Is Counting Calories Worth It?

Is Counting Calories Worth It? (Image Source: Shutterstock)
  1. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
  2. Why did the chicken cross the road?
  3. Is counting calories actually the right way to go?

Counting Calories To Lose Weight

One side of the conversation says that this is an oversimplified equation. As such, it doesn’t take into account things like hormonal imbalances and other health conditions, while the other side believes that it’s pretty straightforward. Like most things in life, however, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Neither viewpoint is completely right or wrong. But one thing they can both agree on is this: counting calories as we know it is highly flawed.

Are You Counting Calories To Lose Weight? Is It Really Worth The Effort? (Image Source: Unsplash)

Counting Calories In Food

We measure the energy that we get from food in calories. Our bodies convert these calories into heat so that we can function on a daily basis. You might have been living and dying by your calorie count on your personal wellness journey. However, it’s important to keep in mind that calories are an imperfect science. There are so many factors that go into play that getting an accurate number can be much more difficult than you think.

How to Count Calories — Howcast

The Hand-Guide Portion Control Method

All you need for this method of portion control is your palm. I got this amazing trick from Precision Nutrition, a well-respected company in the health and wellness industry. They help a wide range of individuals — from professional athletes to stay at home soccer moms — make lifestyle changes easier and more sustainable.

Simple Hand-Guided Nutrition — Copper Moose Fitness

Parts of the Hand

They advocate using your hand size as a guide to help with portion control. It’s pretty simple and works like this:

  • Palm: determines the size of your protein portion.
  • Fist: determines the size of your veggie portion.
  • Cupped hand: determines the size of your carb portion.
  • Thumb: determines the size of your fat portion.

Work Towards Your Fitness Goals

By simply using outcome decision making (in other words, how is the current regimen working towards your goals?), you can adjust the portions and observe the changes that ensue. For example, if you are trying to gain weight and your number has been stagnant, you can add a “thumb” of fat or a “palm” of protein to your meals. If you are trying to lose weight and your progress has stalled, you can experiment by removing a “thumb” of fat or a “palm” of carbs from your meals. This isn’t an exact science (like calorie counting), but if you eat intuitively and keep track of your results, it can provide a less stressful way to navigate your fitness goals while maintaining your sanity.

Use a Food Journal to Count Calories

No matter what method you use on your weight loss journey, it’s absolutely important that you keep a food journal. You manage what you monitor. If you want to discover trends, find what is or isn’t working, and keep discovering micro changes that could lead to major results, then you should be keeping track. One of the best food journals on the market is the “Daily Food Journal” on Amazon. It’s simple and an absolute fan favorite (with a near-perfect rating). Find out more about it here.

*This post may contain affiliate links to the products and services that we talk about.

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