We can't count calories; we don't eat calories; here's how we might think about food.

by m.c. schraefel on

WE CANNOT Eat CALORIES so we do we talk about eating them - usually fewer of them? or burning them? Neither point makes sense - they're not possible. After all, what is a calorie? How would you describe it to a four year old? In contrast, how would you describe a banana?

How does being able to describe something about food relate to eating better?  Perhaps it's that we eat food, not calories. What we eat, when we eat it and the effect that practice has over time - these are things we can know at least about ourselves.

If we say "eat less and move more" this is not the same as "counting calories" - we can't eat calories - we really can't - aside from the fact that calorie lables are wrong and insensitive to context and also that we notoriously underestimate calories in meals, too. So simple keys:

  • Eat MORE whole food LESS processed food (as per last post)
  • Make sure to get lots of colour on our plates to get a great mix out of macro and micro nutrients, vitamins and minerals
  • SIT LESS/MOVE MORE every hour.

One more thing: Calories may be a kind of cop out; they have no skills attached:
if the inches around the waist aren't changing, check consistency of the above heuristics.
If we aren't hungry before our next meal we likely ate too much at the last one or are eating too early for the next one.

i'm with stumptuous on this: f* calories.
People who follow healthy eating heuristics (eat greens each meal, get protein each meal, get healthy fats each day, starchy carbs when you deserve them, avoid drinking your calories) rather than calories have more consistent maintained weight loss, too, and more importantly know how to thrive when their batteries in their calorie counters die.

More whole foods, healthy hunger, more frequent movement throughout the day.

And on the research side?
it's a healthy relationships with food & food knowledge (not obsessing on calories) and social support that are the drivers for *sustained* weight loss.