Calories, today it’s THE word in weight loss. When it comes to calories I picture in my mind these little white things called calories literally ‘burning’ off of my body and me becoming thinner by the second. I was wrong.
In 1824, Clement created the concept of the ‘Calorie’. He used it to measure steam energy. Now it’s, “Eat this many, burn that many.” I overhear women talking about calories like I overhear men talking about football. We are the most nutritionally educated country in the world yet considered the most obese. Hmmmm…. This makes me wonder.
Calories are simply a measurement. A number that we often focus on because we have been told if we eat more than we need…we gain weight. On the flipside if we use more than we eat and we lose weight.
I’ve worked with a lot of people. That experience has shown me that counting calories is one of the reasons America has become obese. But not in the conventional way most people think.
Let’s look at a real example…a very real example that every woman reading this can probably relate to…I will use ‘Sara’ as our illustration.
Sunday morning rolls around and Sara decides she is going on a diet. She tells her family and they quiver when they hear the ‘D’ word. They know the routine and what is about to occur (seriously ladies, notice when you say the ‘D’ word around your husband, he mysteriously has to work long hours that week). Sara wakes up Monday morning and decides she will eat no more than 1200 calories a day. She just saw an ‘expert’ on the Today Show who recommends 1200 calories a day… so this sounds like a great number. It also means she can eat 400 calories per meal. Sara is excited and determined that ‘this time will be different’. So she decides to ‘be strong’ and kick some caloric butt. She decides she is going to eat only 600 calories her first day! To get a headstart on this diet. She figures if she eats 600 calories when her plan is 1200 calories she will lose weight that much faster.
So the diet day begins. Sara nibbles on a carrot for breakfast. Then she eats a low calorie meatball for lunch, then one almond for a snack. Sara’s hungry but determined. Her family is avoiding her because they know what’s about to happen. By 3pm Sara is tired, hungry and she’s lost 3lbs. She’s already picked out her size 2 mini skirt and new heels.
For seven days in a row, Sara sticks to her plan. At night she adds up her calories consumed for the day and eats anything in site as long as it keeps her under 1200 calories. She does this for all week noticing she’s not losing any more weight.
Now Sara is real tired and her family is real scared. Sara wakes up on day 8 decides she’s just meant to be a size 12 and that she will try again next spring when some new rocket science diet is out on the market.
Next year, Sara does it again and the results are the same. Each year becomes harder. Each year she becomes a little heavier and little more frustrated. Then it happens. She gives up for good. She’s defeated and then the weight really begins to pile on. A few years later she is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Weight loss is no longer a concern, now it’s life or death.
Folks, this has occurred in America for the past 40 years. We focus on ‘calories’. The end result, we are calorie counting experts. We have done what we were told to do…count calories, eat low calorie, burn calories, avoid bad calories but eat good calories, etc. As I’ve heard said by a few old timers; “It ain’t workin’“.
Something to think about…Growing up in the 60’s, my mother NEVER said ‘Don’t’ eat that! It has too many calories’. We did not know what a calorie was in 1965 yet America was not obese. Japan does not count calories and yet they have no obesity issues. So simply put…calories don’t count. Say it again…”Calories don’t Count”.
There I said it. Label me a quack or a renegade. Calories fool people into believing if they focus on a number then they will lose or gain weight. I wish it were that simple but it’s not.
I do not believe in labeling anything good or bad in terms of food. However, there are foods I know that will help me or hinder me from making progress toward my goal. To make things more confusing Dean has different foods that hinder or stop his progress toward his goal. While learning more and more about health and nutrition we clued into our own bodies’ needs. It takes time. It actually is a work still in progress as we refine our plan and as we add more time to our lives (that was a nice way to say: we’re getting older and things change because of it).
I am all about eating real food, food that satisfies. I don’t want eating to be a chore or food to become a naughty word. One of the best tools I’ve used is ProCoach. I won’t say much more than it has tuned my thoughts and aligned them with my body’s needs. Its put my mind in the right place. I’m not sure if its right for you at this time, but there is only one way to find out. Check out ProCoach.
To Your Best Health,