Nowadays every other person wants to count calories. It is a part of their daily routine, either if he/she wants to lose weight or be more fitter. Especially if you are coming from a nutritionist, not to count calories may really sound stupid. But, did you ever think if it was really necessary to count calories? Or they are something that the food and weight lose industry have always hyped about? Do you think being healthy or measuring health in numbers is rewarding?
I have heard from few people that, they don’t count calories on the weekend. But, what’s the whole idea about it? When the body is hungry, it demands for more nutrients and not just the calories. Also once you start to count calories, it takes away the joy of eating. When cooking food, you don’t have to count calories. Also while eating healthy food, there is no need to count calories, but control the portion size. On reading further you can make out yourself if it is really necessary to count calories:-
1. Do You actually Absorb all the Calories that You eat?
You count calories and eat the food. Is it digested completely? No matter how efficient your digestive track is, you don’t absorb each and every calorie from the food you eat. Are you aware that we all digest food differently? We actually absorb only a certain amount of calories . It depends upon the type of bacteria in the gut(stomach and intestines) and also on the macronutrient content of the food you are consuming. Many foods just pass through the body undigested. Evan the scientists warn, not to depend on calories if you want to lose weight and be fit for rest of your lives. The calories especially those on the nutritional labels as the numbers differ from those that we actually absorb.
2. Myth: Its all about to Count Calories!
I have seen a lot of people who are weight conscious and count calories. For them gulping a glass of sugary drink or gorging on potato chips is fine as long as they workout an extra 30minutes at the gym. I’m sorry if you are one of them. Calories aren’t much more than a number. Counting them is not a perfect solution if you want to lose weight. Yes, calories are there. These calories are vitally a measure of how much energy the food is comprised of. And yes, eating in too large quantities is not good for the health but, they are not an entire picture.
See, if you count calories that you are taking in, you should know the calories that you take out as well. Or you can say that the calories that you consume! What we eat are the calories that we take in, that’s easy. Calories out is where it gets a little puzzling. Calories are burned even while resting as we breathe, the energy is used to manage basic day to day functions. We burn calories to digest food or doing any sort of activity even like fidgeting and shivering.
3. Nutrients and Calories vary
The calories and nutrients differ by season, variety and ripeness. Its really fine to have the evaluation of the nutrient content of food. However, there is no way food enterprises could analyse every variety of fruit or vegetable from every zone. Or from every season and from different growing conditions to know the nutrients and calories.
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4. More Calories = Weight Gain?
There is no exact science which proves that more calories equals weight gain. If calorie counting would have worked for long period, America would have been the slimmest country on the earth. It is important to realise that the counting calorie approach does have its limitation. Cutting calories lead to momentary weight loss and the results don’t last forever. The scientists of UCLA(University of California, Los Angles) performed a study. As per this study, average of 41percent of people gain back more weight than they lost within a year after starting to diet. And this figure doesn’t account for people who drop out because they were embarrassed by their expanding waistlines.
What can be done!
Make lifestyle changes like eat your meals with the television off and mobile kept aside. In this manner you can concentrate on the food and can make out yourself when you are full. Please don’t overeat once you get the signal that you are full. Always listen to your body’s signs. I do understand probably still one may overdo when we find our favourite dish on the plate. In this case you may help yourself by controlling its portion size.
How shortly one gets hungry depends on how active you were, what the meal was comprised of, the quantity of food and the time of having the meal. Always notice your body’s cues and trust it, counting calories is not the best solution. Since a food is low in calories doesn’t indicate that it’s healthy or if it is high in calories, it doesn’t imply that its unhealthy. You cannot be healthy by eating low fat or low calorie. But, have to maintain best of our health by nourishing our body with whole foods without counting their calories. By doing so, you will feel consistently energised to live life to the fullest. If you are amongst those who need to count the calories as you keep on craving for food, then you may go through the article on How to Manage Food Cravings
Let’s count our blessings instead of calories!