Updated: Jun 2, 2020
Let’s try keep it simple - Calories are NOT BAD!!
Tell me? How can a measure of energy be a bad thing? This makes no sense to me. People, society and the terrible diet culture we live in today deem calories to be negative - ‘Don’t mention calories...’ ‘ We don’t talk about calories...’ ‘Don’t count your calories...’ – STOP THAT NONSENSE
The definition of calories is the following; a calorie is a measure of energy expenditure and stored energy.
If you have a history of an eating disorder then obviously counting calories in your situation may not be mentally healthy, and then you should probably not count calories. Just like an alcoholic shouldn’t hang out at a bar. It’s our individual responsibility to seek help and take action where needs be. If you find monitoring your calories effecting you in a negative way and allowing you to form a negative relationship with food then this means that there are signs of an ED and I highly recommend help from a Nutrition coach/nutritionist/dietitian/doctor that will help you get to a place where you are healed.
But for people who do not have an ED it is important to know what your body needs in the form of calories in order for your body to optimally function as a human being. Today we live in a world where we are educated and aware and need to take control of our health.
We are all incredibly unique individuals, with different genes, lifestyles, goals and we each expend different amounts of energy each day. Surely it’s obvious that if you want to feel and look your best knowing and monitoring your calorie (energy) intake is important? Not only does consuming the correct amount of food /energy/calories each day help you both physically and mentally. By no means should it be something you obsess over or become obsessed with but if your health is your priority, then knowing what your body needs in order for you to be able to be your best self - both physically and mentally - you should monitor your calorie intake in a healthy mindful way .
A large portion of people in the world are either overeating or undereating. There is a small percentage of people who are eating what’s actually adequate for them and their specific lifestyle & most probably those people are monitoring and being intentional about their calorie intake.
It frustrates me so much how people are giving the term calorie counting a negative name. Its science, its logic and it’s an important factor in being intentional about your holistic health.
Maybe let me clarify things a bit here:
So I prefer to say calorie monitoring and what I mean by this is:
Firstly knowing what your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is. BMR is an estimate of how many calories you would burn if you were to do nothing but rest for 24 hours. It represents the minimum amount of energy needed to keep your body functioning, including breathing and keeping your heart beating etc.
Secondly it’s good to know the number of calories you need in order to maintain, gain or lose weight.
With knowing the 2 above things you are now in a place where you can consume the perfect amount of food for your personal goals and most importantly for your optimal health.
Okay but now with saying all of the above. It is your responsibility to take control of what you are consuming. Be mindful of what foods you are consuming in order to reach your personal goals with keeping to the amount of calories your body specifically needs.
Yes you can eat a burger and large fries with a double thick chocolate milkshake everyday (bear in mind the amount of calories in that would most likely be your entire days’ worth of eating or even over) but that is then not prioritising your health is it? As we all know - I don’t need to explain it to you - but that is obviously not a good way to take care of yourself! You need to make sure your diet is packed full of foods that are nutrient dense. Eat lots of plants, healthy grains, legumes, fruits, lean proteins etc. Cut down on processed, sugary, salty, fried foods. I said CUT DOWN not CUT OUT because they taste delicious and sometimes you just need to sink your teeth into that custard filled donut, am I right or am I right?? Just remember that having moderation within your way of eating will not effect your health because ideally you are consuming all the macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients your body needs.
So I recommend you take charge of your health, be intentional about what you are consuming, know what your body needs in order for you to be the best most healthiest self you can be!
Please contact me if you feel like you need help in the above area and we can work together in creating a well-rounded healthy eating plan specifically designed for you.