When you look at the numbers, calorie counting seems like it makes sense. You keep track of the amount of food you eat every day and worry about keeping the numbers low.
However, most of the time people who calorie-count to control their weight or to lose weight have more hurdles to overcome than they realize:
Hurdle #1: Calorie counting.
Calorie counting alone doesn’t take into account the types of foods you should be taking in or the timing of these nutrients. This is extremely important when it comes to changing the shape of your body.
You may be familiar with some popular diet programs that rely on just counting calories. Have you ever noticed the people who lose weight on these programs simply end up a smaller version of the shape they were in? They are not lean, toned, defined – they are simply a smaller version of their old self.
Hurdle #2: Types of calories.
The type of calories you ingest is vitally important. Eating junk food calories or calories high in sugar can make you tired, hungry and moody due to unstable blood sugar levels.
Therefore, you’ll be more inclined to overeat. Good nutritious foods such as lean proteins, some complex carbohydrates, fruit and good fats, and plenty of vegetables is what you should be focusing on. Choose unprocessed foods where possible – avoid boxes and packaged foods.
Hurdle #3: Calorie conservation.
If you are eating the same low calories day in day out, your body will become very efficient at conserving calories.
Your body reacts the same way it would if you were experiencing a real-life famine… your body reacts as if its very survival is in danger!
When your body’s metabolism slows you will then need to consume less and less calories just to maintain the same weight…..eating LESS will eventually result in weight gain……you know this is true because it has already happened to you.
One thing that can help is incorporating a free or ‘cheat’ meal – the additional load in calories when strategically planned can actually work to your advantage.
Hurdle #4: Training.
Those who train regularly need enough calories to sustain those training sessions and to facilitate recovery. Many people simply try to keep calories as low as possible, usually with disastrous results.
Hurdle #5: Misleading food labels.
Lately, there’s been a lot of media coverage about how many foods are deliberately mislabelled. There are more calories in them than you think.
Why is this important?
If your calorie counting is even one or two hundred calories off because of misleading food labels then you’ll gradually gain pounds – not lose them!
Hurdle #6: Overestimating calorie burning.
Unless you’re accurately tracking how many calories you’re really burning, chances are you’re consuming at least as much, if not more, than you’re burning. The result is weight gain.
Hurdle #7: Sinful foods.
We easily forget to count foods that ultimately put us over our daily calorie limit. It’s tough to keep track of everything. Maybe a bite of a brownie here, a sip of a coke there and a lick of the peanut butter jar are all neglected to be recorded as calories, however, a bit of a sip and a lick all add up over the course of a day and these add up to pounds over time.
Hurdle #8: Personal guilt.
If we happen to go over our calorie limit that we set for ourselves, we end up feeling guilty and ashamed.
Often, this is enough for many people to start an all-out binge fest. After all, you may as well make the most of your mistake right?
This is a sure way to start (or continue) yo-yo dieting which will ultimately damage your metabolism and make you fat and unhappy very quickly. Worse, yo-yo dieting will make it very difficult for you to maintain a healthy weight long term.
As you can see, the calorie counting approach to fat burning can be full of holes. It is vitally important to keep tabs on what you put in your body but by constantly counting calories you can actually end up hurting your results.
Now let me drop a bomb to end off this article……
So we have been talking calories, calories, calories right?
Counting all these calories is pretty pointless because the human body CANNOT count them.
The body has no muscle, fibre, organ, bone, enzyme that has a calorie counter built in……no part of the human body can actually count them…SO WHY ARE WE???
The body only RESPONDS ON A HORMONAL LEVEL to the kinds of foods we eat…NOT THE AMOUNTS!!!!
But this is a topic for another day!!!!