What happens when you start counting calories?

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I’m against calorie-counting for a reason and that is that counting calories makes you vulnerable and insecure around food and exercise.
(not to mention that counting calories, or any form of dieting, does not help you lose weight in the long term – it actually leads to regaining more)
This account by Joanna really depicts how the manipulative work starts.
The Unexpected Truth I Had to Confront After Counting Calories For a Month
One of the first thoughts I had after I got engaged was, “Ugh, does this mean I have to get fit?” I’m not consciously unhealthy, but as a naturally slim person, I like to trick myself into thinking I’m healthier than I am. That’s why when my fiancé recommended we start using a calorie-counting app to track our diet leading up to the big day, I readily agreed.

 
I figured this wouldn’t significantly impact my life. It did — but not in the way I anticipated.

 
I have some friends who would consider them to be a trigger for disordered eating habits. I’ve always had a healthy relationship with food, so if anything, I figured the experiment might provide some insights into the way that I eat — especially because the app I selected… gives you a breakdown of your nutrients.

What I discovered wasn’t necessarily related to the types of foods I ate or how often I ate them… this calorie-counting app was staring me in the face, telling me that I would be allotted more calories if I went for a jog. I don’t want to go for a damn jog. 


Read the full article here on The Guardian by Joanna Blythman.

It’s so easy to become obsessed with calorie counting as they start off by giving you a false sense of control.

At first you may feel like you’re gaining control over your health but it soon turns around to control your living as they constrain you in this numerical calorie “limit”.
You feel defeated when you go over your allocated threshold;

“I can’t even control myself to stay within my calorie limit!” you may think.
But no, it’s not you or your will power that’s the problem.

By definition, calorie is “the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water through 1 °C”

Your body can only function if you feed them enough calories to run the numerous metabolic processes required for everyday activity.

Calorie-counting will most often tie you down to an inadequate calorie limit for your body to function optimally.

Moreover, what about your intuitive eating skills?

If you have an app or a book or whatever tool telling you “to eat this much (and only this much)”, would you be able to mindfully tune in to your hunger and fullness cues?

Eating is a whole mind and body experience.

We can be physically full but psychologically hungry.
We can be physically hungry but mentally full.

Your energy requirement will change from day to day and your body has the ability to tell you how much food it needs even without using external quantification tools.

As the saying goes…
Count the memories, not the calories
Fumi x

2 thoughts on “What happens when you start counting calories?

  1. I’m a lifetime dieter. I’ve learned to disregard everything I’ve “learned” over the decades about dieting. The truth is – weighing, measuring, and planning food keeps us focused on food every single moment. Some time ago, I lost 70 pounds on a very good, popular diet program. I was still hungry though and found myself chewing packs of gum to avoid eating. I did gain the weight back in spite of my best efforts. This is only one example in a lifetime of effort. I can no longer endure all of that measuring and weighing. Now that I’m more relaxed about food, I’m satiated and sometimes I actually forget to eat!

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    1. Thank you Maria for sharing your experience. I agree – dieting takes so much head space and can build an unhealthy obsession towards food. I am glad that you have found your way out. x

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