8 Reasons Calorie Counting Makes You Fat
When you look at the numbers, calorie counting seems like it makes sense. You keep track of the amount of food you eat every day and worry about keeping the numbers low.
However, most of the time people who rely on calorie counting to control their weight or to lose weight have more hurdles to overcome than they realize:
Hurdle #1: Calorie counting
Calorie counting alone doesn’t take into account the types of foods you should be taking in or the timing of these nutrients. This is extremely important when it comes to changing the shape of your body.
You may be familiar with some popular diet programs that rely on just counting calories. Have you ever noticed the people who lose weight on these programs simply end up a smaller version of the shape they were in? They are not lean, toned, defined – they are simply a smaller version of their old self.
Hurdle #2: Types of calories
The type of calories you ingest is vitally important. Eating junk food calories or calories high in sugar can make you tired, hungry and moody due to unstable blood sugar levels.
Therefore, you’ll be more inclined to overeat. Good nutritious foods such as lean proteins, some complex carbohydrates, fruit and good fats, and plenty of vegetables is what you should be focusing on. Choose unprocessed foods where possible – avoid boxes and packaged foods.
Hurdle #3: Calorie conservation
If you are eating the same low calories day in day out, your body will become very efficient at conserving calories.
Your body reacts the same way it would if you were experiencing a real-life famine… your body reacts as if its very survival is in danger!
When your body’s metabolism slows you will then need to consume less and less calories just to maintain the same weight.
One thing that can help is incorporating a free or ‘cheat’ meal – the additional load in calories when strategically planned can actually work to your advantage.
Hurdle #4: Training
If you are training (and you should be) you need enough calories to sustain your training sessions, and to facilitate recovery. Many people simply try to keep calories as low as possible, often with disastrous results.
Hurdle #5: Misleading food labels
Lately, there’s been a lot of media coverage about how many foods are deliberately mislabeled. There are more calories in them then you think.
Why is this important?
If your calorie counting is even one or two hundred calories off because of misleading food labels then you’ll gradually gain kilos – not lose them!
Hurdle #6: Overestimating calorie burning
Unless you’re accurately tracking how many calories you’re really burning, chances are you’re consuming at least as much, if not more, than you’re burning. The result is weight gain.
Hurdle #7: Sinful foods
We easily forget to count foods that ultimately put us over our daily calorie limit. It’s tough to keep track of everything. Maybe a bite of a biscuit here, a sip of a coke there and a lick of an ice-cream are all neglected to be recorded as calories, however, a bit of a sip and a lick all add up over the course of a day and these add up to added weight over time.
Hurdle #8: Personal guilt
If we happen to go over our calorie limit that we set for ourselves, we end up feeling guilty and ashamed. Personally, I think this is the worst part of calorie counting because often, this is enough for many people to start an all out binge fest. After all, you may as well make the most of your mistake right?
This is a surefire way to start (or continue) yo-yo dieting which will ultimately damage your metabolism and make you fat very quickly. Worse, yo-yo dieting will make it very difficult for you to maintain a healthy weight long term.
As you can see, the calorie counting approach to fat burning is full of holes. It is vitally important to keep tabs on what you put in your body but by constantly counting calories you can end up hurting your results.
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