Then a tsunami of new thought came in that said, ‘no need to count calories if you are eating healthy.‘ This was supported by the soon-to-be gospel of clean eating (which, if you didn’t know, came from our bodybuilders from decades ago. Yep, it’s the bodybuilding diet repackaged and re-labelled). Now we have the cherished ‘count your macro’s’ philosophy, where everyone and their dog is plopping their well-intentioned meals into little pie graphs of technology to see if their macro’s add up for the day (never mind that they don’t really know what those amounts should be).
Once adored, then shunned, then it seems the tide has gone back to counting calories… or macro’s…I’m not really sure.
While everyone is bemoaning the fact that ‘calories don’t matter, clean eating does‘ (and few understand clean eating, which it is different for everyone), 3 out of 4 gals are hurriedly grabbing their food tracker apps to plop their food fare into to see what the numbers are. Oh my, we are creating a whole new generation of techno-dieters of a different sort, really. Same OCD tendencies, different generation.
Who’s right? Personally, in all my programs, I make gals count their calories at least at the start, so they see exactly how much they are truly eating (we always tend to underestimate what we are eating. And yes, that late-night wine needs to be counted too!). This also teaches them about portion control, so they can see just how little 1/2 cup of yogurt really is, or what 3-4 ounces of meat really is. (That 12-ounce T-bone on the BBQ, well, it’s tasty, but you’re only using a portion, and the rest, well, calories, and lots of ‘em!)
Here’s what I know: you gotta count at the start to rein it in, and to help your eyes learn and adjust to what exactly constitutes a meal, what it really looks like. With counting, you are in control, and you re-learn portions, high volume versus low volume food counts, and yes, macro’s too.
Then, if all goes well, you STOP counting calories. Now, with a shift in perspective and a new level of eating intuition, you can peruse any buffet and come out a winner: macro’s and calories on target, thank you very much! And if you are over or under slightly, that’s called life, and that’s how it’s supposed to be done! All is good. It’s a lifestyle. You have a solid, reasonable perception of what to eat, how much, and your macro’s, the building blocks of health, are in check.
So count ‘em ladies, so you gain control and you see where YOU are at, really at (don’t choose the perfect day to count them up! Choose 2-3 average days of eating. Get REAL!). Then learn. Then shed the calorie counter. Be free. Live, eat and train intuitively. Because, that’s how it’s supposed to be!