unhappy woman on a diet holding a plate of vegetables

Weight loss is not rocket science.  It’s really pretty darn easy. Move your body and eat food that’s good for you. Some people make things a lot more complicated than they need to be.  One of the biggest unnecessary complications?  Calorie counting.  Don’t get us wrong, knowing what you put into your mouth is important, but counting every little calorie is a bit excessive.  On top of being excessive, it also doesn’t really work.  Putting your height and weight into an online calorie counter is not a fool-proof way to drop pounds or get healthy, and you may end up doing more harm than good.  So how do you know if the calorie counting is working for you or wreaking havoc?  Here are a few red flags that calorie counting might not be the way to go.

two women sitting at a table counting the calories in candy

  1. You exist on JELLO cups and Big Macs.  Hey you’re staying within your calorie allowance, right?  If you can’t be trusted to make food choices like a grown-up, calorie counting might not be your jam.
  2. Your friends are sick of hearing about how many calories are in a tablespoon of salad dressing.  Maybe you find the calorie content of salad fixings a fascinating dinner table conversation, but odds are no one else does.  Sorry.
  3. Your calories are all used up by lunch.  Time flies, and so do calories when you start adding them up.  Breakfast, snack, coffees, lunch…it’s pretty easy to blow through a thousand calories without even blinking.
  4. You work out.  Do you pick things up and put them down?  Are you training for a race?  Are you a spinning addict?  These are the things you need to take into account when you’re eating.  Counting calories doesn’t take an active lifestyle or eating for a goal into account.  A set in stone calorie amount doesn’t work for everyone, so figure out what you need to eat for the body you want.
  5. You forget your calorie guide and promptly have a nervous breakdown.  No one should have to look up every single thing they eat, that’s no way to live!  You know a grilled piece of fish is a great choice, that’s enough. You don’t need to check an app on your phone to get the calorie count to know you just made a healthy choice.
  6. Since you’ve started counting calories you haven’t had a fruit or vegetable because you’d rather pool the calories for a mini peanut butter cup.  A hundred calories for a medium banana or a hundred calories for a dozen gummy bears?  If you keep picking gummy bears over actual food that comes from the ground, counting calories is not for you and that’s ok.

Remember ladies, there is thin line between being aware of what you’re using for fuel and obsessing over every little unit of energy measurement you put in your mouth. Tread carefully!