Why you Should Stop Counting Calories, and What to do Instead.

In the realm of health and wellness, nutrition and diet, in particular, there is nothing that angers me more than counting calories. I understand everyone has their own systems, and while this may work for some, there are a lot of misconceptions out there as to why counting calories is “healthy” for you, when in fact I see it doing so many people that I love a disservice.

Counting calories is almost like a plague. I’m surrounded by friends and family, that in an attempt to lose weight, even if it’s a little winter fluff, jump to the good old calorie counting method. A few weeks ago I went to Starbucks with a friend, and a simple coffee became a big debate. She was asking the barista how many calories the skinny mocha locha frappe latte contained. (Can you tell I don't go there often? lol) The barista was unable to answer. She then decided it wasn’t a safe choice, so she then asked for the calories in another drink. Again, the barista didn’t know, so she finally settled for a black coffee, as the line was getting big and people were waiting for her to decide. All this time and energy wasted on a few hundred calories, with the difference between the two drinks that she actually wanted, only being maybeeee 30 cal?

I have been using a holistic nutritional supplement line for snacks, shakes, and supplements for the last 6 years. It helps me with my energy, mood, hormone and blood sugar levels, and having a fit bod, is just a plus! I had a family member who was curious about using it. She had tried some of the products and liked it, and then the infamous question came out: “How many calories are in it?” I remember when I introduced her to this nutrient-rich line of no-compromise products, she yelped, “But there are 210 calories in this bar?!” As if it was the devil. Apparently, that was too high. She was trying to lose weight, and her (uneducated) personal trainer at the gym told her that she should be adhering to a 1200 cal. diet in order to meet her goal… this ENRAGED me! For a person her age and activity level, the recommended is 1800 cal. per day, MINIMUM.

Yes, having a calorie deficit results in a reduction of weight, logically speaking, but if a body is active it needs calories to work effectively, which in turn results in weight loss. Not to mention that counting calories does not take into account biodiversity, that we are all uniquely different, and we all need to adhere to different dietary needs for our best optimal health, which in turn, will result in our best optimal body. The amount of miscommunication that’s out there realllly gets me going. Particularly around this topic, and here’s the biggest reason why:

STOP COUNTING CALORIES! IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO FOCUS ON THE QUALITY OF FOOD, RATHER THAN THE NUMBER, OR ENERGY, YOU ARE CONSUMING AS IF IT’S SOME SORT OF CURRENCY THAT MAKES YOU FAT! IT DOES NOT! CALORIES DO NOT EQUAL FAT – GET THAT THROUGH YOUR HEAD, STOP HAVING A FEAR OF CALORIES, AND RECOGNIZE THAT POOR FOOD CHOICES MAKE IS WHAT CAUSES YOU TO GAIN WEIGHT.

So here’s what you should be doing instead:

•    First and foremost, focus on the quality of food that you are choosing to fuel your body with. Everything on this earth has an energetic frequency- including us.  High vibe foods- such as whole foods, are loaded with vitamins and minerals, anti-oxidants, macro-nutrients,  to provide you with … well, HIGH VIBES.  It nourishes your body, to support you through life so you can do the things you want to do, and do it happily.

•    Another plus to eating more whole foods is that you will eventually no longer crave all those sugary snacks- like that Starbucks drink, or the chocolate bar, because the longer you stick to a clean diet, the less processed sugar your body is consuming. Eventually, your taste buds change, and you don’t even want it anymore. You are breaking the cycle of addiction- sugar is 8x more addictive than cocaine.  (meanwhile, we load it into our supermarket baby food, cereals that we feed our kids, and even fruit juice. The sugar epidemic is NOT OK, and a wholeee other topic for discussion so let’s leave it at that)

•    Counting calories, makes every meal feel like homework. Calculating, weighing, measuring. It’s a never-ending math problem which just creates, stress and fear around meal time to make sure you’re “in the zone.” Not only does it create tension about nourishing your body, but stressing out causes your cortisol to spike, which evidently, also packs on pounds around your stomach. Sooo let’s throw that out the window and make eating fun! Know that when you are eating with a variety of nutrient-dense, protein, carbs, fats – yes fat is super important for you, and keeps a healthy and happy brain, it all serves a purpose. A good purpose. Instead of stressing, practice mindfulness. Enjoy the moment that you are in. what does it taste like- salty, sweet, spicy? What is the texture of the food? What does it smell like? Who are you with? Take time to enjoy the moment, and give thanks to yourself for choosing to nourish yourself properly.

•    Naturally, you’ll lose weight if you’re cutting out the crap. But here’s another perk. Often when you purchase “low-cal” marketed food, they are still bad for you. Read the ingredients and you’ll see enriched wheat flour, corn syrup, sugar, etc. along with a load of other chemicals. These ingredients lack nutrients and therefore can leave you feeling weak, tired, and often moody AF. It can even cause headaches and digestive issues as well. Switch to nutrient-dense foods, and suddenly you’ll be feeling good and having tons of ENERGY. Take that energy with you throughout that day, and hit the gym! Then the lbs. will really be pouring off!

I hope these tips have helped you reframe when it comes to realizing what having a healthy diet truly means. It’s not about the low/no fat, or only 10 cal. snacks., it is about NOURISHING YOUR BODY, AND LOVING IT FULLY….Here’s another approach. Rather than counting cal to lose weight. Realize that YOU ARE ENOUGH!

This is the whole reason why I designed the 14 Day Healthy Body, Happy Heart Challenge. It’s actually been released for 3 weeks today! Which is pretty exciting. It is designed to help you build a healthy and happy relationship with food, exercise, and yourself. Learn balance, connect to your soul, and go after your deepest desires. How you look and feel when living a healthy lifestyle is only the beginning. It’s amazing the things you can accomplish once you have the foundation of mind, body, spirit, built. If you haven't gotten your free copy yet, DO IT NOW!

That’s it, that’s all. Thank you for showing up and being here!!!

Love & Gratitude

Rachel Joy