It is complicated and it stops you from listening to your body
If counting calories works for you (i.e. it helps you to maintain the weight you want to have) and you are committed to continue doing it long-term, by all means, count calories.
This actually applies to everything I recommend or not in this blog. If you are doing something different that works for you, it is healthy and feasible long-term, just keep doing that.
For those of you who count calories but are not seeing the result you want, I suggest you stop.
This is why.
False sense of scientific accuracy
Calories in – calories out = Weight
It looks scientific and accurate. It sort of make sense too.
Unfortunately, the real equation is not that simple. There are too many unknowns and factors that play a role that can’t be simplified this way.
Counting calories in: the information we plug in is either self-reported, often inaccurate, or taken from databases that are not necessarily accurate.
A similar problem occurs with the energy expenditure side or the equation.
I’m also sure Apps will improve, and they will become sufficiently reliable and accurate.
However, I would still not recommend counting calories.
Counting calories does not include the energy burnt from your own body
Even assuming we have an App that uses accurate enough data, the equation is missing an important part that cannot be calculated accurately because we do not really know how it works.
If you are losing weight (whatever method you use, in my programme we achieve this in the first month) your body is burning fat regularly and using it for energy. That’s why you are losing weight. The equation does not include this energy. This process varies significantly from person to person, and it is difficult to predict.
Most people tell me that the equation is not meant to be that exact. If that’s the case, why use it at all? Why not learning to rely on yourself?
You rely on an external system: complicated and it stops you from listening to your body
Why use something external when you can do it yourself by learning to understand your body?
Eating food is something we do daily. It is a basic body function. The simpler the better. Counting calories every time you eat is time consuming, complicated and most people are unlikely to keep it long term.
I did try using calories. Even before I knew the process I use (get in touch if you want learn more about it), I had decided counting calories was not working for me. I thought it was me. I thought I was the problem.
I lost 10kg without counting any calories, but I had struggled to lose a couple of kilos when I was counting calories!
And so do my clients.
Learning to listen and understand your body is much more useful and empowering. You on your own, without anything external can decide what and how much food your body needs.
People tell me that it’s just to learn how much you need to eat and then you stop counting calories. But you actually don’t learn to eat or listen to your body. And, that’s why weight cycling or yo-yo dieting are so common.
If you want to lose weight permanently, whatever you do to lose the weight is what you want to keep doing to maintain it.