“Just eat healthy and you don’t have to count calories.”
Pass me the gun pedro, this could get messy!
I’ve given up on trying to convince people that calories do count. Well thats not entirely true otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this. Generally I wait until I am asked instead of telling nowadays.
After my posts on Facebook recently this was a topic that received quite a lot of interaction, so I thought it would be worth writing a longer blog post to answer some of the questions I received.
You see people don’t like to be told that they are wrong. I know I don’t. Therefore, I only explain the calories in vs calories out argument to those that ask nowadays. Its far easier and people are so much more responsive.
You’ll be sitting there thinking “well I haven’t asked Lee, so screw you.” Woah Woah Woah, just hear me out and i’m convinced you’ll like what you read.
“CALORIES DON’T COUNT”
Many will scream this from the rooftops. If it works for them then great, but in my opinion this approach won’t work for many.
People will argue that our ancestors didn’t count calories. Yes, I agree, but they also moved a bloody lot more then us as well. They ate a lot more nutrient dense food then us and burned a shit tonne more calories then us, probably by having all the sex. I mean, just take a look at your family tree! HOW MANY KIDS!!!
All joking aside, its becoming an increasingly popular argument amongst us fitness folk about whether or not counting calories or “tracking your macros” is important or not.
I for one am in the FOR category when it comes to counting, and i’m going to tell you why. You lucky f*ckers 😉
HOW MANY CALORIES DO YOU NEED?
This will entirely depend on your goals and/or what activity you are training/competing in.
I’m not here to tell you that calories are the only factor in whether you are going to be successful or not, as there are a number of things that can impact our goals. However, if your goal is weight/fat loss then you MUST be in a calorie deficit to get there.
Calorie deficit = Burn more calories then you consume.
There is simply no way on god’s green earth that you can lose weight/fat if you are in a calorie surplus.
Calorie surplus = Consume more calories then you Burn.
If maintaining your weight is your goal then you would need to be on maintenance calories.
Maintenance = Calories in vs Calories out is pretty much equal.
Now try telling me that calories don’t matter.
I EAT HEALTHY. WHY AM I NOT LOSING WEIGHT?
Simply put you have probably bought in to the “eat more then ever and lose weight” philosophy.
This is a massively misleading tag line that is becoming ever popular. Recently due to the explosion of social media, MLM companies and shit science based TV programs people are becoming more and more confused.
We are told that if we eat SUPER FOODS like avocado’s or quinoa, or if we only eat food from the land then you can eat as much of it as you like and you will still lose weight and feel great at the same time.
STOP RIGHT THERE!!
All of these foods contain…… yep, you guessed it CALORIES!!!
Just because they are labelled as a “Super Food” doesn’t mean they can go unaccounted for. They don’t have magic weight loss potions inside them. They still need to be recorded one way or another.
So many people say….
I’m eating healthy, but I don’t know why I’m not losing weight. I don’t even eat that much…..
I have news for you chico….. YOU ARE eating to much!!!
You may be reading this now calling me every name under the sun or tell me I’m talking bull shit. However, the hard truth remains, if you are trying to lose weight and the scales aren’t budging, the chances are you are eating to much based on the calories in (consumed) vs calories out (burned) argument regardless of how “clean” or “dirty” your diet is.
DID HE JUST SAY HEALTHY FOOD CAN MAKE ME FAT??
Ermmmm, yep, I sure did. You got a problem with that 😉
At the end of the day calories are calories. So if you are consuming 3500 calories of steak, potato and vegetables, thats still 3500 calories. Ok, so nutritionally its probably going to give you more then 3500 chocolate, pizza and skittles…..
BUT…. A CALORIE SURPLUS IS STILL A CALORIE SURPLUS
I know some of you will still think i’m talking bullshit and i’m cool with that, this approach isn’t for everyone. But once you get your head around the fact that the body see’s all food as the same and not what pish information magazines fill your thoughts with about how you can’t have anything sweet EVER AGAIN, the sooner you will see that you can gain fat even from a “clean” diet if calories aren’t accounted for.
I won’t lie. If you have a lot of weight to lose, then sure, you may get away with not counting calories. Just making some positive life changes and substituting the 2 litres of coke per day to 2 litres of water will have a massive impact.
I also know tracking calories isn’t for everyone, but its like waking up in the middle of the night and pissing without the light on. You know you should flick the switch but you don’t. YOU RISK TAKERS YOU!
So why leave our body composition and ultimately our happiness to chance. Being able to track your calories is a great tool and i’m a big advocate of it.
THE BOTTOM LINE…..
I would never ask anyone to sacrifice their health all in the name of calories. Eating a diet made up mainly of nutrient dense food is still the way to go.
Instead it was to simply make you aware of how much calories do count and the benefits of tracking them.
Oh. You haven’t got time for it?
It would take you less time per day then it did to read this article…… or to scroll through Facebook a million times 😉