Dieting is almost synonymous with counting calories. Almost every dieting recommendation that I’ve ever heard required it–so much is the case that children know to talk about calories before even learning the definition.
…Asking someone for the definition used to be a smart-ass way to provoke a conversation.
Counting Calories is effective…Dogma.
But how useful is the whole calorie counting complex for people like me?
I needed to lose almost 150lbs….fast.
My health conditions, time, pain…all closing in on me and every single calorie focused diet was unsuccessful.
What did I find? What is my relationship with Calories now that I’ve lost 95lbs in 2 years with Keto and Fasting?
Calorie counting is like a fine tuning adjustment when you need more acceleration.
It’s simple but there is a darkside when the emotion of wanting to lose weight catches up with the limited knowledge of calorie restriction.
Calorie counters will sometimes get aggressive by only focusing on what they can cut rather than what their bodies need.
To put this into the engine analogy, if counting calories is a fine-tuning mechanism, these counters will starve the engine of fuel or air until it overheats and shuts down.
Meanwhile, all that was needed for acceleration was to open the throttle.
But the human body isn’t an engine; it’s a complex organism–made of other complex organisms.
Our bodies are closer to gardens than motorcycles.
Counting carbs was immediately effective for losing large amounts of weight and even they authorities who do not approve of Keto and Intermittent Fasting still recommend low carb diets—which require counting carbs.
Calories are important and even after losing the weight, I now have to optimize my intake in order to fine tune my diet to its best.
There are points of too few or too much;
I once limited my caloric intake to aproximately 500 calories–while working out;
That was the month that I couldn’t lose a pound–after months of explosive weightloss.
Apparently too few calories in a diet can put the body into starvation mode where it retains as much as possible–while tying up energy expenditure.
The old idea of simply taking in less and expending more needs a reworking and serious clarification.
For people of normal health, more harm has come from this misconception than Keto or Fasting.
-A person needs to learn more about their metabolism and their resting and operating rates.
-Having to measure everything can be a serious pain in the ass.
-A diet which has a low probability of success when eyeballed is fragile;
If it cannot be eyeballed and work, it’s too complicated.
This post is not to bastardize calorie counting or worse tracking our diets.
I’ve even found a way to make my daily Keto totally compliant with calorie restrictions—and implementing that is my next step going forward.
In the end, a diet should be tracked using easy metrics which are readily available on packaging, fair enough.
That said, the lack of focus on nutrition and establishing that perfect (albeit temporary) balance of macros to consume is a sad killer of any diet.
I give my body the fuel which works best, disregarding my palate, and that’s why it rewards me—funny enough, none of that fuel has been “diet food”.
The hungrier I’m left after eating, the more likely I’ll be munching with total disregard.
The feeling of hunger is only one strong dimension of insatiety which eventually gives your diet a cold shower.
Low calorie diets left me feeling hungry and weak.
Overall, I respect Calorie Counting, not as a panacea, but a tool to optomize my diet.