Why You Should NOT Be Counting Calories
Many clients we meet for the first time, are counting calories to hit their health goals. Counting calories may help with not having too much energy in, but it does not provide balanced carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and fiber of meals and snacks. We found calories are helpful when dining out or ordering some of those coffee drinks, but they should not guide your daily eating plans.
Why you should stop counting calories:
- It’s not sustainable: Counting calories can be time-consuming and mentally exhausting, which can make it difficult to maintain over the long term. It may also lead to feelings of guilt or anxiety if you go over your allotted calorie limit, which can create an unhealthy relationship with food.
- It can be inaccurate: Calorie counting can be imprecise, as the calorie content of foods can vary depending on factors such as cooking methods, serving sizes, and nutrient composition. Additionally, many packaged foods may contain misleading calorie information.
- It ignores nutrient quality: Focusing solely on calorie intake can lead to neglecting the nutritional value of foods. A calorie is not just a calorie; different foods affect the body in different ways. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods is more important for overall health than simply counting calories. For example, aiming for about 20 grams of protein per meal is a better goal than to count calories.
- It can contribute to disordered eating: For some individuals, calorie counting can trigger or worsen disordered eating habits such as restrictive eating, binge eating, or orthorexia (an obsession with healthy eating). In some cases, it can lead to the development of an eating disorder.
Overall, while calorie counting can be a useful tool for some people in certain situations, it is not a sustainable or reliable method for everyone. A more balanced approach that includes regular exercise, mindful eating, and a focus on overall health and well-being may be more effective for long-term weight management and improved health.
We can help you balance out your plate! Downingtown/Kennett Nutrition has two locations and offers virtual appointments. Most insurances cover us to see you! Make an appointment today as part of your self-care!