Calorie counting, Should you do it?
Whenever you hear about weight loss, the one word that always seems to be mentioned is ‘calories’. This can be a controversial subject, with many trainers/nutritionists believing in different things. To put it in blunt terms, calories are energy. Fat has the most calories per gram with 9, carbohydrates and proteins have 4. There are many different diets out there that monitor what you eat and drink in one way or another, but they all have one thing in common, measuring. For example, there are diets out there that stick to a certain calorie intake, meaning you have to add up everything you eat, which let’s be honest, is a bit annoying!
My personal view on calorie counting, is you don’t have to do it. I think the only times when calorie counting should be done, are when someone is morbidly obese, or if you want to get ‘cut’ (bodybuilders, extremely low body fat percentage). The reason for counting with those two scenarios are this. When someone is morbidly obese, they need to be eating below a certain amount of calories, in order to drop the weight (usually trying to get to a weight limit for surgery). With bodybuilding, they have such low body fat percentages, they HAVE to stick to a strict calorie intake. They need to make sure they get enough of healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein, and the only way to do that is to measure. By doing that, they can achieve the very low body fat percentage that they are after.
If the everyday person, who wants to lose weight, sticks to calorie counting, they will soon get annoyed, fed up and lose motivation. This is because it can become tedious; having to measure out everything they eat and drink. The people that turn to a healthy diet are most probably used to having takeaways, ready-meals, convenience food. So if they then have to go into a strict calorie counting diet, they will most likely think – ‘Ah this is too annoying, ill just go back to my old ways’. I believe if you eat healthy foods, smaller portion sizes, you don’t have to calorie count. This is because your typical healthy foods don’t have that many calories. A lot of fruit and veg are low calorie and near to no fat. Healthy proteins such as chicken and turkey are high protein and low-ish calories. When eating a diet packed with fruit, veg, lean meats, healthy fats, you don’t have to worry about calorie counting. It is extremely difficult to gain weight eating healthy foods. It can be done, but you have to eat so much that it is pretty darn unlikely!
So, to sum up, I don’t believe you have to calorie count unless you are morbidly obese or want to have a really low BFP. Eat healthy foods, smaller portion sizes, treats in moderation, lots of water, and you WILL lose weight.