I wanted to talk real quick about calories. There tends to be some confusion these days on the significance of calories.
I’ve read multiple accounts from people insisting that “calories aren’t important for weight management” because THEY personally do not count calories.
Calories exist whether we count them or not (“If a calorie falls down in the forest…”). And we can make dietary tweaks that can help guide them up or down whether we count or not. Counting calories makes intake more RELIABLE, but it’s not necessarily required.
Some people can enter a calorie deficit eating intuitively and with some basic dietary tweaks (like focusing more on protein and produce for example). For others, this is ineffective or simply not satisfactory.
Someone that is losing weight and is not counting calories is still experiencing the benefit of a calorie debt. They just don’t know the numbers. If you’re shrinking, I can guarantee you are in a calorie deficit.
Counting calories versus not counting calories – there’s a host of factors that influence whether one method is right for you and the other is wrong. What works for you might not work for someone else. And likewise, what works for someone else may not work for you.
And therein lies the danger of the excessive focus on the importance of food quality in the context of weight management. “Real food” is getting magical status in many circles. Some people will insist until they are blue in the face that alllllllll you need to do is ‘just eat real food’. And though this is not terrible advice (I can nitpick some other time) and can be very helpful for many people, it’s completely unhelpful for many other people.
This type of thinking also opens the door for unnecessary obsession – “if you’re not satisfying your fat loss goals, then clearly you’re not eating ‘GOOD’ enough” the idea goes. When in reality, you could eating a fantastic diet rich with nutrients galore….just…. a little too much.
So calories – they exist whether you count them or not. Don’t fool yourself into the idea that laws of thermodynamics only exist if you want them to. Some people don’t need to count calories for their goals to be met to a satisfactory level – whether other people DO need to.
There’s no shame if you’re in that latter group.