Flourish/ Food

Counting Calories – A Cautionary Tale

We’ve all heard it, abs are made in the kitchen and I believe this is true. If you want to see serious changes to your physique you cannot rely on exercise alone. However, it can be confusing and exhausting to figure out what to eat in order to lose weight.

A calorie is a calorie whether it’s a snicker bar or a head of broccoli. Not that I am advocating eating candy over vegetables, but simply put to lose weight you need to consume fewer calories than you are burning. 1 pound of fat equals 3500 calories. You have to be in a 3500 calorie deficit to lose a pound of fat. The math is simple, our bodies are not. We can rely on charts and graphs to tell us how many calories we are probably burning based on age, activity level etc…but they are highly unreliable. We can also keep track of the calories we consume and try to create that deficit that we need.

In my experience this works. I lost 12 lbs counting calories, my abs made an appearance, my arms and legs became very toned and muscled and my clothes were loose. I was ecstatic, who wouldn’t be? This was made very easy by downloading an app to my phone and entering everything I ate. Sounds great right?

Now for the down side, after I lost the 12 pounds and I was at my goal weight, I switched over to a maintenance caloric intake. I happily added 300-400 extra calories a day and kept my tally going in my app.

The problem is, once I started to count calories I couldn’t stop. It got so bad that I would count the number of blueberries I was putting in my mouth, I was constantly measuring and weighing, it was exhausting and mentally debilitating. I started not to want to eat in situations where I wouldn’t be able to figure out the calories. I had never even thought about calories before this. Now I was constantly searching for nutritional facts in every recipe and on every label.

The worst part was I started to eat unhealthy processed foods because it is much easier to get the calorie count when something comes in a labeled box. I strayed from a clean and healthy diet just to keep my count down. I did this for 3 years. Yep, that is not a typo, 3 years of counting, measuring, weighing and stressing. Such a WASTE of time.

My second pregnancy saved me from this lunacy. I reluctantly forced myself to delete the app and to return to my healthy diet filled with foods that don’t come with labels. It took me a long time to stop thinking of the calories in every food I encountered. I still to this day find myself doing a mental tally when I am preparing a meal.

Ignorance really is bliss, I wish I didn’t know the calories in every freaking food I see, it definitely puts a damper on mowing down a donut or doing a late night burrito run.

Check out these reasons not to count calories from paleoleap.com, they hit the nail on the head.

There must be a better way…I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this subject, please share at bottom of page.

  • Vanessa Groening
    October 20, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Love em!!! So delicious and nutritious!

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