I’m quite a fan of blogs. I’m subscribed to so many that when I came back from vacation I had well over 500 that needed to be read and realized I should probably start to cut back. I’m a HUGE fan of healthy living blogs, I love to see how other healthy people adapt their lives around health as it helps me to develop my own life and gain different perspectives for my clients.
That being said, I’ve noticed an alarming trend that many healthy living bloggers are giving calorie counting a bad rap and I think it’s important to talk about it.
I completely understand where they are coming from when they plead that we consider the quality of our food over calorie counting. They’re trying to create more empowered women who care less about their weight and more about their overall health and the mental anguish women can get from focusing more on their weight than their health is something that needs to be addressed.
The problem lies in the fact that there ARE people out there who want to lose weight and if you are trying to lose weight, calorie counting is the single most effective way to do so. Not only does the research show it but I’ve personally tried calorie counting and just portion control and let me tell you that I was much more successful when I tracked my calories over than when I just tracked portions.
Calorie counting teaches us about proper portions and provides us with daily accountability and a goal to aim towards. You can eat all of your foods in the proper proportion but you can still eat so many calories in those portions that you wind up eating too many or you end up eating too little and your body goes into starvation mode. Knowing what proper portions look like AND the nutritional value of the foods you are eating will help your weight loss become more successful.
Yes I believe that it is the quality of the food you eat that is most important but for those people who are overweight and have never been taught about the quality of food or never learned what proper portions look like, it is extremely important to educate yourself on this.
Of course, obsessive calorie counting is an issue and this becomes an important issue if someone is suffering from an eating disorder such as anorexia where calorie counting is something they use to stay in control. In these circumstances, it’s not a good idea at all but for the millions of people out there who have the opposite problem, who are giving AWAY their control to food, it becomes vitally important.
You don’t need to count calories forever but when it comes to actual weight LOSS, it makes things so much easier, regardless of how tedious it may be.
I also think that, although these blogs mean well, it causes people who DO agree with calorie counting to hide away or defend themselves when they admit to doing it. It’s not a bad thing and it’s upsetting to think that these people, many of whom already suffer from self-esteem problems, are being made to feel inferior or unempowered simply because they find some benefit to it.
Knowing what I put into my system on a daily basis, by calorie counting, practicing portion control AND focusing on quality foods has not only empowered me to make healthy decisions in my life but it’s been instrumental in learning more about my body AND being successful in my weight loss.
So stand up, be proud, and count those calories if that’s what you want to do. Never defend yourself even for a moment!