Why math is not my friend

I spent the last two weeks counting calories. I’m not a calorie counter and really, even when I was seeing a nutritionist briefly, I purposely didn’t wan to know how many calories he’d planned for me. There was no real reason for my avoidance of calorie counting other than I had a feeling it wasn’t a way to live a life.

After my two week calorie counting experiment, we can either look at it and say I failed it OR I proved my intuition was 100% spot-on.

One thing studies show about tracking and calorie counting is that it makes people more mindful about what they’re eating. The reasoning goes along the lines of if you have to write down that you ate a Snickers bar for dinner, you’re less likely to actually eat it. That if you’re thinking about how many calories you have for the day, you’re less likely to spend your calories on high-calories drinks or snacks and more likely to spend them on nutritious food.

Well, that may have been true for me but I think I took it a little too far. I became slightly obsessed about my calories and even though I was aiming for 1500 a day, I started getting freaked out when I got close, feeling “better” when I was around 1200 calories. Which, as most of us SANE people know, is not sustainable. Heck, my BMR is higher than that! I was counting out almonds for snacks and getting really angry with myself for feeling hungry after “eating a  lot” in my mind. The kicker came this week when, after losing weight for the last two weeks, I got onto the scale and found I’d gained this week. Gaining after eating well and exercising? Now, I know it’s probably water bloat ( my period is due next week) and there’s no way I really gained fat, but the whole point of tracking initially was to lose weight in a healthy way. It’s always been about doing things in a healthy way and this didn’t feel healthy to me.

I learnt a great deal from my 2 weeks of tracking. I figured out what good snacks fill me up and what a 1500 calorie day looks like in my life. I also learnt that some days I’m just hungrier than others. I remembered that life happens and I’m not someone to turn down a dinner out or with family because I’m counting calories. I know what works for me and this is not it.

One good thing that has come from all this is that I’m eating less chocolate and snacking on healthier things instead. So that’s a win. Ultimately, for this to be a lifestyle, I need to be able to live with it. I’m back to just being aware of my food.

I never liked math anyway.

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4 thoughts on “Why math is not my friend

  1. I remember when I was on WW..I was obessed. It’s ALL I thought about. It controlled my day. I think it’s good that you ‘feel’ what a 1500 calorie day is. however, don’t let it run your life. Many times people gain the weight back because they are tired of being ‘perfect’ all the time. What many of these plans don’t teach is how to listen to your body. When you’re overweight..you don’t listen to your body. Then when you’re losing weight..you’re not listening to your body.

    Listen to your body. Choose good foods. Enjoy life and food 🙂

    ~M

    • I did the whole WW thing for a while as well and the thing I took from it was the portion control – before, I thought I was eating well but my portions were out of whack. I never got obsessed with that but with the calorie counting, something triggers and I didn’t like it. But I’m going back to listening to my body because you’re right, binging or dieting, you’re not listening to your body and fueling your body.

  2. I cannot count calories, for that reason – I get too into it and deprive myself then feel frustrated when I don’t see results. It is a good tool to get a feel though, like you said! 🙂 Many people have NO idea how many calories are in something.

    • SO true – we think we’re eating “right” until we realise that the cheese we’re nibbling on has 100 calories per nibble and there are other things that can fill you up more than this. Really eye-opening but definitely not a way I can live.

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