These Infographics Show the Problems With Calorie Counting

Diet for weight loss; exercise for fitness.

You can meticulously count every single Jelly Bean or lick of peanut butter you’ve had, then calculate the number of calories you’ve burned to offset them. But this actually hurts your weight loss efforts (and sanity) more than it helps. Here’s why you shouldn’t rely on “calories in” and “calories out”.

Source: These Infographics Show the Problems With Calorie Counting

While many of these points are valid, I think a better way to summarize this is that many people misstate their calories when calorie counting and not as much that there are inherent problems with calorie counting. It takes discipline not only to eat better, but to track it all as well. If you start to take shortcuts on tracking or are being liberal with how big that scoop of peanut butter is that you counted as one serving, then you’re only doing it to yourself.

Calorie counting isn’t for everyone, but it can work for the right type of people.

Why Counting Calories Burned by Exercise Can Sabotage Your Weight Loss

I’m a huge fan of tracking calories in order to lose weight. This process is quite powerful…with one exception. Here’s an eerie case where merely thinking about calories may nullify your progress.

Source: Why Counting Calories Burned by Exercise Can Sabotage Your Weight Loss

Very interesting read – the article goes into various studies to present why exercise does not mean weight loss.

[maniacal laugh]

How to Lose Weight Without Counting Calories

Fat loss relies on one thing: eating fewer calories than you expend. But nobody wants to sit and count calories all day. Most people can learn to track them successfully, but some might need a different strategy altogether. If tracking has given you a headache in the past, consider giving this a try.

Source: How to Lose Weight Without Counting Calories

Worth a read – the author responded in the comments about “intermittent fasting also as a non-calorie-counting dieting method… particularly for women”.

US FDA: Ruining Your Cheesecake and Popcorn with Calorie Counts

The Food and Drug Administration announced sweeping rules on Tuesday that will require chain restaurants, movie theaters and pizza parlors across the country to post calorie counts on their menus. Health experts said the new requirements would help combat the country’s obesity epidemic by showing Americans just how many calories lurk in their favorite foods.

The rules will have broad implications for public health. As much as a third of the calories that Americans consume come from outside the home, and many health experts believe that increasingly large portion sizes and unhealthy ingredients have been significant contributors to obesity in the United States.

…Perhaps the most surprising element of the new rules was the inclusion of alcoholic beverages, which had not been part of an earlier proposal. Beverages served in food establishments that are on menus and menu boards will be included, but a mixed drink at a bar will not, F.D.A. officials said.

…The National Grocers Association said: “Grocery stores are not chain restaurants, which is why Congress did not initially include them in the law. We are disappointed that the F.D.A.’s final rules will capture grocery stores, and impose such a large and costly regulatory burden on our members.”

Source: F.D.A. to Require Calorie Count, Even for Popcorn at the Movies

I agree that having the information can be beneficial, but that information can be used for shaming – which is known not to work.  You need “cheat” days, where it doesn’t matter.  It’s to be a treat, not for every day…

Most Diets Boil Down to: Eat More Vegetables

There is so much controversy about the right diet for optimum health and fitness and it seems like the rules are constantly changing… …The truth is that they are all variants of the “eat more vegetables” diet, which in my opinion, is the only diet that has ever been proven to really work.

Source: How To Get Fit Even When You Hate Exercise

That said:

  • You can have all the vegetables in the world, pour on the cheese sauce and high calorie salad dressings on and still be just as bad as your average fast food consumer.
  • Volume/calories: portion control can be a factor.  I used to “reward” myself by eating after a workout – at best, I was just “eating it all back”.