touch with your body’s cues, you might easily overeat or undereat. Your body’s signals may be out of whack because of the abuse it underwent through strict diets.
In comparison, mindful eating is where you are aware of the food as you eat it. Eating mindfully develops a strong mind-body connection, so that when your body is full your brain gets the signal and you can stop in time.
You can confidently eat that which nourishes you without worrying so much about weight gain. You will naturally make healthier choices in foods and portion sizes when you are eating mindfully.
Calorie counting stops you from enjoying food the right way. You start treating food as a means to an end instead of thinking it to be nature’s blessing. Therefore, ditch the scale and the calculator, give your food the attention it needs and eat healthy and balanced meals.