Why I don’t count calories…

Ok, this is probably a controversial topic but something I’ve learned over my few years of being a dietitian is everyone has an opinion about something. One person may believe one thing while the other believes another, and that goes for dietitians too. This post is more based off personal opinion and experience. If you feel otherwise, that’s ok! I just wanted to share my perspective.

First….

I know I haven’t posted in a while. LIFE HAPPENS! Jeff and I have been through a whirlwind of a year with adding a furry member to our family, deciding to build our first house together, me finishing up grad school, and me changing jobs. Life can get hectic and while it’s all good things, stress still creeps in whenever it can.

Honestly, I just wasn’t feeling the whole “blogging” thing for a while. Posting was adding more stress than enjoyment to my life, and that is a big enough reason for me step back and take a break for a while. That being said, life goes on, things started to settle down, and here I am again!

Now, for the important stuff…or I guess the stuff I find important.

So why don’t I count calories? I actually use to be a big supporter of counting calories. I’ve used apps such as myfitnesspal to track my foods and keep a total of the calories I would eat in one day in comparison to what I burned through exercise and daily activity. While I think these apps definitely have a place, I don’t think they are necessary for everyone.

We now live in a country that is fixated on eating “less”. Making things with “less sugar” or cutting out fat for “low-fat products”. The dieting and diet food industry is booming with the latest shakes, fat-burners, cleanses (don’t even get me started on that….), and everything else under the sun that give you less sugar, fat, carbs, dairy, gluten, etc. You name it, there’s a product for it. Many people now feel that less calories, less sugar, less of all the things that have comprised foods for years will lead to a healthy body weight and in return — happiness.

I’m not so sure about this.

I can’t remember the last time I wrote down or recorded in my phone how many calories I ate in one day. For me, if I count minimal ingredients and can recognize most if not all of them, this is a good food choice for my body. When I eat bread, although thats not often, I look for one with ingredients I recognize and know are needed to make a delicious and wholesome loaf of bread. Do I care if the slice has 60, 100, or 150 calories, not really? I’ve written previously how I use to use “diet” peanut butter, egg whites, and other low-fat products such as cheeses and yogurt. I have now traded these products for whole eggs, full fat peanut butter, and a variety of yogurts (some made with whole milk, other not) that are satisfying, tasty, and get this —- FILLING. Who would have thought?

The crazy thing is, even thought I use to be an avid calorie counter, my body hasn’t really changed much. If anything, I think I look healthier and feel more at ease not having to constantly look at every loaf of bread to find a calorie count that I liked.

This brings me to the other main reason I don’t count calories. I think it can become meticulous and obsessive. I never want to be stressed out because I can’t find a food I ate in the app I’m using or be distant in a conversation because I want to enter my meal before I forget. Again, do I think calorie counting or using these apps has a place in some situations for some people, yes I do. It’s just not for me and not something I find vital to living a healthy and happy life.

Thanks for reading!

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