Want to lose weight? Stop counting calories!

Yeah you read it right, if you want to lose weight stop getting hung up on counting calories.  A while ago I got hung up on tracking and counting calories. For a month I stuck to a diet that was less than 1700 calories a day but I felt terrible. I wasn’t  hungry but I was never satisfied. I was using an app from Fat Secret (which I love by the way) which broke my calories up into fat, protein, and carbohydrate percentages. I noticed that the highest percent was carbs, then fat, then protein.  I then started to look at my nutrition and realized that I wasn’t getting very much in the way of vitamins and minerals. I was substituting real food for fake, sugar free, fat free, low calorie fluff.  While I did lose weight I did not feel good because I wasn’t healthy and of course I wasn’t able to sustain this “diet”

When you are starting out don’t get bogged down by counting calories, instead think about counting nutrition. Ultimately your most nutritious items are going to be low in fat and calories anyway, unless of course you smother them in bacon, cheese, or some other delicious sauce.  Remember we are about making life style changes that will last a life time and keep us healthy.

When you are trying to decide what to eat, think about what is more natural and contains the most vitamins. A series of books I like are called Eat This Not That. They are books that compare popular foods and let you know which is better for you. Some of the choices were surprising.

One day I was eating a bowl of fruit and a co-worker who knew I was dieting said fruit has a lot of sugar in it. I responded “It’s better than eating a bag of chips or a Twinkie”  she looked puzzled and walked away. Yes I know that fruit has a lot of calories but I was craving something sweet so I decided to make a better choice. Fruit is a natural food, contains a vitamins, water, and fiber. So while I was eating quite a few calories at least my food had nutritional value and the fiber helps feel you up so in the end I actually would eat less and consume fewer calories than if I satisfied my sweet tooth with a candy bar.

Remember we are taking baby steps, don’t try to make drastic changes in the beginning or they won’t last.  Start making healthy choices this month, next month worry about the fat and calories.

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