Can you eat something if you count calories

6 reasons why you shouldn't count calories

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During my big diet, I counted calories every day. Very accurate at times. I could tell me counting calories helped her lose weight, I finally lost 60 kilograms. But I don't believe in that myself. During that time I simply starved and renounced everything that was even in the Suspicion stood to be bad for me. The fact that I consumed fewer calories was a corollary of this lifestyle, but it wasn't root cause!

Still, counting wouldn't let me go for a long time. Years later, I still roughly calculated the number of calories in my head. I believed that I always had to control my energy intake. Like I can't trust myself. I didn't feel good about it and it didn't help, because I slowly but surely gained weight again - despite my calorie budget theoretically was fine.

Only now do I know that I could have saved myself counting calories. It brings nothing but drives us crazy. This is not just a gut feeling, there are good reasons why no one should be counting calories. The real leverage in nutrition lies entirely differently. Here are six arguments against counting calories when trying to lose weight:

1. Calories are not nutrients

It is a Thing to meet our energy needs. But it's a whole other Thing to get full while doing it. Because calories are not nutrients. Mathematically, we can absorb the right amount of energy, but still remain hungry because our food contains too few nutrients.

This applies above all to foods that contain sugar and / or grains and industrially processed products. Eat a frozen pizza, a chocolate bar and drink a bottle of cola, and your energy needs are covered for the entire day. But that doesn't keep you full for 24 hours, because you've consumed so-called “empty calories”. In order not to gain weight, you would have to starve for the rest of the day. But who should hold out in the long run?Such a diet is doomed to fail.

The art is to meet our daily energy needs and to get full in the process. Then there is no need to count calories. I pay attention today real food to eat. I need a lot less of them because they really fill me up. I largely avoid industrially processed products, sweets and sugary drinks. If I also reduce my consumption of bread, pasta & Co., I can eat as much of everything else as I wantwithout counting just one calorie.

2. Not every calorie is burned the same

Not every calorie is processed in the same way by our body. Energy from easily digestible carbohydrates (e.g. sugar and white bread) causes blood sugar levels to skyrocket. As a result, the body produces a lot of insulin, which transports the energy into the cells. However, our muscles and organs cannot cope with the onslaught. Everything that they cannot absorb so quickly therefore goes into the fat cells. Short: The more blood sugar, the more insulin, the more fat is stored.

Real foods, on the other hand, (e.g. vegetables, nuts) only cause blood sugar levels to rise slowly. This means that less insulin is released. Our muscles and organs can process the energy better because they have more time for it. The calories from the healthiest foods are used by the body as we want it to be when we lose weight.

So what use is calorie counting if the a Calorie is burned by the muscles, while the other ends up in our fat cells?This turns counting on its head, because what is really important cannot be expressed in numbers. I will go into these first two arguments in more detail in this article: Quality instead of quantity - why this also applies to calories.

3. We clearly miscalculate

Nobody knows how many calories they actually eat. Brian Wansink describes in his book Eating without meaning or understanding the many studies that he himself has carried out over the past few decades are very vivid. Accordingly, people underestimate always the calories consumed. No matter, What they eat.

That's because our energy intake is from is influenced by numerous factors that we are not even aware of. Eat the people around us a lot, eat too we much. Is the meal on one huge Plate, let's eat one as a matter of course bigger Portion. Let's snack straight from the chips bag, let's eat more Crisps. None of this has anything to do with whether we are hungry or not. There are just too many other reasons why we eat (more). Ultimately, none of us can say whether we ate 200 calories more or less today than yesterday. In any case, we don't feel it when we feel hungry.

Roughly estimating calories is therefore of no use. We're guaranteed to be wrong. To be on the safe side, we would have to calculate more precisely. That means reading on the packaging. However, packaging with calorie and nutritional information is a good indicator that the food is processed, which is not good for you anyway and does not fill you up as well as real food. That said, if you count the calories in your food by reading the number on a package, you are already doing something wrong in your diet.

We can only approximate the calorie content of fresh food from calorie tables. If we want to do this the right way, it will be very laborious. Would you like to look out the table before every meal and weigh each apple? It doesn't just degenerate into stress, it also ensures that we are far too preoccupied with the subject. Our whole life then revolves around food and we just will still hungrier. If you want to invest time in your diet, it's better to learn more about real foods and use them in cooking. We are happy to help you with our recipes.

By the way: Many people count not only the calories from their food, but also the calories they think they burn from exercise. But it is even more difficult to be right. From my own experience, I know that we significantly overestimate the calories burned during exercise. Jasmin wrote a detailed article on this: Why burning fat is not so important during exercise.

4. Not everyone is the same

General calorie recommendations suggest that everyone would be the same. A daily requirement of 2,000 calories is often assumed on packaging. This is considered a clue - however, as one that can be misleading.

My personal energy needs should be far over 2,000 calories, while a petite older woman who barely moves will get by on 1,500 calories. Even overweight people who are permanently on a diet, often have a low energy requirement. The body's basal metabolic rate decreases with every diet. After a while it is so low that you can see it in spite of it normal Diet continues to increase.

In addition, our energy requirements depend crucially on the food that we put into our body. As you already know, calories are requested in different ways. If I only consume healthy foods that are used by the muscles and organs, my energy requirements are lower than when I eat “empty calories”, a large part of which ends up in the fat deposits.

Even if we use a calorie calculator, each one comes out differently. Some do their calculations based on superficial information (gender, age, height, weight). Others go a little deeper, but are based on subjective Information on our part (like this TK daily requirement calculator). No calorie calculator takes the quality of our food into account!

All recommendations and all calculators have one thing in common: you will be never determine my actual calorie needs.My Body burns energy very differently than yours - This is due to our different diets, daily exercise, our muscles, our sleep and many other factors.

5. Renunciation is not sustainable

Counting every calorie means giving up. We do without energy that our body would like to have. By doing without, we always produce the opposite of what we want to achieve. Now think about it please Not of a chocolate bar. Think Not of a nice Snickers made from chocolate, caramel and peanuts. You shall Not remember, I said! But of course you have this chocolate bar in mind.

Renunciation creates desire. If we think all day long about what we are not allowed to do in order not to overload our calorie budget, we just want to more eat. This form of self-control can work when you are motivated and mentally well. But after a while the willpower wears off. Then you will likely relapse and the whole fight was in vain. Weight loss diets just don't work in the long run. It's been known for a long time, and yet almost everyone tries it this way.

6. Counting calories is not a substitute for healthy habits

For me, counting calories has the aftertaste that we can do what we want as long as we limit the calorie intake. But that's nonsense.

As you have already seen from the first five reasons, the problems lie elsewhere. Instead of running out of calories, we should Establish healthy habits in our everyday life. Prepare fresh food instead of warming up ready meals, eat more carefully instead of devouring large portions, snack less and move more. For me it was just five small changes with a big impact.

Counting calories is not a solution. It's just one uglierSide effect one unhealthy Way of lifethat we will always be dissatisfied with. The task is to integrate healthy habits into our everyday life. Then we don't need to count anything anymore. But since this is easy to say and difficult to implement, we have comprehensively prepared all the information in one book.

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Would you like to lose weight in a healthy way, but are you afraid of starvation and counting calories? In our free eBook “A pound of motivation, please!” We dispel the common diet myths and show you how sustainable weight loss really works.

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