Here’s some good news… I don’t ask my clients to count calories, unless they want to of course.
The thing is, I am promoting a way of living. I am a Food and Lifestyle Coach and I teach my own recipe to healthy living. I don’t believe that a healthy life involves calorie counting and worrying about numbers in food. In my opinion, that’s not a healthy relationship with food and I don’t like to look at food like that. I freaking love food!!! I respect it man!! Besides, our calorie needs actually change every day depending on our level of activity and whether or not you are loosing weight or maintaining it.
Also….Did you know that calorie data can often be inaccurate because food labeling laws aren’t really strict enough. As for calories listed in real foods like fruit and veg, well these can be off a little too depending on soil quality, season and size.
If you haven’t already guessed by now, my thoughts around life and wellness is that its all a matter of mindset and perception. I coach my wellness peeps to health in a way that is uplifting and energizing. Counting calories doesn’t sound very fun to me and I don’t think it’s necessary for achieving your health goals. It might work in the short term, but it’s not a sustainable way to eat. Instead, I choose to implement food journaling. One of the major differences between calorie counting and food journaling is that your food journal is temporary. You only have to keep a journal for as long as you want, I recommend about 2 weeks. It is designed to build awareness of your habits, help you recognise foods that don’t serve you well and teach you how to judge your portion sizes. Counting calories doesn’t really teach you a healthy way of living. While it might be good to know these details in the back of your mind, in the long run it can become a dangerous obsession to always be checking and constantly adding up your totals throughout the day. Gosh how exhausting!
Yes, you could stop counting calories once you reach your goal weight, but since restricted eating doesn’t come naturally to humans most people find that if they stop counting, the weight comes back. If that were the case, you need to keep counting calories and restricting your eating forever. Not thank you!
As for a food diary, you can always turn back to that for reference if you reach a weight loss plateau or get stuck along the way, but there is no reason to let food journaling become an obsession like calorie counting can be. Seriously! Relax and eat real foods as they are in nature and avoid all the processed crap and you will find yourself feeling and looking better. Life is way too short to be so mental about calories and we should be focused more on enjoying good food and life.
Food is something that nourishes us and gives our body what it needs to keep us healthy. If you’re always worried about numbers, then how can you be eating to truly nourish your body? You see, when you eat with purpose and intention, the numbers become irrelevant because you are looking at food on a nourishment level. It’s more important to see the food as a whole food and enjoy it and all it’s calories and know that all the vitamins and minerals in there are far more important to your body than knowing the amount of your daily calories it will use up. I know you guys are thinking calories in verses calories out is a great way to lose weight. That’s true as long as you know that calories are not created equal. Calories from high GI (glycemic index) foods can actually encourage fat storage and calories from low GI foods wont. So the same amount of calories can look very different when comparing different foods.
Well, how do you know what foods to eat?
Have you heard of bio-individuality? In a nut shell, that pretty much means that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ diet. We are all unique humans and we all have a unique life. Men, women and children all eat differently to each other and they all have different nutritional needs. Our own personal tastes and cravings, body size and shape, blood type, metabolic rate and genetic background influence our food choices. Human beings are all very different from one another BUT in saying that, we are all still human beings. We are all built the same. Think about the anatomy of the human body…
Our body shape suggests that in nature, humans would get food from the ground as well as from above. Being able to bend easily and reach up with our long arms (that are pretty much half the length of our body) and grab things from above. What about our mouth and jaw? It can move backwards and forwards and from side to side. Its also full of mostly blunt teeth. Suggesting that our teeth are designed for but not limited to grinding our food. Our mouth secretes saliva that has alkaline properties, which helps with the digestion of carbohydrates…I’m talking plant based carbs here guys. Our digestive system is really long for our body size… metres long actually. It usually takes a human long over 12 hours to fully digest a meal. This is why we need a lot of fibre in our diets. Fibre keeps everything moving and creates a healthy eco system in our gut. Yes gut health is important. Book yourself in for my Gut Microbiome webinar if you want to know more about that. Book you seat here.
So when you think about it like that, you can see that human beings are designed to eat high fibre, carbohydrate composed plant based food that are grown on the ground, in bushes or in trees. So that means foods like fruits, vegetables, roots, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
You guys know where I’m going next hey. Yes!! Eat more whole plant-based foods and avoid all the processed crap! I know that it’s a modern world and we are now highly domesticated beings…most of us anyway. We no longer need to gather our food from nature. But I’m telling you, nature has got it right! Anything else isn’t doing your body the goods.
So here’s a challenge for you – for the next two weeks, keep a record of what you eat, when you eat it, any symptoms you experience and habits around foods that you notice. This is a great way to exercise and strengthen your intuition. You know exactly what you should be eating, how much and when. You are the only one who knows how your body is feeling, you just have to learn to listen to it again.
Grab your diary and write it down in there, or grab a notebook to keep track. What ever works for you. Start with today!