Do you obsess over your calorie intake? Do you daily use a calorie counter app? Are you addicted to fitness and calorie trackers? Measuring, scaling, counting and timing your food is an easy way to drive yourself insane. Trusting a food calorie counter app or a piece of device that you wear on your arm is in my opinion not only silly but also dangerous. I get it though. I was once in your shoes. In fact, I used to enter more calories than I actually ate, just to “play it safe.” Let’s say I’d eat half of a small avocado, I’d instead enter half of a medium avocado, because in my head, I’d rather be safe and starving than full and satisfied. Do you or have you ever struggled with that as well?
“I obsess over my calorie intake”
I know how easy it can be to get addicted to counting calories and using fitness and calorie intake trackers. What happened to just eating whatever and whenever we wanted? What happened to our senses of just eating when we’re hungry, craving something, for fuel, for nourishment and for joy? The short answer to that is simple. All day everyday we are taught by the media to eat a certain way, look a certain, be a certain way, basically be and do everything that’s not US! We’re also taught the whole idea of calories in calories out. That more food means more weight. That we should fear certain foods. We forget who we truly are. We forget to have the connection with our heart and body. We forget to listen to our bodies, and force it to eat and do things it’s not meant to do. We begin to trust a food app to determine our hunger and how much we should eat, over our own bodies! It’s kind of like saying that the app is smarter than your own body! Isn’t that ridiculous?
In reality there’s no science smarter than your body. Our ancestors were never told what to eat or how much to eat. Animals for that matter don’t think to themselves “hmm, what should I eat today and how much?” They just sniff the food and use their instinct to determine wether they want to eat that food or not. Isn’t that how humans should be also? I mean you don’t let anyone tell you what hobbies you should have, what kinds of music you should listen to, how to raise your children and so on. So why let others tell you what and how much to eat?!
If you’ve been counting your calorie intake for awhile, I know how scary it can be to stop using an app to tell you your calorie allotment. But think about what’s more important to you. Being driven crazy by an app or becoming sane and trust your own body to let you know what you need. Do you want a number on a scale or your app determine your self worth? Let go of the idea that as soon as you stop counting calories, you’ll gain weight, you’ll lose control, you’ll get out of shape. People tend to complicate things so much more than they actually are. It’s really simple to know what and how much you should eat. Focus on eating real whole foods, don’t be afraid to eat till you’re full, don’t be afraid to be kind to your body and feed it what it needs. Once you treat your body right and develop a good relationship with it on the inside you’ll start to glow on the outside.
UNDERSTAND that calories in, calories out just doesn’t work for every single one of us and here’s why;
The truth is the whole, calories-in, calories-out thing isn’t exactly great for our bodies. When you do the math it makes sense on paper, but it doesn’t make sense for our bodies. I know a woman who used to eat the cleanest diet and track every calorie, exercised every single day but she still held on to some belly fat. As soon as she reduced the time and intensity of her workouts, she finally shed that little extra fat she could never get rid of. You know why? Without getting too scientific about this I just want to briefly explain something to you, that’ll open your eyes.
The Autonomic Nervous System has two branches. Sympathetic Nervous System (fight/flight mode, red zone) and Parasympathetic Nervous System, which is responsible for digestion, repair, rest reproductive system. When we’re in the red zone (which most of are most of the time, stressing, deadlines, work, mile long to do list, too much exercise, too little eating), your body only uses/burns glucose for fuel and not FAT. It likes to hold on to fat, when it’s under a lot of stress to protect you. However, when we’re in the green zone our body uses fat as a source of fuel properly! So when she reduced her exercises, which caused so much stress on her body and lead her to be in the red zone almost all the time, she finally gave her body a chance to spend more time in the green zone, which resulted in her getting of the extra belly fat. That’s why calories in/out is NOT true for everyone!
I’d love to hear if you found this post helpful. If you need help with body image, ED, amenorrhea or other health struggles, feel free to email me and work with me.
I am a certified holistic health coach and I help clients find a healthy balance between food and exercise and other health concerns they struggle to achieve on their own. If you want a free 50 minute consultation with me, hit reply and we’ll chat!