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Why Counting Calories Doesn't Work


Why Counting Calories Doesn't Work


One of the most common methods people use to try and lose weight is counting calories. Counting calories can seem like a simple way to keep track of how much you're eating, and in theory, it should help you lose weight. But in practice, counting calories often doesn't work.

At a basic level, the need for weight reduction, or fat loss, is defined as a calorie deficit. That is to say that the number of calories consumed via food and drink must be less than the number of calories burned through resting (metabolic rate) and non-rested energy expenditure (movement, activity, and exercise).

Reducing your calorie intake vs. Calorie out has been a well-known weight reduction technique for decades. And on its face, it appears to be sound. But many studies reveal what irritated dieters have known for ages: it's not that simple.


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What Are Calories?


Calories are a measure of energy. Your body needs the energy to do everything from breathing to running a marathon. Calories come from the food you eat, and when you eat more calories than your body needs, you gain weight.

The number of calories you need each day varies depending on your age, sex, and activity level. You can use an online calculator to estimate how many calories you need per day.

Your body breaks down the food you eat into glucose and uses it for energy. If you eat more calories than your body needs, it stores the excess glucose as fat. So, even if you're eating foods that are low in calories, but you're eating more than your body needs, you'll still gain weight.


Counting Calories Doesn't Work.


Despite what many people believe, counting calories doesn't always result in weight loss. In fact, research shows that people who count calories are actually more likely to gain weight than those who don't.

There are several reasons why counting calories doesn't work:

  • People often make mistakes when calculating how many calories they need and end up eating more than they intended.

  • It's difficult to accurately track the number of calories in the foods you eat.

  • The type of food you eat matters more than the number of calories. For example, eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables is more important than counting calories.

  • People who count calories often become obsessed with food and their weight, leading to unhealthy eating habits.


Gut Microbiome


Another reason counting calories doesn't work is because your gut microbiome affects how many calories your body absorbs from food. The gut microbiome is the community of bacteria that live in your intestines. research shows that the gut microbiome can play a role in weight loss and obesity.

So, even if you're eating the same number of calories as before, you may not be losing weight because your gut microbiome has changed.


Role Of Metabolism


Your metabolism also plays a role in how many calories your body burns. Your metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories. It's determined partly by genetics and partly by how active you are.


Not Possible To Count Calories Daily


Another reason counting calories doesn't work is because it's difficult to track the number of calories in the foods you eat. It's impractical to weigh and measure every food you eat. And, even if you could accurately track the number of calories in your diet, it would be a lot of work. You would need to eat Less than 1,500 calories a day to lose weight.


Most women need between 1,200 and 1,500 calories per day to maintain their weight. So, if you're trying to lose weight, you'd need to eat fewer than 1,500 calories per day. This can be difficult to achieve and lead to unhealthy eating habits.


Neglects the Nutritional Value Of Food


Counting calories also neglect the nutritional value of food. Not all calories are created equal. For example, 100 calories of sugar are not the same as 100 calories of protein. Counting calories doesn't take into account the nutrients your body needs to be healthy.


Calorie Counting May Cause Disorderly Eating Behavior


Counting calories can lead to disordered eating behavior. When people are constantly focused on the number of calories they're consuming, they may start to obsess over food and their weight. This can lead to unhealthy eating habits and an unhealthy relationship with food.


Self-Neglect Can Be a Risky Business


When you're constantly focused on counting calories, you may neglect other important aspects of your health. Counting calories can lead to an unhealthy obsession with weight and food. This can cause you to ignore warning signs that something is wrong and lead to serious health problems.

So, while counting calories may seem like a simple way to lose weight, it's not always effective.


If Counting Calories Doesn't Work, What Does?


The best way to lose weight is to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. It's important to find a way of eating that you can stick with for the long term. Diets that involve restrictive rules or calorie counting are difficult to follow and often lead to weight gain.

Instead, focus on including healthy foods in your diet and avoiding processed foods. And make sure you're getting enough exercise – aim for at least 30 minutes per day. When it comes to weight loss, there's no one-size-fits-all solution, so find what works for you and stick with it.


How To Lose Weight Without Counting Calories


If you're not interested in counting calories, there are several other ways to lose weight:

  • Try the paleo diet. The paleo diet is a way of eating that emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods.

  • Follow a low-carbohydrate diet. A low-carbohydrate diet is a way of eating that limits the number of carbohydrates you eat.

  • Try the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that can help you lose weight.

  • Find a healthy way of eating that you can stick with for the long term. There's no one perfect way to lose weight, so find an approach that works for you and stick with it.

  • Exercise regularly. Exercise is an important part of weight loss, and it's important to find a type of exercise that you enjoy.

There's no right way to lose weight – find what works for you and stick with it!


What Should Be Present In Your Diet To Lose Weight


There are a few things that should be present in your diet if you're trying to lose weight:

  • Lean protein: Lean protein is an important part of a healthy diet. It can help you lose weight and maintain muscle mass.

  • Healthy fats: Healthy fats are an important part of a healthy diet. They help you feel full and keep your body functioning properly.

  • Vegetables: Vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. They provide essential nutrients and fiber.

  • Fruits: Fruits are an important part of a healthy diet. They provide essential nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants.

  • Whole grains: Whole grains are an important part of a healthy diet. They provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

  • Water: Water is an important part of a healthy diet. It helps you feel full and provides essential nutrients and minerals.

Including these foods in your diet can help you lose weight and stay healthy.


Final Thoughts


There are a few reasons why counting calories doesn't work. First, people often inaccurately estimate how many calories they're eating. It's easy to underestimate the number of calories in a slice of pizza or a bag of chips, especially if you're not used to counting them. Second, people often make unhealthy food choices when trying to lose weight. They might choose low-calorie, but nutritionally-empty foods, such as diet soda or processed snacks.


Finally, counting calories can be time-consuming and difficult to follow. It's often hard to track the number of calories in all the food you eat in a day. And it's easy to fall off track if you're not careful.

There are better ways to lose weight than counting calories. A healthy diet and regular exercise are the best way to lose weight and stay healthy. Find an approach that works for you, and stick with it!

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References:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28765272/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29173869/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33719022/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25540982/