The trouble with counting calories

by | Well Balanced Wisdom

Calories, calories, calories. So important, yet so frustrating. We know eating more calories than we burn will cause weight gain, right? So, why don’t we all just track our calories daily and everyone will be at a healthy, happy weight? Simple! America’s weight problems SOLVED!

You and I know it’s not that simple. If this method worked, Lucy and I would need to start looking for another job.

Calories aren’t everything. Eating a low-calorie diet does not equate to eating healthy. If you are on the twinkie diet, a fast food diet or possibly a fad diet, you may be malnourished. Plus your body reacts differently to a 100 calorie cookie compared to 100 calories of fruits or vegetables.  Processed foods can signal your body to store fat, while whole and natural foods can help you burn fat AND feel more satisfied.

At some point in your well-balanced journey, you might wonder how many calories you need and seek guidance getting there. You may find it helpful to keep track of your calorie intake for a few days. Monitoring how many calories we eat can help us maintain or lose weight in the short term, it can waste valuable time and energy in the long term.

Recently, two of my clients came to realize this truth. For a few days, calorie counting was a great opportunity to see part of the puzzle.  It was a good experiment. But it was only a small part of their puzzle and it had its downfalls. They were finding themselves thinking about food all the time, obsessing over the calorie counts, and feeling anxiety about it all day long. That’s no way to live.

We can help you figure out how many calories you need but more importantly we help you figure out how to eat well balanced without being a slave to daily calorie counting.


Rather than focusing time and energy on counting calories, take a step back and look at the whole picture. Spend more time and energy on preparing home-made food,  slowly enjoying your food, balancing your plate and filling it with mostly natural or plant-based foods, taking care of yourself and managing your stress.

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