Stop Counting Calories
I have been a calorie counter off and on for a while and it has always lead me to short term success. By that I mean I keep track of everything I eat religiously, From Breakfast to Bed every calorie is recorded and logged in my spreadsheet. The success comes by way of 5 to 10 pounds in about a month to 6 weeks or so.
That might sound Ideal but it comes at a cost. Counting calories is such a tedious task that I soon begin to resesnt it and stop it all together. Those 5 to 10 pounds come back quickly and I usually find myself in the same place I was in before.
Be Calorie Conscious
For the past few weeks now I have stopped counting calories or at least stopped recording them anyway. The approach I am taking is to be more calorie conscious with the foods I eat rather than worrying about writing down everything I eat.
Being calorie conscious is really nothing more than being informed about how many calories are in a number of given foods and then making the healthier choice.
Calorie Counting vs. Calorie Consciousness
It might sound a little confusing as to what the difference is between the 2 methods, the best I can describe it is in the example below.
When I was counting calories I would eat what I wanted and record every bite. Most times I would weigh my portions to get the most accurate number of calories.
The key was eating whatever I wanted. Yes I did make some healthier choices but for the most part I was still eating full fat versions of my favorite foods. That might sound nice but those calories add up quickly and soon I had reached my calorie limit for the day. Sometimes by 4 in the afternoon.
To me that was calorie counting.
Now that I am calorie conscious I am eating better, more healthier foods that are naturally lower in calories. I still enjoy my favorite foods but in smaller qtys and portions, I do a lot of substituing of ingredients in recipes and I’m cutting out the extras (i.e sauces).
Being aware of what adds extra unneeded calories and finding ways to reduce or replace them I think is a much more effective long term approach to weight loss than strictly counting calories.
A Calorie Conscious Choice
While counting calories I would eat something like this:
A Quarter Pounder Sandwich from McDonald’s
Now I would change that to a just a regular cheeseburger
Fat: 12 grams
Or even better, this recipe from the biggest loser cookbook called the Almost Fast Food Burger
Anyway, I have officially stopped counting calories for good. I am finding that is it much easier and I’m not as stressed about what I am eating. The pounds are coming off at about the same rate as before, but I am in a position now where I will be able to maintain the losses. That is will be the the real measure of success.