I’m really not a huge fan of counting calories for a variety of reasons – not only is it incredibly unreliable (the FDA allows for a 30% error margin of calorie counts on nutrition labels), but for a lot of women it can become an unhealthy obsession… and when it comes to creating a healthy lifestyle, mindset and mental health are just as important as your nutrition and fitness.
That being said, if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s an unfortunate reality that calories are a major contributing factor to your success, or lack thereof. In order to lose weight, you must burn more calories (through your base metabolism, daily movements, and exercise) than you consume.
So if calories are important, but tracking them isn’t ideal, what’s the solution?
It’s no secret that a large portion of the population snacks in between meals. There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with this (especially if you are snacking because you are truly hungry – not just bored or emotional), the problem often lies is WHAT we are snacking on.
Most people opt for calorie-laden, high fat options because, well, they taste good and satisfy our cravings. Ice cream, potato chips, dips, chocolate bars, cookies, pastries… sound familiar?
So what if the only change you made to your diet was to swap your usual unhealthy snack with a healthier option? Fresh fruit or veggies, yogurt, a (small) handful of nuts, …
You would end up consuming about 250 calories less per day, which equates to 0.5lb per week, 2lb per month, or 24lb per year! All from making a small change and WITHOUT counting calories.
Just some food for thought…