Article Health

Counting Calories

Today I had three people ask me about counting calories. My answer is, and will always be, NO, I do not agree with counting calories.

Trust me, I know where you’ve been. I used to have the “My Fitness Pal” app on my iphone where I would input everything I ate in the day, and it would tell me how much I had left, and at the end of the day it would say “if you keep eating like this for 5 more weeks, you’d weigh ‘so in so’ lbs”

Okay, do you know how much complete BS that is? The app isn’t a nutrition app. It doesn’t track your personal health factors, it simply records what you’ve ate that day, regardless of what is is.

For instance, I could have oatmeal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, maybe a Special K granola bar (ou, probably low in calories so I’ll have it) Hmmm, even those Thinsations are good too! They have 20 little OREO COOKIES for 100 calories! Wow, they must be amazingly healthy for me. Oh and also this LIGHT peanut butter is 90 calories, where as normal peanut butter is 100, yep I’ll choose this one. Okay, and I have 200 calories remaining after my dinner, so I’m going to treat myself to some chocolate cake.

Do you understand? It doesn’t MATTER if you count calories if all you are eating is junk. I don’t count calories because they don’t matter. I know that everything I eat is healthy, so I’m not concerned about how many calories it has. I promise you that you will NEVER get fat off of fruit, vegetables, beans, lentils, legumes, nuts, grains, etc. If you are eating all the right foods, you should not be concerned.

Another example I always give is this: An avocado is fairly high in calories, but is SUPER good for you and your body. Coke Zero may have 0 calories, but is awful for you. Now which one would you rather have?

Personally, I’d rather have something that’s good for me than bad for me, regardless of how many calories it has. Like I said before, you won’t get fat from healthy foods, so why bother worrying about how many calories an apple or orange has if it will never have a negative effect on you?

The last thing is, if you are listening to an app, you are not listening to your body. Okay, so imagine you’ve entered in all your macros for the day, and by dinner time, you’re almost up! So you have a small dinner to even it all out. But then at 8:00pm, your stomach starts to growl and you realize that you’re hungry. What do you do!!?? The app on your phone says you’ve already exceeded your daily recommended caloric intake, but your body is trying to tell you it’s hungry. It is literally sending you hunger pains. So what do you do? LISTEN TO YOUR BODY OF COURSE!!

I always advocate for listening to our bodies, and by following a calorie counting app, you are not doing that. Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full. Eat the foods that your body craves, healthy of course, and you will be fine. Stop over thinking it and just go back to the basics. Don’t binge out on chocolate cake and ice-cream, but find a happy balance where you can have green smoothies and salads and vegan pizza and vegan brownies all in the same day. Counting calories just leads to stressful and obsessive habits.

I hope this helps all those people who are wondering this and spend their time worrying and stressing about calories. Don’t let them consume your life. Nourish your body with whole, healthy foods and you will be just fine.

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    ninaavr
    February 23, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I totally agree! Counting calories is a waste of your time and it doesn’t even give you the right information..

  • Reply
    Answering your Questions | The Colourful Kitchen
    March 18, 2014 at 10:49 am

    […] a.       Absolutely not. Here’s my opinion: http://thecolourfulkitchen.com/2014/02/22/counting-calories/ […]

  • Reply
    Katherine
    April 1, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    One good thing about My Fitness Pal, though, is you can also track protein, vitamins and minerals. I like it for that. I do have a problem with over-eating, but I always know when I’m doing it. The app would be more helpful if it zapped me if I tried to take one bite after becoming full.

  • Reply
    Cassie
    April 26, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    I DO like to count calories so that I know I’m getting enough food and nutrients. I did it for a few days and realized I ate tons of Vitamin A and C but not enough iron and potassium! I think calorie counting is okay if you’re concerned about eating enough food and getting in enough nutrients.

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