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5 reasons why Calorie counting doesn’t work?

by craig upton

The web is full of calorie counting sites and there are dozens of apps competing for our attention so we can painstakingly log every food item we have eaten.   Whilst calorie counting is popular with many, research shows us that most diets don’t work; with 95% of dieters putting the same, or more, weight back on.   Most people who have dieted have done so more than once.

Here are 5 reasons why calorie counting doesn’t work:-

1) When we focus on something, it makes it significant.  So all the time we are calculating the calorific value of the things that should not be in our regular eating regime, such as chocolate, alcohol or unhealthy snacks – which were designed as occasional treats – we are magnifying our intention to eat them, often finding ways of including those foods in our daily intake – even if it breaks our daily calorie quota.   Counting calories doesn’t encourage you to make better food choices.   A great way shift your point of view about your weight, diet and what are ‘non-negotiable’ foods is to have a session of Access Bars, which is an energy medicine technique which acts like a ‘delete button’ on your thoughts, feelings and emotions freeing you to make different choices.

2)   A calorie is measured by scientists who put individual foods in a container in water and heat up the water in order to  burn away the food.  Wikipedia explains that ‘One kilocalorie is equal to the amount of heat that will raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius at sea level’.  The flaw in the science is that this ‘experiment’ in a lab assumes human bodies utilise food in a similar way and that everybody’s body performs equally.
In reality, our body recognises natural foods created in nature, such as raw fruits and vegetables, and efficiently and effortlessly utilises them as fuel in a beneficial and holistic way.  Processed, genetically modified, complex starches and fats and carbohydrates may not be recognised in their presented form, may need to be further broken down or will be eliminated via our lymphatic system or stored in fat to be expelled at a later date.   

Working with a Nutritional Therapist can help support you better understand your body and help you in transitioning to a healthier way of eating.

3). Not all calories are equal.  300 calories of chocolate, cheese or chicken have a very different physiological effect to 300 calories of broccoli, bananas or beans.  (For the reasons explained in 2).

4) When we focus on measuring the foods we like or crave in order to still be able to enjoy them but are required to reduce the quantity of food we eat it often leads to hunger, bingeing, disappointment or self loathing.   Instead when we identify lower calorie, higher nutrient foods which we can eat in far higher quantities, we realise we are not on a starvation or highly restricting eating regime and can have fun experimenting with the abundance of options that will influence a permanent change of lifestyle.

5). Focussing on calories is similar to checking our weight on the scales each day feeling elated when we drop a few pounds and despondent when we gain a few.  Naturally our body fluctuates with the time of the month, our age, the amount of exercise we are doing, the level of fluids we retain and the types of foods we eat.  Raw fruits digest between 1/2 an hour to 2 hours, raw vegetables up to 4 hours, starches a few days, fats and animal products a few weeks.  So the calorific value of food may be the same each day but the digestive process could be significantly different leading to weight variations.   When we drink alcohol or consume dairy, grains, fermented food and some spices, this can create bloating and stomach irritation as can inappropriate food combining.  

A Wellbeing Coach can help you evaluate your life and provide knowledge, tools, education and encouragement for you to change your relationship with food and evolve your health in a way that is achievable and realistic for you.

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