Listen up: you do not need to count calories to lose weight.
In fact, it may be doing you more harm than good.
Unfortunately, you’ve heard time and time again that the best way to manage weight is to “control calorie intake.” This is just not true.
The truth is your metabolism system is far more complex than calories in, calories out.
Eating those 100-calorie packs or diet frozen dinners works against your body’s greatest desire – to be fed more nutrient dense foods. Your body cares way more about quality than quantity.
Rather than jumping straight to the amount of calories in a food product, look at the ingredients. High-quality nutritious foods will enhance the effectiveness of your metabolism system.
If you’re hesitant to let go of controlling your calories, understand that it’s normal to resist change. However, following calorie counting guidelines creates distrust in your ability to make good food choices as you start looking at food as only a numbers game.
It can feel scary to release the need to control your food, but you are not going to spiral out of control. Food freedom is liberating and available to you!
Listen to your gut…. does it truly make sense to count calories? Let me give you some more reasons to help you quit calorie counting with confidence ↓
5 Reasons Counting Calories Is Pointless
① Not All Calories Are Created Equal
Think about it… do you feel the same after eating 500 calories of French fries vs. 500 calories of a veggie omelet? I don’t think so. I’ll say it once and I’ll say it 1000 more times, your body does not care about calories. It cares about nutrition.
② Counting Calories Is Unnatural
Our ancestors did not count calories. We are designed to eat whole foods from the earth and to make food choices based on the guidance received from our bodies. Adding up a bunch of numbers is not natural nor instinctual. Keep in mind, calorie counting was introduced only a few decades ago – it’s simply not a natural way of eating.
③ You Will Feel More Hungry + Tired When Counting Calories
Some calories make you feel full while others don’t. For example, healthy fats – think: avocado, nuts, olive oil, etc. – are higher in calories, but help suppress hunger. Healthy fats extend your blood sugar curve so you won’t need to continue snacking. An avocado will provide you with more energy and keep you much more satiated compared to a rice cake.
④ You Don’t Know How Many Calories Your Body Actually Needs OR Absorbs
First, you do not know how many calories you actually need. Yes, you can approximate the number of calories you use in a day via equations and apps, but that’s all you get: an approximation. You are guessing!
Second, even if you have an idea of how many calories you think you need, you do not know how many calories your body actually absorbs. Everything from how your food is processed, cooked, to how much fiber is in it determines how many calories you’re absorbing from it.
⑤ Counting Calories Makes You Anxious And Unhappy
You’re likely counting calories with the goal of weight loss in mind. You probably want to lose weight so you can feel better and happier. That’s OK… you deserve to feel good in your body, but counting calories will not get you there. Counting calories often becomes a source of stress, a base for food rules and restriction/deprivation. You can’t fully enjoy your life and count calories.
What To Do Instead
Good news: it’s never too late to quit calorie counting.
Instead you can learn to:
- Listen to your body
- Eat when you’re hungry
- Make food choices based on what you’re in the mood for
- Notice how food makes you feel
- Choose foods that offer nutrition + satisfaction
- Enjoy eating
And yes, you can do all the above and still lose weight.
The best part about learning to listen to your body is that you’ll want to eat food that makes you physically feel good and, overtime, you’ll learn how to eat and choose meals without overthinking it.
You can naturally lose weight without the struggle or the stress, but you won’t know unless you try something new.
To learn more about listening to your body without counting a thing, check out my 8-week online program THE NFM METHOD.