I stopped caring much about calories a few years ago. Yes, it is true that balancing caloric intake with caloric output is ultimately what matters when it comes to maintaining a certain weight. However, there is much more to a calorie than it’s ability to change a number on the scale. Here are a few thoughts:
- 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories, 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories. What does this mean? If you choose nutrient-dense foods, they will likely be less in calories. If you choose fat-filled foods, they will have a higher caloric amount. No matter what kind of fat you eat, it will all have a lot of calories, therefore make your fat worthwhile so that it will have some redeeming value (think avocados and olive oil).
- Being active throughout your day will often burn just as many overall calories as sitting all day, then getting in a 30 minute workout. There are so many benefits to exercise OTHER than burning calories. Seeing exercise not only as a way to balance calories will make it more enjoyable.
- In years past, Americans were thinner. In years past, Americans didn’t count calories. Caring about calories DOES NOT equate with being healthy (or being thin).
- Don’t get me wrong, there is a right time and place to count calories. However, for the average person, it can lead to obsessive thoughts and let-downs. Reconsider if calorie-counting is right for you. The body has an amazing ability to regulate itself when it is well-taken care of.
- When I look at a food label, rarely do I pay attention to calories. I care more about what’s in my food–like, is it even really food at all? Will it nourish my body?