Don’t Count Calories, Do This Instead…
Here’s the deal with “counting calories.”
It doesn’t work.
By “counting calories” I mean, keeping track of how many calories you eat every day and how many calories you burn every day in order to maintain, lose, or gain weight.
It doesn’t work.
Because there’s no real way to actually calculate your calories.
Let me explain.
Calories are units of energy. And your body requires energy for everything. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.
Just being alive requires energy. Sitting. Standing. Walking. Talking. Smiling. It all requires energy, or calories. But not the same amount. Each action has a different energy requirement.
Walking up a flight of stairs takes more energy than smiling for 10 minutes. That makes sense.
And each day you perform MILLIONS of different actions. With millions of different energy requirements.
So here’s the problem.
How do you accurately track that?
How do you track the 73 times you smiled today versus the 106 times you smiled yesterday?
Sure, you’ve got an Apple watch that tracks your steps and your heart rate. But does it track how many times you’ve sat, stood, frowned, talked, thought?
Does it track every single action you perform that requires calories?
And if not, how will you match the exact amount of calories you’ve burned with the exact amount of calories to eat?
The answer is, it’s unlikely that you ever will.
And guess what? That’s okay! There’s something far more effective than counting calories and it only takes one small adjustment.
Instead of counting calories, count macros (macronutrients.)
Protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
These are the three building blocks of food. They’re easy to track. They don’t fluctuate and change like calories do. And they mean more to your results than the amount of calories you eat.
It’s as simple as this…
Find the right macronutrient balance for your goals. Then, eat the right foods to hit your balance for the day. Do that every day for 3 weeks. Then, check your progress. Are you moving in the right direction? If not, make small adjustments. If so, keep going.
That’s it. You don’t have to adjust your calories each day. You don’t need to worry about how many calories you’ve burned. You just need to find the right macronutrient balance in the beginning.
While each individual has individual macronutrient needs, these three general guidelines are a good place to start:
For maintaining bodyweight
Protein – Eat .7 – 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight per day
Carbohydrate – Eat 1 – 1.5g of carbohydrate per lb of bodyweight per day
Fat – Eat .25 – .75g of fat per lb of bodyweight per day
For losing weight
Protein – .7g per lb of desired weight
Carbohydrates – 1g per lb of desired weight
Fat – .25g per lb of desired weight
For gaining weight
Protein – 1g per lb of desired weight
Carbohydate – 1.5 – 2g per lb of desired weight
Fat – .5 – .75g per lb of desired weight
Leave the counting calories to scientists. Stick with counting macros.
This simple change in thinking can take away huge amounts of stress and leave you with better results than ever. You just have to be willing to try.