Many men and women who are trying to lose weight often fall into the trap of counting their calories. If you’ve used an online daily calorie intake calculator to know how many calories you need daily, or if you’ve visited your, nutritionist, before, then you know exactly what we are talking about.
If not, then rest assured as counting calories simply means knowing how many calories your body should be limited to per day to lose weight. Some people claim to find this helpful as they can then label their foods based on how much calories it has and thereby “control” their calorie intake.
This may work for the first few days or weeks, but if you’re not a nutritionist, dietician, or professional athlete, then counting how many calories you have per meal each day is going to be taxing. It can also be a source of a bad relationship with food in general as you see food as a threat that must be counted before you let them in.
So again, why shouldn’t you count calories? Here are some top reasons why:
Look, your body isn’t some AI algorithm that you have to manually input data into. When you count every single calorie that goes in, and there comes a day you accidentally overshoot your daily calorie limit, you’ll feel sad and disappointed in yourself not believing your body can take care of itself.
If all you’re ever going to think about is the number of calories there is in every single dish, then how are you ever going to enjoy eating?
Thoughts such as, “Hmm that looks delicious, but with that number of calories, you better not have dinner tonight!” sound absurd, but it is true for some people.
Not to mention, the times they can’t eat together with friends as they limit themselves every meal!
As we’ve mentioned before, if you aren’t a professional bodybuilder, athlete, or model, you don’t have to be overly strict on yourself by counting calories every meal!
You and I aren’t like those Instagram models you come across every day on your news feed (who may edit themselves to look more fit anyway). We don’t have to look like a runway model every time we go to the office or when we hang out with friends.
As such, counting calories may be fun at first but after some point, it may start becoming mentally taxing on your part as you constantly have to run the numbers every time you eat. This causes burnout sooner than later and derails you from your diet goals!
This should already be obvious at this point but micromanaging every single grain that goes into your body is a perfect precursor of perfectionism! Remember that you don’t need to have an impeccable diet to lose weight especially if you exercise regularly and have a healthy environment.
Anxiety and fear can derail even the most dedicated of all of us. Doing the same task with fear crawling up on your nerves is definitely up to a hundred times more difficult!
Imagine walking on a sidewalk in your neighborhood. Easy, right? Now imagine walking in the same alley when it’s a night out and there have been numerous police reports in your area. It’s not easy now, isn’t it?
The same thing happens when we let counting calories give us anxiety and fear. Hence, we need to focus on the task at hand and not allow ourselves to be burdened by fear anymore! This only causes us to be derailed from our original goals.
So now you know what counting calories causes you to have, so now how can you avoid it? Well, here are some of the common mistakes that we see in people wanting to lose weight:
“It keeps me in control”
“Counting calories keeps me in control!” This is a popular line of thinking we see in many people, but you don’t have to be constantly counting calories in order to maintain control in your weight loss journey!
Remember that diet is a huge part, but it isn’t everything. So, you don’t have to be so hard on yourself and destroy your self-confidence especially about impulse control.
“This is the only way I can lose weight!”
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Losing weight is not solely dependent on how many calories you limit yourself to.
Imagine limiting yourself to 1500 calories per day, but not exercising on top of it. You won’t lose weight because you’ll only be frustrated and starved.
Strictly limiting ourselves only fuels our desire to rebel against our own rules and this leads us to rebound and have a yo-yo diet. This destroys our confidence and motivation when it comes to weight loss.
“I’ll focus on food and be disciplined…definitely”
As we have established already, obsessing over what we eat every day is only going to be detrimental to both our physical and mental health.
What’s more, is difficult to keep up. Thoughts such as “I’ll do it again tomorrow!”, “I’ll definitely stick to my plans next week!” and many others lead us to procrastinate over our diet plans.
This destroys our confidence bit by bit as we keep thinking to ourselves that we will always fail when it comes to disciplining ourselves.
While we know the science and physical aspects of weight loss, it’s also important to check our emotional states as we wouldn’t want ourselves to stress-eat and binge eat while we are emotional, right?
Remember that having a consistent, and sustainable diet for the long run is a lot better than caging yourself in some rigid diet plan especially if it ruins your mental health. If you want more solutions that actually work when it comes to your health and fitness, then we can definitely help you.