Are you still counting calories but not seeing the desired results? Are you moody, lethargic, fatigued, headaches, cloudy or depressed.
It could be an underlying medical condition or it could be your diet.
There is a lot of confusion and incorrect information about counting calories and diets.
Even many of the well known weight loss programs are not great for your overall health (to put it lightly).
It is strongly believed that you store fat by eating too many calories and not getting enough exercise. That being true, just cut calories and exercise so that you burn more calories than you eat.
Unfortunately it is not that straightforward, simple and effective or more people would be successful in losing weight counting calories.
Even though calorie counting has been and is the foundation of the majority diet plans, is it really effective?
Counting Calories Pros
- First and foremost counting calories trains people in the habit of eating smaller portions. Example: In Japan, when they sit down to eat, they eat to 70 – 80% capacity of fulfillment, stop and wait before they eat more. They understand the delayed signal to reach the brain “I’m full“.
- Calorie counting generally works closely with calculated percentages of suggested protein, fat and carbs. Thus, educating you to a more balanced diet and training you in the habit of reading labels.
- Most calorie counting diets teach you how to keep a planning/eating journal. This is a excellent habit as it helps keep you on track and holds you accountable to yourself, trainer and/or peer(s).
- If done correctly, counting calories can help discover whether you are eating too much or too little. (Yes, you can gain weight from not eating enough)
Counting Calories Cons
- Pre – made or plan suggested meals are often seriously lacking in the vitamins and minerals necessary for the body to function optimally.
- Hunger pains. With the combination of small portions, added sugars to compensate for lower fat composition and the absence of essential nutrients all lead to snacking and failure.
- With the promise of fat loss comes the threat of muscle loss as well. When the body doesn’t get the essential vitamins, minerals and protien, it will start stealing them from muscle.
- Even if you do lose weight in the beginning your body adjusts to the lower calorie intake by entering into starvation mode.
This is why the large majority of calorie counters initially lose weight on a new diet and then plateau. To continue to lose weight you must cut calories further potentially causing metabolic syndrome and health problems.
Today this mainstay is the foundation for most weight loss diets. But today there are huge differences – our highly processed, nutrient deficient stripped foods.
I liken calorie counting to this musing story I read quite some time ago (don’t remember where so I cannot give proper due credit).
During Thanksgiving every year it is our tradition to have a whole ham hock from our very own farm raised hogs. One year while helping mother in the kitchen, I watched her cut off the end of it before she put it in the pot as she always had done in prior years.
As my curiosity finally got the best of me I asked: “Why do you always cut off the end of the ham before cooking it?
After some silence she said: “I don’t know, that’s how grandma always did it. Let’ go ask her!”
After asking grandma why she cut the end off of the ham every year, she simply stated: “My pan was too short so I had to cut the end off so it would fit into the pan.”
As in the story, many of us seem to follow the status quo without question much like sheep.
Wisdom of the Ages
The father of medicine, Hippocrates stated: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Studies are appearing much more frequently, proving just how correct Hippocrates actually was and is today.
Obesity, heart disease, coronary diseases, diabetes and cancer are largely lifestyle diseases (dis-ease) stemming from malnutrition and toxicity. Far too often the low calorie diet does little more than contribute to your body’s dis-ease.
Counting calories can be good starting point, foremost to make sure you are getting the correct amounts of calories and nutrients. Increasingly, more natural and holistic doctors and nutritionists believe people are actually not eating enough (which not only can lead fat gain, but other ills as well).
Counting calorie can help to determine proper portion sizes, but a healthier approach or addition is to start changing your lifestyle foods.
Foods that burn fat outlines the basic and most popular foods for a healthy, fat loss diet according to science.
- If you haven’t already, start a food journal. For one week (optimally, 3 weeks) keep track of everything you eat.
- Next, preferably after at least one week, completely examine your diet (calories, fiber, vitamins ect.).
- Balance your diet.
- Make a goal to eliminate processed foods.
- Seriously consider eliminating most grains, especially wheat.
- Strive to eat more (preferably organic) vegetables. (66% bulk of diet, 1/2 raw)
A good place to begin is to stop eating processed foods and replace them with a whole foods. Simple but not easy. Not only are processed foods full of hydrolyzed oils, sugars, and stripped grains; the body is incapable of readily utilizing what little synthetic nutrients they do contain.
Whether you are striving for weight/fat loss or just better
health, these articles are highly informative and recommended:
Since this is on going work in progress and definitely not complete; Please leave informative comments that can be of help to others. Just keep it clean!