You’ve been so determined to lose weight that you’ve decided to do the “responsible” thing: start counting calories.
But after days, weeks or even months, you step on the scale expecting to see the magical number you’ve dreamt about. Instead, you find that the scale has not budged, or even worse, that you’ve put on pounds instead of losing them!
How is this possible? Isn’t losing weight a simple equation? Fewer Calories in + More Calories out = Weight Loss. Right?
Wrong. Losing weight is a delicate balance that involves many other factors besides how many calories you’re eating. When you over-simplify this process, as so many of us do, you’re setting yourself up for a diet disaster. What’s more, counting every single calorie may actually hinder your weight loss efforts!
So, what other factors should you consider besides calories when it comes to losing weight? And why exactly does counting calories often do more harm than good? Let’s take a closer look at some surprising dynamics of weight loss, calories, and how this all impacts your overall health.
Counting calories often leads to anxiety over every bite, especially if you have anxiety already. Often, a strong sense of failure sets in when you exceed your daily calorie “allowance”. This sets off a chain reaction in your body that is just as much physical as it is mental: your stress hormones kick in with heightened anxiety, which increases cravings for junk food – particularly high-fat and sugary foods that contain little to no nutrients. Even worse, once you exceed your daily “limit” you might just say fuck it! I’ve messed up already, so I might as well enjoy today and start over tomorrow. But try your best to avoid these Fuck It Days. It’s this type of mentality that leads to diet disaster – and general disarray in your life overall.
As I stated earlier, the equation so many of us swear by, Fewer Calories In + More Calories= Weight Loss, is an over-simplified explanation for an intricate process. I’m not saying that it is a completely false equation, but rather, that it is short-sighted. There are many other elements involved in successfully losing weight and keeping it off. For instance, hormones play a huge role in your metabolism, as do stress and other emotions. Even allergies and food intolerances come into play.
If you don’t approach weight loss as a whole-body health and lifestyle issue, those pounds are likely to come back even if you do lose weight initially.
Although two slices of bacon do have fewer calories than half an avocado, the calories in those slices of bacon do not offer the same nutrional value as those found in the avocado half. The avocado contains critical nutrients, as well as healthy fats that actually boost your metabolism! Boosting your metabolism is one of the most efficient ways to sustain healthy weight loss. Calorie counting may seem to work in the short-term, but sustainable weight loss is truly accomplished by eating a nutrient-rich diet. In fact, if you must have those two slices of bacon, I recommend pairing it with the avocado. The fat in bacon is full of pro-inflammatory free radicals, but these can be neutralized by the antioxidants found in avocados.
If you’re watching every calorie, it can be tempting to “save” your calories for occasions when you know you’re more likely to pig out (i.e., a cruise or a trip to Vegas)
Many of us are guilty of patterns like this: we eat meager portions throughout the day, only to gorge later on with unhealthy choices like chocolate, potato chips, and alcohol.
This sort of yo-yo dieting doesn’t make full use of your body’s metabolism. The body needs a steady supply of energy to achieve a steady metabolism, which in turn helps encourage weight loss. Try to stick to a regular pattern of healthy eating.
The bottom line about weight loss? There’s no secret formula or simple equation! It involves much trial and error, and unfortunately, slow and steady does in fact win the race. Healthy eating is a lifetime commitment that must be practiced daily. Sustained weight loss is the summation of daily choices we consciously make that support our efforts towards overall health goals.
Rapid diet efforts that fail to consider the bigger picture usually result in binge eating and sometimes, even greater weight gain. In fact, cases of obesity recidivism are quite common even after bariatric surgical interventions (i.e. gastric sleeves and bypasses). Changes must be made on a daily basis – without rushing the process – to see significant, sustainable improvements in your weight and health.
If you’re in need of a healthy weight loss plan, get in touch with me! I’ve developed a 30-Day Fat Loss program that has been exclusively designed to help you make small, efficient changes at a pace your body and mind can handle. No calorie counting, no chemically enhanced energy drinks, no snack bars with hidden ingredients – this program offers you a 30-day plan to achieve healthy, manageable weight loss. Click here to schedule a consultation!