Keeping track of calories is important for body composition. If you don’t know how many calories you are eating how do you expect to achieve your dream physique ?
It is like building a house without a blueprint.
Is counting calories necessary?
I think first you have to learn about different foods and their calories so in the beginning it is absolutely necessary to count calories especially for people who don’t have an idea about portion control.
I’ve met people who think they’re eating a lot less than they actually are but in fact they’re completely out of whack and are eating (and drinking) far in excess than what they think.
Disadvantages of counting calories
The numbers will paralyze you especially when you get to stuff like macros. Most people can become overwhelmed with all the numbers stuff.
The more you dig the bigger the rabbit hole gets.
# When I first started it was so confusing.
# What split should my macros be?
# Is it 40/30/30 today?
# Is it 55/25/25 tomorrow?
# How much protein, how much carbs, how much fat?
I panicked if I didn’t hit my macros.
And as if that wasn’t enough I was now tracking my weights in the gym, taking weekly body measurements, weighing myself each day, yes even men do this!
Talk about analysis by paralysis!!
Long and short of it, numbers made me stressed! Nowadays its much easier because of all the apps that are available on iPhones and that I know much more than I did back then.
Often when I am eating with family I get light hearted comments like “get a life” and OCD to which I reply “who’s got the better body”.
If you are skinny…
Skinny people live by different rules than most of us. Faster metabolism, hyperactive CNS, you name it! I was one and if I knew what I do right now I would just eat and eat and eat!!
I was so worried about my macros that I wouldn’t go into any restaurant unless they had chicken!!!
You are very in tune with your body’s needs
If you are in the minority you don’t need to count your calories. You know when you’re hungry and you eat. You stop when full.
You are not interested
Enough said. Counting calories takes a bit of work, and many of you simply want to be healthy. There are a multitude of reasons not to count calories.
If you’re not interested, that’s totally cool.
Advantages of counting calories
You either undereat or overeat
The mind is a tricky thing; we as humans are irrational by nature. The body doesn’t like to be underfed and will go to great lengths to convince us that face-planting into that dessert is a great idea.
Food should never be used as a reward – and yet this is the foundation upon which many of us have been raised. And now, as adults, the thinking has become, “I’ve had a long, hard day and I’ve done a lot of good things, therefore I deserve that jelly donut.
If I don’t track my calories I just freak out and start to miss a meal here and there.
I find security in numbers
Yes, even a fully grown man has insecurity about his body!! If I don’t track my calories I will just look in the mirror and think that I’ve put on fat, I kid you not!!
If I am trying to build muscle I freak out on whether I’ve eaten enough protein!
OK so to sum up…
If you want absolute control over your physique then tracking your calories whether by a journal or a smartphone app is the way to go.
If you don’t want to track your calories but still want good body composition, counting your calories once a week just to make sure is a good idea.
If you are eating similar foods each week you will get an idea of how many calories are portion wise in each food.
I don’t think that calorie counting is for everyone; in fact, I think that most people would be better off not doing so. I want to stress that just because somebody you know or look up to is practicing one thing, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be doing the same.
You need to find what approach works for you.