healthy living

why i stopped counting calories

i’ve been working on my weight loss for nearly a year, but i didn’t get serious about it until january of this year.  i downloaded an app called “Lose It” to help me keep track of everything.  it’s a really great app and easy to use.  i used this app every single day for six months.  i would log all of my food and exercise.  i would pour over my graphs and charts that calculated how many calories i was consuming and using.  i would enter my weight every single day and watch the bar on the graph go up or down based on a tenth of a pound.  it was all consuming.  i wasn’t eating enough because i would see the results in the charts as good.  if you were “under”, your daily calorie count was in green.  if you were “over”, it would immediately turn red. that’s a simple but powerful image.  and i was still doing hard workouts.  i was wiped.  i was cranky.  and finally i just had to stop.

when i was in high school and college, i had some issues with not eating and throwing up.  i’m not going to say “anorexia” or “bulimia” because i don’t want to label it.  but i had some months when it was really bad.  and this year, i had moments when i had the same feelings i had back them.  moments when i would see the green number and choose not to eat.  moments when i would throw up because i went into the red zone.  by june, i knew i had to make a change.  i went on vacation and quit using the app.

it was driving me insane.  i was thinking SO MUCH about every little calorie.  it was unhealthy for me.  and ain’t nobody got time fo that!

i have yet to actually delete the app but that day is coming.  i haven’t opened it in several weeks.  now, i’m not saying that Lose It or MyFitnessPal are bad programs.  Lose It actually helped me a ton by keeping me on track.  and it taught me how many calories were in the food i was eating, how much to actually consume in a day, how exercise can help you, etc.  i encourage people to use something like an app or food/exercise journal for awhile in the beginning.  however, for some people like me, you need to wean yourself off of it.  you can’t count calories forever.  it’s not good for your mental or physical health.

i still keep track of everything in my head, check nutrition labels, and meal plan on a weekly whiteboard calendar on my fridge to keep myself accountable.  but i’m not obsessing anymore.  i know what is healthy and approximate calorie counts for the foods i consume.  that’s enough for me.

here is a video that helps you calculate your daily caloric needs.  after you make the calculations, you may be surprised at how high the number is.  i was.  but if you subtract 500 calories for weight loss, you will get to where you need to be.

after upping my daily calories, i have so much more energy for my workouts and the day itself.  i’m gaining muscle and that’s my priority right now.  my  mood is better too because i feel better and i can actually enjoy food again.

source: RealFitTv youtube channel (love this chick!)

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