You may have heard countless people say that they count calories – some for weight loss reasons, others for consciousness of their lifestyle and eating habits. For a lot of people, calorie counting has been their number one weight loss method and it really just worked for them. You could see the difference for some, right? But you may have encountered other people who had not seen the result for themselves, and why is that so? For one, calorie counting is an “easy” way to take note of the food consumed. However, there is a lot to consider in calorie counting in order to make it effective and as accurate as it can be.

 

One of the most common mistakes of people who count calories is to underestimate the calories of their food, which in turn leads to overeating. It is difficult to count calories accurately especially when these kinds of food are not packaged to have nutritional facts on them. Most people would rely on apps or Google to give them answer on how much calories they are actually consuming per meal. But even those options are not always accurate. It becomes a trouble as well when counting solely the calories becomes the practice because as mentioned earlier, there are so many factors to take into consideration such as how much nutrition you are actually get from that “low-calorie” food you are eating.  An example of this could be comparing a serving of Oreos that have 160 calories and a steak, which could range from around 250 to 350 calories per serving. Of course, consuming the protein from the steak is better compared to eating just sugar from the Oreos. So why is calorie counting still so popular? Counting calories is way easier than actually understanding the complexity of the food we consume such as sugar, sodium and the like.  

 

Generally speaking, calorie counting covers counting the calories consumed and the calories burned off from physical exercise. This simple method helps in budgeting or limiting the food consumed within a day. You can set the limit to let’s say 1200 calories a day and subtract from there once you have eaten and add more calorie “budget” once you have exercised. And it is natural that once you are aware of the food you consume, you become more conscious of what you put in your body.

More often than not, people who find this method helpful tend to reach for the low-calorie food that would fit their caloric budget. But when not done properly, calorie counting can lead to some adverse side effects because there will be a tendency to indulge in the wrong food just because it contains “less” calories. For some if not most, calorie counting can lead to a preoccupation with food, and it can become an addiction to count calories in every single meal. This may also lead to unbalanced eating, compulsive exercising, bingeing or worse, eating disorders. When calorie counting goes bad, exercise can become a punishment and there will be no fun in working out anymore.

 

Counting calories works for a lot of people and once results from others are seen, we get convinced that this method will work for us too. Sorry to break it to you but, no one weight loss method works for everyone.

 

But let’s not get too disappointed here. Other ways of trying to lose weight can be as simple as choosing the right food, eating slowly, eating when you need to while looking out for hunger symptoms and more. Trying out each method will not hurt – in fact it is okay to keep trying until you find the method that best suits your lifestyle, and can become a sustainable and healthy diet for you – and that is what matters the most.

 

Sources:

https://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-tips/5-reasons-to-never-count-another-calorie?amp

https://webmd.com/diet/features/dos-donts-counting-calories

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Natasha Athab
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