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Why Counting Calories Doesn’t Work

We have been told to eat fewer calories and burn off more. And that the less you eat, the faster you’ll lose weight. Move more and eat less. This is what we have all been led to believe as the way that we can lose weight.

I thought this too. This was what I was taught when I was training to become a personal trainer! And I hate to admit but this is also how I used to teach my clients.

While calorie counting might all work in the short-term, it’s simply not realistic to maintain every day of your whole life. Counting calories just isn’t practical for daily life. Below area few reasons that counting calories doesn’t work in the long term.

Nutrition Label Inaccuracies

To start with nutrition labels aren’t always accurate. Fast-food-meal calorie counts are underreported by an average of 18 percent, and frozen-meal calorie counts are underreported by an average of 8 percent. Lacors, the body that advises trading standards officers about enforcing food laws, says that an error margin of 20% either side of the labelled value was acceptable.

Calories In Doesn’t Equal Calories Out

This one might come as a surprise and is what everyone has been taught for such a long time. However, there is a lot more that impacts our weight than just the food we eat. Hormones, stress, sleep, movement, hydration, our gut microbiome, menstrual cycle, the list goes on! Therefore, we can’t expect to control our weight by simply controlling our calories.

Not All Calories Are Created Equally

Purely in terms of weight loss, 100 calories is 100 calories regardless of whether they come from an carrot or a cookie. However, in terms of health, calories are not created equal.

For overall health It is important to distinguish between quantity and quality. Different foods can affect your metabolism, hormone levels, hunger, and appetite differently.

Take eating 100 calories worth of cookies, for example, this may not reduce your hunger as effectively as eating 100 calories from apples due to the relative amounts of refined carbs, sugar, and fiber in the donuts.

Therefore, a donut may make you more likely to overeat later in the day, preventing you from achieving the calorie deficit needed for weight loss.

It Overlooks Nutritional Value Of Food

Counting calories doesn’t tell you the whole story; it doesn’t tell us how nutritious food is.

With a calorie counting approach to weight loss, you can eat 2,000 calories of anything. You do not need to focus on the nutritional composition of calories. Those calories may be from processed, packaged foods, or whole foods. And as I said previously different foods can affect your metabolism, hormone levels, hunger, and appetite differently.

My Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle

Focus On Health Not Weight

Living a healthy lifestyle and Eating a healthy diet will help you to feel great. Change your mindset to focus on being healthier and enjoying the process.

Try Time Restricted Eating (Intermittent Fasting)

Eat for a limited number of hours each day. 16:8 is popular choice where you abstain from eating for 16 hours, and then eat freely for 8 hours. Other popular schedules include 18:6, 20:4, and one-meal-a-day (OMAD).

On a typical day I usually finish dinner at 6.30pm and then eat breakfast the following day at 10.30am. The is an easy way for me to restrict my eating to an 8 hour window per day.

Intermittent fasting has been lined to many benefits; including weight loss, improved markers of health, a reduced risk of chronic health conditions, improved brain health and many more.

Eat 30 Plants Each Week

This is one of my favourite and top tips to a healthier lifestyle. Try to eat at least 30 different plants a week – including nuts, seeds, pulses, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Research has shown that this can be beneficial for gut health, immunity and mood.

Focus On Quality Not Quantity

Eat a variety of real, wholesome food. Avoid processed foods – these can be high in added sugars, salt and unhealthy fats; consuming too many of them can lead to health problems.

Get More Sleep

Poor sleep quality can lead to weight gain, as can a sleep schedule that is out of sync with the body’s natural daily pattern, known as circadian rhythm. A lack of sleep affects your weight in much the same way as hormonal shifts, making you want to eat more.

Reduce stress – Stress, like poor sleep, can lead to weight gain. Controlling stress can help you keep excess pounds at bay.

Consult A Professional.

It’s easy to let your health become the least of your priorities. If you want to find success in life it is important that you’re healthy. You can’t experience huge success unless you are healthy. If you jeopardise your health, you can jeopardise all areas of your life because you don’t have the energy, strength and motivation to achieve your goals.

A Health Transformation Coach can help you get back on track and help you to focus on health habits so that you can have the energy, strength and motivation to be your best self everyday.

Lucy

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Lucy Round (Health Transformation Coach) is a qualified nutrition coach, detox & wellness coach and personal trainer and the founder of www.clowcleanse.co.uk and www.facebook.com/CLOWcleanse

READY TO MAKE A CHANGE?

It’s time to stop wondering and start taking control of your health – because when your health is in a good place, you are in a good place. Find more energy to work toward your goals and create positive habits that put you in a better mental and physical state with a Heath Transformation Coach.

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