Why I Refuse to Count Calories
Oh my gosh. I did it didn’t I? I just went against the great weight loss mantra. I just admitted in public that I don’t count calories, ever. It’s more than that really. I REFUSE to count calories. You couldn’t make me do it if you promised me that it would allow me to eat chocolate cake and ice cream for every meal while maintaining a BMI of 19. Nope, not gunna do it.
And I have to say, I know that this is a pretty sticky topic and that I might be angering quite a few out there in diet-land… But I’m a big girl, I can take it. I am not ashamed. 😉
And I have good reasons.
Yes, I know that studies have shown that counting calories increases your chances of weight loss and that monitoring your calories in/calories out is a sure fire way to lose weight. In fact, it is. If you are extremely diligent, it will work.
The problem is, most people are not. Actually, no one can be spot on perfect with measuring their intake and calorie burn. Even with the best software it’s never going to be 100% accurate. And on top of that, very few people have the time or are willing to take the time to accurately log ever food that crosses their mouths.
And what happens when they cook? There is a math problem Einstein couldn’t solve…1 bell pepper + a splash of olive oil + 3 cups of rice, 3 chicken breasts, a handful of cheese, some taco seasoning divided by 4 people, accept Billy didn’t finish his casserole and Mom had 3 bites from his plate, but the dog ate half of hers…I mean, yowsa! The moment you start cooking from scratch calorie counting becomes exponentially harder. Unless you eat 1 chicken breast with a cup of broccoli every day, counting calories makes cooking tiresome and confusing.
When I decided almost a year ago to overhaul my health and really start committing to exercise and eating clean I planned on doing it for the rest of my life. Any changes I made I wanted to keep. I didn’t plan on losing weight quickly or toning up for my wedding then going back to my “old ways”. I was in it for the long haul. And that meant focusing on clean, whole foods, obeying my hunger,and staying active. I knew that by doing those 3 things I would automatically lose weight. And I have. I’ve gone down 2 pants sizes and found muscle definition that I never thought I’d have…without ever counting a calorie.
Yes, if I had counted calories I could probably have doubled my weight loss. I know that. But I also know that I would have been hungry, cranky, manic, and no fun at parties… I mean seriously, who wants to stress trying to count how many carrot sticks they ate and guessing with how much dressing? No fun.
When it is a lifestyle you don’t stress about the occasional hiccup because you are making these changes for the rest of your life. You know that you are in control of your health and that you know how to make healthy choices.
This is one thing that calorie counting really fails on. It makes it so much easier to reach for those processed foods, that diet soda (0 calories right?!?), that low fat additive laden salad dressing. Instead of allowing you to connect with your body, to learn what your hunger means and what is the best way to fuel your body; it teaches you to focus on merely on aspect of food, it’s energy unit.
But food is much more than a group of calories. Food is fuel. Food is fat, protein, carbohydrate, fiber, vitamins, minerals. Food is the building blocks of our bodies. Food is soul nourishment. It has the power to enable us or destroy us. Food is the sustainer of life.
Our bodies are very smart. They know what they need, and they will tell you as long as you are willing to listen. We need to get back to the simple idea of eating when we are hungry and then waiting to eat until we are hungry again. We are surrounded by food and have every opportunity to eat; but we must put more trust into our bodies, that they know what they are doing. You do not need to finish that plate if you get full half way through. Slow down. Tune in. Learn to hear that tiny inner voice. Drink more water. Rest while eating. This will teach you to hear your body and learn it’s cues.
So instead of hyper analyzing every bite you take, here is what I want you to do…
Eat whole unprocessed foods, mostly vegetables and fruits
Learn to hear that inner voice and follow it’s instructions
Move, sweat, daily
Give yourself a big hug
Give it time, trust the process
Love and Joy,