Three Reasons Not to Count Calories in Your Diet

It may seem like a contradiction, because calories are usually the fundamental pillar of any diet. But, the truth is that they're just a number, and behind a good diet there are many more important aspects to keep in mind besides the number of calories that you consume.
Three Reasons Not to Count Calories in Your Diet

Last update: 07 October, 2018

Calories are the protagonists of most diets. Dieters usually spend the day adding up the calories of each food that they eat, to avoid exceeding their daily maximum. They also check the food labels when they’re in supermarket. Sometimes this can turn into an obsession. In this next article, we’ll give you some reasons to not count calories in your diet.

Not all calories are the same

The first thing that we need to be clear about, is that not all calories are the same. You should eat five different nutrients: vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, mineral salts and fats.

Each of these nutrients have different characteristics, so you should eat them at a different time and in variable amounts. That’s why it doesn’t make sense to compare the calories of one type of nutrient with calories of another. Likewise, you shouldn’t generalize between them.

It’s true calorie contents can be a guide, but they shouldn’t be the protagonists of your diet. Normally, people who are on diet have a maximum number of calories that they can’t exceed. To do this, there are many apps where you introduce the food that you ate, and they add them up for you, throughout the day.

App counting calories.

Imagine, that a person who is on diet, eats healthily throughout the day and meets their daily goal of not exceeding a certain number of calories.

Another person also counts the calories that they consume and doesn’t exceed the indicated amount, but that person only ate fast food. Was it useful to count them? With this example, you can clearly see how calories aren’t everything.

In addition, your body doesn’t digest different types of nutrients in the same way, so the same number of calories from two different nutrients wouldn’t be absorbed equally. You also have to consider the time of day when you take in the nutrients. For example, it’s not the same to eat carbohydrates during breakfast as it is during dinner time.

It doesn’t consider different nutrients

Setting a calorie limit that you shouldn’t exceed throughout the day, leads to not eating the required nutrients. It’s not right assume that they’re all equal, as we mentioned above.

To have a balanced diet it’s necessary to consider the build of the person and their physical activity. A person who does a lot of physical exercise should eat more calories because they burn a large amount of them.

Similarly, a woman who is 5.5 ft tall and weighs 121 pounds won’t be able to use the same reference as a man who is 6 ft tall and weighs 195 pounds. By this, we mean that a balanced diet implies much more than just calories.

Healthy foods.

There are more important aspects

Beyond calories, there are other more important aspects when it comes to following a diet. In order for you to see that it’s not just about adding them up or obsessing ever the composition of food, we’ll show you some details that you must consider in order to have a healthy diet:

  • Drink two liters of water a day. You can reach that amount by drinking tea or natural juices.
  • Eats foods that contain fiber. You’ll improve your digestion and intestinal transit.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables five times a day. They’re fundamental for the correct development of your body. You’ll feel better if you eat them with every meal you eat.
  • Eat five times a day. If you are on diet, it’s best to eat small portions several times a day. Try eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. You should also have a mid-morning snack and a mid-afternoon snack. Forget about heavy meals and you’ll see how your stomach appreciates it.
  • Don’t eat carbohydrates at dinner. You should eat these during the first hours of the day only. So, all of the energy that they provide gives you the vitality you need to face the day. But, if you eat them at night, you will only gain fat.
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Surely, just thinking about different ways to reduce calories in your diet will whet your appetite. However, it does not have to be this way.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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The contents of this publication are written for informational purposes. At no time do they facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.