Why counting calories doesn't work

Jul 26, 2021

If you've ever tried to lose weight, you've probably counted calories. And if you're a woman, you've probably fixated yourself on consuming no more than 1,200 calories per day.

(Weird fact: the majority of women I've spoken to about how many calories she thinks she should eat per day says 1,200 for no apparent reason). It seems like women have just "heard" over the years this is the goal number, but I digress....

So, here's my straight to the point list on why calorie counting doesn't work:

  1. Calories from healthy fats in avocado is very different for your body to highly processed fats in a store bought cookie, even if they are the same in calorie number.  
  2. Food labels are off in their measurements of calorie load by as much as 25% in either direction - that's a HUGE variance!
  3. Your gym equipment is also off by as much as 25% (or more in some cases) with how many calories it's telling you you've burned. (Between this and the food labels we could be off by 50%!)
  4. We all process and absorb food differently.
  5. 3,500 calories isn't 1 pound of fat or 1/2 kilo. Not all calories are equal. This thought process sets you up for failure.

As you can imagine, it can feel like you're doing "everything right" and still not losing the weight. How discouraging! This frustration is what often makes us think our metabolisms are broken, or we decide to resort to some crash diet, a million supplements, or even weight loss injections.

Here's what you need to know:

  1. The more you crash diet or lose and gain weight, the less calories you need to survive, so essentially your metabolism goes down. Your body is adaptive like that. So no more crash dieting, ok? :)
  2. Focus on eating protein, fibrous carbs like fruits and veggies, good fats, and some high quality starchy carbs. Not only will you naturally decrease the number of calories you're consuming while staying more full, but you'll simultaneously increase the number of calories your body actually needs to digest the food!
  3. Unless you're training for a body building competition, you don't need carb or calorie cycling, special diets, or intense workouts 5+ days per week to lose weight. You need the right consistent efforts over time and a little patience.
  4. Don't compare yourself to others. The body is a crazy unique thing, so what your friend is doing likely won't have the exact same effect on you...expect it and focus on YOU.
  5. Weight loss truly occurs through a balance of good nutrition, the right exercise for you, proper sleep, stress management, hormonal balance, and hydration. So unsexy but so true.

It's heartbreaking for me to watch so many people struggle because of the wrong approach.

Self-compassion also plays a HUGE role in fat loss, so be sure to speak kindly to yourself always.

If you haven't yet joined my Free Facebook Group where I share all sorts of health and fitness tips, feel free to join me here. We definitely don't count any calories in that group!

Have questions? Please send them my way! I'm here to help!

Please reply and let me know if this information resonates with you! :)

To Your Success,

Andrea x