When counting calories, you’re eating based off a calorie limit that you’ve allowed yourself for the day in order to lose x amount of pounds per week, right? I’ve done all the apps. myself… What they do, is control our food intake so that (hopefully) we end up eating less than we would have if we weren’t counting. There are so many problems with this… While it will probably work short term, here are a few things that I’ve seen happen over the long term…
#1 Binge Eating: What happens when you’ve had a really hard day and you’ve exhausted all of your efforts trying to keep people happy at work? Naturally, you want to come home and let go of anything that it’s your control. Since calorie counting IS in your control, you decide to take a night off. What happens when you take a night off? Likely a BINGE.
Still in the stressful job/relationship/environment the next day? What happens? Another BINGE.
#2 Weight Gain: If you’re eating a low amount of calories in order to lose weight and then suddenly stop (for any number of reasons), the weight you lost will probably come back… Ever experienced this? Does it feel like in order to stay at that new ideal weight you HAVE TO count calories? Yikes. That’s a frustrating and scary place to be (I used to be in that place myself – just know you don’t have to be there forever).
#3 Distrust: What happens when you find yourself consistently starting and stopping calorie counting? Likely, you feel like you’re “out of control” and “can’t trust yourself” around certain foods or in certain situations. This is so sad… and I can completely relate to this feeling. We should absolutely be able to trust our bodies. Do you know just HOW smart your body actually is? Think of how your body heals a cut when you fall… Our bodies ARE smart and they WILL tell us when we’re hungry, when we’re full, and what we need, we just have to learn to listen.
An alternative to counting calories: Intuitive Eating.
NOW, you might be wondering… can you lose weight when eating intuitively?
The truth is: if you need to lose weight, you’ll likely lose weight eating intuitively as long as you commit to truly listening and following through with the signals your body is sending you (your body KNOWS when it’s hungry and when it’s full). We’re the ones that choose whether or not we’ll listen to those signals… You know what I’m talking about, right? Don’t feel bad if you’re not currently listening those signals – it’s hard, and takes talking with someone who truly understands in order to figure out. Get support if you need it (if you’d like to work with me, share your info here).
If you don’t need to lose weight, you’ll likely maintain a natural, healthy weight with intuitive eating. This is where it’s hard for most people. Personally, my natural weight (the NUMBER) is about 10 lbs higher than where I used to keep myself. But, I feel better than ever! I’m stronger, healthier, and feel more “womanly.” I feel more confident. What’s better about this? I don’t have to TRY to maintain my weight anymore. Now, my body naturally stays where SHE’S most comfortable. AND, since the truth is that I’d always return to this weight anyway (unless I want to count calories forever) I’d much rather spend my energy loving on this body that I have now. How about you?
It’s exhausting trying to change your body all of the time, and the truth is, even when we do change our bodies (through calorie counting, diets, or deprivation), we’re still not totally happy with them! Why? Because the problem lies in accepting ourselves.
If you’re trying to change your NATURAL weight, then you’re likely not accepting yourself.
When you’re at your natural weight you’ll likely experience: balanced hormones, regular periods, better moods, better sleep, a higher sex drive, and actually, if you can choose this, you’ll even have much higher confidence levels. Your weight will be more stabilized, you won’t have to exhaust yourself controlling your food all of the time, you’ll be able to enjoy a cookie and leave it at that (you won’t need 10 more). Your current relationships will improve (or you’ll find the courage to be only in the right ones). You’ll feel more present, and you’ll feel much less distracted by unimportant things.
The truth is, no one is totally happy with their body unless they choose to be. You could be a 00 and still dislike your body and think that you’re “fat.” The focus needs to be on your on your health. I’ll never forget the first time I heard my brother say to me: “eat for your health, not for weight-loss.”
Also, for some of you, I’d like to ask:
Have you ever been offended by someone saying “you look healthy!” If you relate to this, you know exactly what I’m talking about…
Perhaps it’s time you start focusing on being healthy > being skinny.
I hope this was helpful. I care so much about each one of you reading this post. What I ultimately want for each person who reads Healthy Hits the Spot is for you to love on your body, treat her well, and take good care of her. She does so much for you and wants you to have that freedom. She doesn’t want you to be distracted by trying to change her. She was made for you to embrace and enjoy.
“Confidence will make you happier than any diet ever will (so embrace your body).” – Unknown
What would need to change in order for you to start embracing and listening to your own body instead of trying to control your body through calorie counting, diets, or deprivation?