Is it me or has the world gone calorie counting obsessed? Counting calories is one of my biggest pet hates and something I wish everyone would stop doing. Wherever we look we are faced with calories; from TV programmes to going out to dinner, to wearing a watch on our wrists counting every calorie we burn to calorie tracking apps. When we go out for a nice meal it is a treat, a place to socialise, be happy and enjoy ourselves. Why is it that when looking through the menu we have to be faced with the caloric value of our food? The thing is: would you rather eat a whole foods salad with raw veggies, healthy fats, complex carbs and whole lots of vitamins and minerals which contains 750 calories (for example) OR eat a Burger and Chips for 700 calories but contains saturated fats, high cholesterol and very little nutritional benefit at all? The problem is that instead of eating nutritious food and enjoying it we are so obsessed with the number of calories we are eating that we don’t enjoy the food any more and our focus is on how much we will eat and when we should stop. The thing is, when we forget calories and eat whole nutritious foods we can eat until we are full, stay full and nourished until our next meal AND enjoy ourselves with no guilt at all! When we calorie restrict, we don’t eat until we are full, we eat until we have reached the caloric value we desire, get hungry again soon after and then pig out later on unhealthy accessible foods to feed ourselves up and more than likely until we are so over full we feel sick. This isn’t healthy and it is not a fun way to live.
I understand that people feel the need to count calories to lose weight but it isn’t maintainable. We should be counting the nutritional value and benefits of foods and focus on this. Eating whole foods with tons of vitamins and minerals means we can eat until we are full and have no need to restrict, no need to pig out soon after and can eat without any guilt at all. Yes, we all get cravings, I am one for this absolutely. I have one of the greatest sweet tooth’s on the planet and if you are a female then I know that there is one time of the month in particular when your hormones are out of control and all we want to eat is sweet foods! But all junk food out there has a healthy alternative and can be made a healthier option. For example: want chocolate? Opt for a high cocoa dark chocolate option. Try dates with nut butter. Raw vegan brownies. Raw vegan cheesecake. Make some icecream with frozen bananas, dates and raw cacao. We all have times when we over indulge and thats not be felt guilty about; it is normal (Binge eating and over indulgence are two very different things!) How we chose to indulge is our choice of options and what we eat. If you chose a packet of chocolate digestives and know that you’re going to eat the entire packet and feel guilty about it, don’t do it. You’re much better eating an entire jar of almond butter and dates for example, feel full and satisfied but without the guilt, and at least you’re body isn’t going to hate you for it.
My point is: don’t be consumed by calories and focus on the nutrition of food instead. When we all switch our focus to nutrition that is when we will all begin to strive and live the healthiest version of ourselves. There will be times when we over indulge because that is normal but dieting and binge eating will be no more. Eat fruit and vegetables in abundance, carb up on complex carbohydrates and stay hydrated. When we change to this way of eating then exercise will be enjoyed for the health benefits, not the calories burnt, eating out will be enjoyed for the company and food, not the fear of calories and weight gain and life will become a whole lot less stressful. Experience what it’s like to be confident in yourself as you know that what you are eating is allowing you to thrive in life and not leave you feeling unhappy, under nourished and dissatisfied.
Stay healthy and happy everyone,