I made an info graphic & posted it to my Instagram account last year regarding calorie counting. I tried to squeeze so much information on it that admittedly, it is difficult to read. So, I decided to post the information here also. But before I do there are a few more points on the topic that I wanted to highlight.
Firstly, I’m not saying that it doesn’t work for some people. My question is, is it necessary? While there might be some benefits short term, is there a downside long term? Is it possible & more beneficial long term if we re-orientate our focus?
In western countries we eat less animal fats & sugar than we did in the 50’s yet we have higher rates or overweight & obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other lifestyle related diseases than ever before. Are calories really to blame? What’s changed?
Well, a few things….
Microplastics have become ubiquitous in the environment, pesticide use has increased, pharmaceutical use has increased not only in human consumption but in conventional animal farming (which we then consume). Pharmaceuticals & their metabolites unfortunately also creep into the water supply via our waste. We consume more processed and prepackaged food than ever before & industrially manufactured seed oils are in almost all packaged & take away foods. Additionally, we now have chemical laden cleaning products & personal care products. We increasingly get very little natural sunlight & are bombarded with artificial light. We live under ever increasing electromagnetic toxicity and are generally under more stress than ever. All these things contribute to a disruption in our hormonal, mitochondrial & metabolic health.
When we focus myopically on calories, macronutrients & micronutrients, we tend to sacrifice quality, seasonality & our own intuition of what we need to nurture & nourish ourselves. When we focus on reducing chemicals in our environment, homes & body, filtering our water, eating seasonal organic food, eating unprocessed foods that we cook ourselves, moving our body every day, preferably outside & start trusting ourselves, we feel great, look great & can forget about the calories.
So now back to the original post!
Calorie Counting, To Do or Not To Do?
Count Toxins Not Calories
Calorie counting encourages prioritising low calorie food over whole food. Many products marketed for weight loss contain metabolic disrupting chemicals. These chemicals can cause weight gain over time as well as contributing to many other diseases. This includes food wrapped in plastic or stored in plastic containers, conventional raised dairy & meat that contains synthetic hormones & pesticides, seed oils & some preservatives & additives.
Calorie counting often goes hand in hand with low fat/high protein diets. Long term restriction of healthy fats can lead to vitamin deficiencies especially vitamins A, D & K.
Vitamin A is required for protein metabolism. High-protein diets lacking nutrient dense animal fats, deplete vitamin A, which can contribute to heart disease, iron deficiency, mood disorders, skin problems, gut issues & hormonal imbalances, women seem to be especially susceptible to this.
Your body contains structured water that responds to information biologically. Having negative associations with certain food puts us into sympathetic dominance. Higher cortisol = slower metabolism if it’s maintained long term.
Using calorie counting apps means more time on your phone. Structured water in our cells & tissues holds mitochondria. Denatured structured water from excess EMFs = less mitochondria = metabolic disruption & reduced energy.
Excess blue light from screens interferes with your circadian rhythm, hormonal & neurotransmitter production & can ultimately interfere with metabolic function.
I Really love counting my calories, it works for me. How can I optimise it from a preventative health perspective?
Avoid proceed high protein, low fat products like protein bars, high protein ice creams, protein powders & other foods marketed for weight loss & muscle building.
When meal prepping use glass containers instead of plastic.
Read labels, get familiar with your macros, do the math & stay away from the apps. If you absolutely have to use a calorie counting app, limit phone use on other apps & get plenty of natural sunlight throughout the day.
Eat organic food.
Be kind to yourself. A happy cookie is better for you than a sad salad.
Don’t deprive yourself of good fats like, fish, olive oil, full fat organic dairy (raw if you can get it), butter, eggs including the yolk & organ meats.
Want to learn more about how you can move past diet dogma?