Calorie counting is like some bad 90s fashion item that insists on sticking around. Food isn’t about some magic number. Yes it’s a balancing act, but it shouldn’t be about number crunching. Rather than concentrate on the number of calories, think about the number of nutrients you’re putting into your body.
Food is a delicacy. It’s one of life’s greatest pleasures, and best when enjoyed. Don’t spend your days obsessing over being slim, or a number of the scale. Instead focus on eating well. Focus on providing your body the optimum amount of nutrients you can. Focus on being in the best shape your body was designed to be in.
Imagine identical twins. One has a Big Mac combo, the other its calorie equivalent in fruit, vegetables and whole grains. They eat that exact meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a month. Who do you think would be in better shape? Who would look healthier? Who would have more energy?
That’s why we simply can’t agree with the concept of calories counting. It’s not about a number, but the type of food you’re eating and the impact that has on your body.
Drop the number game, and take these basic concepts into consideration when eating.
You are what you eat. Aspire to be cheap processed junk? Eat whole foods that are nourishing. When trying to be at your bodies optimum weight this is perhaps they most important consideration. Skip the processed food as much as possible. Kiss fast foods goodbye except on rare occasions. Eat primarily a mix of fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains. These foods are full of not only nutrients but good fats and carbohydrates your body actually needs.
Imagine your dinner plate is divided into quarters. On one quarter sits your protein: be it fish, tofu, beans, cheese, plant protein or meat. On the second quarter sits your carbs: cue potato, sweet potato, rice or grains. On the other half should sit your vegetables. Eating a mix of raw or lightly steamed is ideal, and try get a variety of colours as they have different phytonutrients with different health benefits. If you take this general plate meal ratio into consideration when eating you’ll never have to count calories again.
Spend some time listen to your body. Be attuned with it and know when you're hungry. Figure out what suits your metabolism and lifestyle best. A big breakfast and lunch, and light dinner? Three meals a day with snacks? Six lighter meals throughout the day? It’s different for everyone. The main thing to be aware of is what works best for you. Get in rhythm with your own body and digestive system.
You know that satisfied feeling when you’re so full you want to lie down? That is a not the goal. The key to being at your bodies perfect weight is to stop eating before you are stuffed. Eat slowly, and until the feeling of hunger dissipates. Of course there are special occasions, and some days obviously call for dessert after dinner… But generally try to stick by this principal.
Food is a great reward. But try get out of the mentality of treating yourself with unhealthy items. If you’re feeling good about something you’ve done why reward yourself with an extra coffee or a snickers bar? Instead why not treat yourself to a freshly mixed smoothie or a punnet of ripe cherries?
The same goes for when you’re feeling blue. Don’t splurge on the junk food, all the sugars will actually make your mood dip lower. Instead why not grab something you know will boost mood? Like an E3Live shot, or raw chocolate. Never underestimate the power of placebo.
There you have it. Drop the numbers game, and instead embrace the who, what, when, how and why of eating. Turn into a lifestyle. You’ll enjoy your eating more, be less likely to binge, and hopefully find your own personal best you can maintain.