Most people believe that losing weight is a simple matter of math.
But it turns out, experts now agree that it's not so simple. We'll explain.
Let's start from the beginning; what is a calorie? 🤔
A calorie is defined as the energy you get from what you eat 🍽️ and drink 🥤. Calories can also be used to describe the amount of energy your body needs to perform physical tasks and simply exist.
The amount of energy that food provides is usually recorded in kilocalories (kcal), however, because "kilocalories" is such a long word, people often use the term "calories."
Your food choices influence your calorie intake, and not just their specific calorie content. For example, a carrot normally gives you around 25 kcal. A donut, on the other hand, can give you 453 kcal. Do you see the difference now? 🤯
But, as we mentioned earlier, even though counting calories is a time-consuming and soul-sucking practice, people still do it.
This does nothing more than making them feel guilty when they exceed the "recommended" calorie amounts, and then they feel the urge to run to the gym to try to undo it all. And we can't blame them; the idea that monitoring all your calories is key to losing weight is very popular.
Here at Eative, we believe there's value in recording the foods you've eaten to understand what you're consuming and to be responsible, and of course, it's important to know the relative amount of calories (for example, what we mentioned about carrots and donuts), however, it's a huge waste of time to delve into every calorie that passes through your lips.
Calories count, of course, since they're what you consume when all is said and done. But, counting calories can be a real hassle at best and a dangerous practice at worst ⚠️.
Not only does counting calories not help you live a healthy and balanced lifestyle, it can also contribute to more stress 😟, guilt, confusion and feeling overwhelmed with food.
Reasons to stop counting calories (and what to do instead)
1. It overlooks the nutritional value 🩺
Calories don't tell you how nutritious a food is. It's as simple as that.
You can consume 2,000 calories of anything if you use a calorie counting strategy. However, you might not be aware of the 2,000 calories' nutritional makeup. The sources of the calories can be packaged, processed, or unprocessed meals.
Although they have the same number of calories, they differ greatly in terms of nutrients. In addition to needing calories for energy, your body also requires antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Simply calculating calories based on their numerical value ignores a major portion of what supports your health and wellbeing.
2. Calorie counting can lead to disordered eating behaviors 🤐
Sadly, it's likely that people who have previously counted calories often also find that they inadvertently have an unhealthy relationship with food. In many cases, this can be a sign of an unhealthy relationship with food.
Here are some examples of disordered eating behaviors:
- Yo-yo diet
- Compensation for "bad" foods eaten or "burning" calories through exercise
- Anxiety about eating certain foods
- Rigid nutrition or fitness routines
- Extreme feelings of guilt or shame after eating
Being so controlling about your food ultimately leads you to feel more out of control. It may seem like eating well is really hard to maintain, which is generally very bad for your physical and mental health.
3. It makes you ignore your own body and needs 💪🏻
Our bodies communicate with us in a variety of ways to let us know precisely what we need. Your body uses the signals of hunger and fullness to let you know what it needs in order to feel and perform at its peak. This could indicate that you need more food for energy (and are therefore hungry), or that the amount of food you just ate was excessive (feeling full).
Because we're strictly adhering to portion rules, it can be simple to overeat or undereat when we're not tuned in to these signs.
Can you relate to this?
We should also point out that weight loss is much more than calories. It covers exercise, how you sleep, how stressed you are, whether you have certain health problems, and even certain hormonal changes.
So, if your goal is to lose weight, it's important to recognize how individual the process is and seek help to do it in a way that's healthy for you.
Fortunately, at Eative, we make sure your goals are realistic 📍for your body, as well as the amount of time and energy you need for the process.
Regardless of your goals, keep in mind that not all calories are the same when it comes to impact on health.
Therefore, opt mostly for fresh, whole foods, and think of it as eating food, not calories 🍎🥕🥦
Food is such a powerful way to bring nourishment and joy into our lives. That's why Eative wants to bring that “life/joy” element back to you every day.
To know more about our meal plans, please feel free to check out our website: https://www.eative.com/ 👈🏻