• Brittney daCosta

WHY COUNTING CALORIES IS A MISTAKE

Would you believe that when you eat a diet full of nature’s whole foods and avoid added sugars and refined carbs (think white sugar and white bread), you won’t ever have to count a calorie again?

Your body is designed by nature to maintain its ideal weight. When you feed it the whole and natural foods it truly craves, you can forget about calories. In fact, cutting back on calories can actually make it worse. When we cut back on calories, our bodies respond by saving whatever it can and storing it in our fat cells.

ALL CALORIES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL.

When we eat processed “foods” full of empty calories, our bodies keep sending hunger signals to our brain signaling for us to eat more. So we eat more but then we’re still hungry! Why? Because our body is starving for nutrients!


The problem isn’t eating too much, it’s eating the wrong foods. The focus should be on the quality of the foods we eat. When we cut calories, chances are we’re cutting even more nutrient-dense foods and some of the most nutrient-dense foods are high in calories. 


The quality of the calories going in can affect the number of calories being burned off.” Dr. Ludwig, an obesity researcher.

IT DOESN’T WORK LONG TERM.

Sure, you may see results in the short term but chances are, you’ll gain every pound back – and then some. “While people can certainly lose weight in the short term by focusing on calories, Dr. Ludwig said, “studies show that the majority of people on calorie-restricted diets eventually fail.”  


Just think… would you be able to count calories for the rest of your life? In order for calorie counting to work long term, you’d have to restrict your calories forever! And if you want to lose more weight, you have to restrict them even more.

IT’S STRESSFUL.

The calorie counting, weighing food, restrictions, deprivation, hunger… Is it worth it? Eating food should be an enjoyable experience! When we spend all our time with food counting calories, our relationship with food is no longer a positive and nourishing one.


Additionally, stress causes an increase in the hormone, cortisol. Cortisol’s job is to decrease inflammation but too much of it leads to weight gain. In fact, increased levels of cortisol are proven to cause fat to be stored right in the mid-section.


Dr. Mark Hyman says it best, “If you still think a calorie is just a calorie, maybe this study will convince you otherwise. In a study of 154 countries that looked at the correlation of calories, sugar, and diabetes, scientists found that adding 150 calories a day to the diet barely raised the risk of diabetes in the population, but if those 150 calories came from soda, the risk of diabetes went up by 700 percent. Some calories are addictive, others healing, some fattening, some metabolism-boosting. That’s because food doesn’t just contain calories, it contains information. Every bite of food you eat broadcasts a set of coded instructions to your body—instructions that can create either health or disease.”

If you want to lose weight for good and not just for now, focus on nutrients, not calories. Listen to your body, eat when you’re hungry, and fill up on healthy foods first. It’s not how much food you eat that matters, it’s what you eat that matters.


Of course, this doesn’t mean eat as much as you want but when you fill your body with naturally filling foods like fiber, you’ll stay fuller longer, won’t have the desire to overeat as much, and your weight will be easier to achieve without the deprivation. Above all, when you develop a healthy positive relationship with your food and your body will reward you.

For more information, check out the following:

NY Times Dr. Mark Hyman Fed Up Documentary University of New Mexico


Do you have a nourishing loving relationship with your food?

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