Raise your hand if you ever attempted to or religiously performed calorie counting. Raise your hand if you swore by that as a fool-proof method to shed those nasty, stubborn pounds OR to increase your lean muscle mass. If I would ask you this question right now, would you nod your head “yes?’ What if I asked you if you are using calorie counting right now as a method in your “healthy” diet plan. Would you still nod “yes?” My bet is that many of you are. With fad diets and nutritional systems on an all-time high and with all the information overload on proper nutrition and weight loss (gain), my bet is that more than likely you are being (sub)consciously coached to do so. I know that I swore by it for years and did it for varying results, depending on my goal at the time. As the years went on and I still couldn’t grasp the “whys” of not being able to obtain my fitness and health goals, even though I was calorie counting, I decided to dig a little deeper and actually understand calorie counting, if I was doing it correctly, why I wasn’t obtaining my goals, and why the hell I felt so awful and tired all the time. What I learned was astonishing!
First and foremost, calorie counting is detrimental your health, weight loss, and overall well-being. Living in a society that is fueled by appearance, (pseudo) energy, beauty, and success, it has been shown to set the average individual up for hormonal imbalance, fatigue, weight gain, stress, control issues, anxiety and depression, and many other health concerns. What is even more concerning, is the amount of health professionals who continue to preach this restriction and use it in their practices. Here is what I learned along the way:
What are the 8 reasons that you should put a stop to calorie counting right now?
(**For a larger version of this chart, right click your mouse and click “open image in new tab”)
What can you do instead of calorie counting?
Instead of playing the number game, listen to your body. Here are some questions to ask yourself throughout the day. Each one depends on your health goal.
- How are my clothing fitting? Are they getting too tight or too loose?
- What is my stomach saying? Is it growling or does it feel satisfied? (Growling stomach = hungry; full stomach = wanting to eat for other reasons)
- How is my energy? Did I sleep enough and still feel fatigued or am I tired because I have not been eating properly?
- Am I eating a balanced, healthy diet filled with an abundance of vegetables, fruit, lean proteins, and healthy fats?
- Did I drink enough water or am I feeling bloated because I didn’t have enough water to flush out my system?
- How am I feeling? Do I feel hungry because I am thirsty? Do I feel hungry because I am stressed? What is causing this hunger and what can I do to soothe myself outside of food? (Addressing the root cause of why you are hungry or want to calorie count or feel the need to restrict your nutrients is most important. When the root causes are slowly chipped away, maintaining your health becomes a breeze.)
- Am I eating mindfully and really paying attention to my food, the taste, the texture, and the smell?
If you still are feeling confused and need some much needed guidance, check out my health coaching right now to see how together we can get you results!
My soapbox of love for all of you…
Remember, my incredible friends – being too skinny, low on muscle tone, unhealthy, and being undernourished has never been sexy or desirable, regardless of what media portrays. Being strong, lean, balanced mentally and physically is the new sexy. The desired healthy. Empowerment at it’s finest!
Take action now! How are you transforming your eating and are you using calorie counting as a way to restrict and control your diet? If so, step one – STOP! Stop today and ask yourself the questions in this blog. Find the root cause and take charge of your health by changing the root reason, rather than how it is presenting. If you do not know how, seek out help and advice or do some research. I want you to comment below or email me through my website, Facebook, or Twitter and tell me all about your results and discoveries.
Were you a calorie counter? If so, what made you decide to change your ways? I want to hear all about it! Live your life with passion and purpose…
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