I’ve been tracking my calories pretty consistently now for about 11 months, since I started my fitness journey. Before I started, I thought I ate pretty well. I thought I ate good food, and though I sometimes had ‘unhealthy’ foods, I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t loosing any weight.
However, once I began learning about calorie counting and portion sizes, I soon realised how much I didn’t know!
Yes, most of the time I was eating so-called healthy meals. But, I was eating WAY to much of them. And it wasn’t just the occasional small, unhealthy snack I was consuming, I was binging on crisps and biscuits more regularly that I would admit to myself. It wasn’t until I began tracking all the foods I was eating, that I discovered how much extra I had been putting into my body, verses what I actually needed.
I often read things online about not focusing on calories, how it’s not healthy for our mindsets and we should just focus on whether our foods nutritious. And I do think that is a fantastic way to look at things, in an ideal world.
However, I truly believe that there is a place for calorie counting, if done correctly. My calorie target what set by a Personal Trainer, who worked with me to teach my how much I needed to eat to be in a calorie deficit. My calories were originally set at 1800 per day, much higher than I thought it would be! Tracking my calories taught me about portion sizes, and to not be ashamed if I went over my target on one day. In the beginning, it also helped me to see where I was going wrong.
But constant calorie counting is not a long term plan. It’s a short term tool to help reach a goal. So when it’s time to move on, how do we do it?
Well that’s something I’m currently figuring out. I’m having to trust myself. I’m having to be brave enough to trust myself. Trust that I can have a treat, and it won’t lead to a massive binge. Trust that I know what portion sizes look like. Trust that I can carry on working towards fat loss and stay in a calorie deficit, without having to track everything.
So that’s my next step. Learning to trust myself.