Is Counting Calories A Good Way To Watch Your Weight?

counting calories

A calorie is the unit used to measure the amount of energy you get from food. Losing weight and keeping it off are no doubt important to your health as an employee. In the past, counting and journaling how many calories you’re taking in a day has been suggested as a way to weight watch. The recommended daily caloric intake for women is 2000 calories while that for men is 2500 to maintain your current weight. Dropping these calories by a few hundred per day can lead to weight loss. The idea behind counting calories is to get you to calculate how much you’re taking in per day so you can drop it where necessary for weight loss.

But is this effective? Let’s look at the reasons why calorie counting may not bode well for you in the long run.

Calorie counting is not sustainable.

Counting calories means that during your meal-planning process, you will spend more time trying to eliminate so-called bad foods from your menu. You might decide that a recipe that calls for whole milk would be better off with skim milk instead. Or that butter should be replaced with coconut oil. It also means that whenever you go to a restaurant, you will have to call ahead and make sure items on their menu are cooked in a specific way with specific ingredients. Doesn’t this sound tiring already? Here’s the reality: it is a researched fact that will power is a limited resource for most people. Calorie counting may help in the short-run but in the long run, it is not sustainable.

Eating highly nutritious meals trumps low calorie-meals.

Calories are important but they’re not everything. Cardboard has very low calories but it is also very low in nutritional value. Many foods that are touted as “low-calorie” are not nutritious. This is where we go back to the good old days of a “balanced diet”. Your body still needs proteins, it still needs carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and yes, even fats to function properly. Concentrating on feeding your body the nutrients it needs in moderation is a much better strategy than counting calories.

High-quality nutrients also mean high-quality calories.

Not all calories are the same. Tied into the point above, concentrating on eating a balanced diet that provides your body with high-quality nutrients means your body will be getting high-quality calories. For instance, one large boiled egg delivers approximately 78 calories. Pairing that with a one cup serving of blueberries which is equal to 80 calories is a total of 158 calories. While this is obviously a low-calorie meal, it packs a lot of nutritional value. Eggs are high in proteins and fat; both of which are necessary for bodily functions. Blueberries are full of antioxidants that boost the immune system. Because the calories in eggs burn slower than calories from carbohydrates, you will remain fuller longer. Compare this to eating a 100-calorie rice cake for breakfast. It is also low in calories but has little nutritional value. Thus, the likelihood that you will grab for a snack in between meals goes up. Focusing on high quality nutrients therefore is a much better strategy than counting calories.

Counting calories is only one part of the equation when it comes to losing weight.

Thinking that counting calories alone will be essential to your weight loss is like thinking your car only needs gasoline to run efficiently. Indeed, without gasoline, your car will be disabled.  However, cars need, among other things, a good engine that has its’ oil changed every 3000-4000 miles in order to run efficiently. When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, your metabolism is important. Metabolism refers to how your body converts food to fuel for your body.

A slower metabolism means you burn calories inefficiently. This makes weight loss difficult. It is possible to disrupt your metabolism with a low-quality diet. The good news however is that you can boost your metabolism by eating high-quality foods. Highly nutritious foods that increase your metabolism include:

  • Avocado
  • Almonds
  • Beans
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Chia Seeds
  • Coconut Oil
  • Fish

Is counting calories a good way to watch your weight?

Watching your weight is invaluable to your health as an employee. A healthy employee is also a productive employee. While counting calories can be helpful in helping you watch your weight and improve your health, it is not particularly sustainable, and it is only one brick in the tower that comes with maintaining a healthy weight.

Focusing your energy on eating highly nutritious meals while combining it with moderate exercise everyday is a much better long-term plan to losing and keeping weight off. If you found this post helpful, please consider sharing it with someone else?