Counting Calories is a hot topic and depending on where you sit on the fence. Let’s take a look at the concept of counting calories and examine whether or not this simple approach is enough.

This article is specifically for:

  • People with very little nutrition knowledge 
  • People who find themselves yo-yo dieting
  • People who have tried fad diets or always find themselves reverting back to the big weight loss schemes; Slimming World, Weight Watchers etc 

If you can relate to the above then counting calories will be, in my personal experience, very beneficial to you for a number of reasons:

1.By counting calories you are educating yourself about energy intake and expenditure.

2. You are learning about nutrition; specifically macronutrients – protein, carbs and fats.

3. You make conscious decisions about food and begin to see food ‘values.’

4. By counting calories you are ensuring your intake is more accurate than an estimation.

5.Counting calories will also ensure you can achieve a set point dependent on your goal; maintaining, weight loss or weight gain.

6. By counting calories and then amending appropriately – progress will occur.

7. You develop a form of ‘intuitive eating’ which can stand you in good stead for the future.

I would recommend using myfitnesspal to count your calories. Log what you eat within the app, and just focus on hitting your calorie intake.

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However there may be exceptions to the above if you have a history of binge eating, an. eating disorder or obsessive behaviours etc. 

If you find yourself relating to this, it may be worthwhile to focus on small ‘wins’ each week. This will keep your focus small and will also help stave off a feeling of being overwhelmed by food.

Although the goal is to eat more intuitively with a focus on consuming ‘cleaner’ healthier foods and being more active, this approach without experience, knowledge and guidance can lead to problems. 

Here are some important things to consider: 

  1. Regardless of how ‘clean’ or healthy your food consumption is, if you eat over your TDEE daily, you will gain weight.
  2. Without gaining a degree of consistency in your eating habits, you have no way to know what your caloric intake is to maintain/taper down/up.
  3. IMPORTANT: With the mainstream medias ignorance and misinformation to the masses, you may not be aware that although avocados are ‘healthy’ and provide multiple benefits, eating them in excessive quantity will very quickly see you sky rocket your calories without knowing. This is the case with many food sources, so be sure to log as you go. As time goes on, you will be able to appreciate and understand the calories/macro content in each of your servings. Just pay attention and ensure you make effort to learn.
  4. Another common one – That 500ml bottle of Coca Cola that you gave up first as its ‘fizzy juice’, packed full of sugar and his friends told him can cause diabetes and cancer, has just been replaced by a ‘healthy’ smoothie which in fact has 60 more calories and only 1g sugar less! 

To conclude, like most things in life, careful consideration should be applied when utilising a strategy that you know very little about. Learn the basics and understanding of food, portion control and calories. Once you’ve got that, you can even look to be more specific and aim to hit a specific macro breakdown within your calories to best suit your goals.

Educate yourself on the processes. 

The internet, which most of us have, is full of useful (and useless) information that can be utilised to help see what best suits you and your lifestyle. I’m also open to helping members, so feel free to ask me a question. 

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