Is counting calories worth it or are you just wasting your time?
Updated: Sep 4, 2020
This subject can be debated – to count calories or to not count calories? That is the question… Like with most things, there are two sides to the story, but in general my answer would be yes, but there are some factors and general guidelines that are important to know.
First of all, most generic calorie counters under estimate how many calories you need per day if your goal is to lose weight. The problem with this is if you are trying to hit a low-calorie goal that is too low for you, you are going to start to mess with your hormones, leading to your metabolism to slow down and hold onto weight.
I like to call this ‘starvation mode’ that the body goes into. It holds onto every calorie it gets in fear that it won’t get enough. Your body get very efficient at storing fat and slowing things down, in protection for you. Kind of the opposite of what we want, right? Our bodies main goal is always to protect us and to have us service, so this is no different. This ability comes from our heritage when we used to go through times of famine.
That being said, it is very important to decrease your calories just slightly to allow weight loss, but also maintain your metabolic rate. I would highly advise you do this with a professional like myself, to ensure that all your efforts aren’t causing more harm. In all my programs I do with clients, this is one of the first things we do, if their goal is to lose, gain or maintain weight.
Another important factor I want to bring up is that calorie counting long term can lead to negative mental / emotional wellness. It is not a good habit to get into, counting your calories, grams of fat, protein and carbs. It starts to negatively affect not only our relationship with food, but it can interfere with our intuition when it comes to food and what our bodies needs and want.
I only suggest calorie counting as an educational tool when I first start working with people. It teaches them in general the amount of food they need per meal and per day visually. Once they get the hang of it, we discontinue and focus on other ways to guide yourself. Ideally, we are only doing it for a couple weeks, unless there are some complications and we need to dive in a little deeper.
So the answer is yes, it is worth it, but only as a tool and keeping in mind that it can have negative effects long term.
If you want to know more about how I work with people and how I can help you get off the calorie counting roller coaster, or the yo-yo diet cycle, and give you some clarity on the real numbers to be looking at sign up for my upcoming webinar: My Secret Methodology to Stop Dieting Here