Why You Need To Stop Counting Calories
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Counting Calories Is SO 2016, It's Time To Leave That Habit In The Past

Trying to lose weight? Calories are no way to measure food. Here's what you should be focusing on instead.

63
Counting Calories Is SO 2016, It's Time To Leave That Habit In The Past

Everyone wants to get healthy and lose weight, and some people seem to be permanently dieting. When you are on a diet, it's easy to become obsessed with counting calories. I don't mean looking at the nutritional facts on a box of cereal and a cup of yogurt, and comparing them. I using calories as a way to measure the value of food.

Some people use calorie tracker apps to do this, and might even starve themselves all day just so they can splurge out in the evening with one unhealthy meal. Just because you meet calorie goals, doesn't mean you'll lose weight.

Counting calories does not work. You could eat 2,000 calories a day of processed food and packaged food very easily. However, is that healthy? Sure, you hit your goal of 2,000 calories a day, but what about the vitamins, carbohydrates, sugars, fibers, proteins, etc.?

Plus, when you do lose weight from counting calories, it's likely not sustainable!

Please consider nutrition holistically, consuming empty calories isn't going to help you hit your weight loss goal, and definitely isn't going to make you healthy (especially long-term).

Here's what you need to focus on instead of counting calories.

1. Diet 

Dieting doesn't mean starving yourself and eating salads for every meal. Dieting means eating the right foods. Go online and look up food pyramids and food charts. Look at how much of each food you need in a day and start from there. You want to make sure you are getting a balance of nutrients from a variety of food, which means plenty of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins.

If you're looking for a good infographic that shows nutritional balance, skip the government guidelines and check out Harvard's Healthy Eating Plate instead.

2. Mind the quality, not the calories! 

Start to watch the quality of food you are eating, rather than the calories. Do you notice that you eat a lot of junk or sugar-filled foods? If you do, you should switch out some of your sweet snack cravings with a healthy alternative. The next time you crave empty-carbs, try fresh fruit, crackers, Greek yogurt, or a granola bar instead.

Missy from Pretty Sweet says, "Consider that an avocado has the same number of calories as a doughnut. You know which one is better, so stop pretending that calories are a good way to measure the value of food! Counting calories is like choosing a book based on how many pages it has — it just doesn't make sense!"

3. Exercise matters 

Devote at least 30 minutes a day to exercising. This doesn't have to be hardcore strenuous exercises like lifting weights and running 5 miles every day. Start by jogging for 30 minutes or biking for 30 minutes and work from there, or even taking a brisk walk once a day.

Just because you see men and women with six-packs in the gym and on weight loss commercials, doesn't mean that you have to look like that.

Start slowly and gradually increase the amount of exercise you do each day. You'll probably notice you start to enjoy it, and according to the Mayo Clinic, you'll increase your energy, your mood and lose weight.

4. OK, now stop counting calories

If you are looking to lose weight, stay fit, and/or stay healthy, do not give in to the temptation of counting calories. It may seem like you are doing the right thing by paying attention to what you eat. However, you are paying attention to the wrong detail.

It's about quality, not quantity!

Look at the rest of the nutritional label! If you are looking at two snacks with 200 calories each and one has more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than the other, go with the nutritional-dense food (not the processed, refined and nutritionally depleted one).

There are some well-known apps out there that cost under $1 per day that will help you log everything you eat and keep you on track. Just don't obsess on finding a free app, because it's usually worth the investment to pay for a higher-quality product!

Choose to eat healthy by paying attention to what and how much you eat. Please don't count calories though, because it just doesn't work.

Report this Content
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

85640
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

180025
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments