After posting my piece “Why for Me Being Too Healthy is Unhealthy”, I got an overwhelming response from beautiful young woman who are possibly struggling with a balanced lifestyle, who said they were grateful for my honesty and sharing my lifestyle now has really inspired them. I firstly want to thank anyone who reached out to me as it always make my day hearing from my readers.
This post again is a personal and honest one and it touches the issue calorie counting, something I know some of my readers and I’m sure a lot of people feel confused about. I was confused, I am confused, we will forever be confused in my eyes hehe. But again my approach, as always comes down to moderation, balance and a healthy happy mind!
I’ve gone through stages of counting every single calorie I consume, to vaguely trying to figure out numbers in my head to then not giving a crap. Now, I know a lot of people and me included to a certain extent would say counting calories is extreme, restrictive and not necessary and to be honest it is pretty hell. Trying to work out how many calories is in your homemade salad down do the drizzle of balsamic glaze is rather stressful to say the least but I’ve been there. I’ve weighted nuts! Even after knowing that a small handful is roughly around 25g, you still have to bloody go and weight them every single day! Boring and NOT healthy for the mind in my eyes.
When I went through stages of calorie counting it was not very fun, did not promote my wellbeing and left me feeling stressed to say the least BUT I was in control. And this need for control is the underlying issue which then perhaps becomes the fear of not knowing, hense the weighing of those bloody nuts…..
It’s all a bit silly really and I’m so much happier now I’m in a place where I don’t need to have this much control. Although I do understand nutrition and foods a lot more than I did. At dance school, I was forever counting calories but it was all low fat, low calorie and probably highly processed foods. When you are so hung up on calories, it’s hard to know if you are getting all the nutrients you need because it’s just all about those numbers.
However, the battle comes when you can sway too far the other way. What happens when you embark on a “clean” diet stop worrying about calories but then put on weight? Now I am not a nutritional therapist (yet) but lots of studies show that not all calories are equal and therefore counting calories is pointless. And to a point I agree, we should be more concerned about what foods we are putting in however I recently read a very interesting article which isn’t really relative to me considering this guys goals were body building but it did make me think.
Basically this guy started eating a “clean diet” not counting calories but pretty much eating as much as he liked. Tons of fruit, nuts, fatty meats, more fruit, more nuts. And of course the amount of calories he was consuming no matter how healthy his diet made him put on weight, a lot of weight.
It comes down to your goal. If you are someone who isn’t a healthy weight yet but needs to lose a little to get there, I think it is important to have some understanding of how many calories your consuming. Research shows most adults eat and drink more than they need.
The main question is do you feel good. For me, who’s goal is maintain a healthy weight and who is a recovered “restrictive eater”, counting calories isn’t healthy. It adds stress, stress makes you sick, sick isn’t healthy, can you see the irony. However, I will always need some kind of control and I like to be aware of what goes in my body. Therefore, my approach now is food journaling. Rather than counting and adding up, I simply write down what I eat. I can then see the words on a page and know if it’s too much, too little and whether I perhaps haven’t eaten enough protein or good fats or greens.
Find what works for you at this stage in your life. What are your goals, what are you trying to achieve ultimately and that should help you determine what the best way to approach calories is for you.
As always I love to hear from you.
Love, Lottie x
Photo: POPSUGAR fitness