For years, counting calories has been demonized as one of the worst nutrition habits. But at TDC we think otherwise for a number of reasons.
We totally agree that counting calories is not the be all and end all, and that calories are NOT created equal. 400 calories in a large bowl of salad will not have the same effect on your body as a 400 calorie burger from McDonalds. 500 calories of refined carbs or sugar won’t fill you up like 500 calories of protein and healthy fats will. But you already knew that, right?
The fact that calories aren’t all the same is something we all know and are aware of. However, that doesn’t mean we should stop counting calories altogether. Keeping an eye on your calorie intake while following general healthy eating guidelines will help to prevent overeating, make sure you are getting enough nutrition, and give you guidance on portion sizes.
The amount of calories you need per day depends on your sex, weight, height, activity levels, and health status. Once you have determined with the help of a nutritionist how many calories are right for YOU, you can then use this valuable information to make better food choices.
If you are constantly over consuming calories you will gain weight, even if your diet is filled with healthy foods. This is one of many situations where counting calories can be useful. I have frequently seen this issue in diet histories of clients who have a healthy diet on a whole, but are not losing weight and can’t seem to figure out why.
Furthermore, by casually counting your calories throughout a normal day you will be more aware of what you are eating. So many of us constantly put food in our mouths without really registering what we’re consuming, and we forget about the little snack we had minutes later. Calorie counting can help you to become more mindful about your food choices, and prevent unnecessary munching.
In conclusion we believe that calorie counting, regardless of its imperfections and shortcomings, can be a useful aid in helping you reach your goals and become healthier. Just always remember that a calorie value of food is just a number, and take it with a pinch of salt.