Many people, myself included, have been caught up in a calorie counting fad in hope of achieving weight loss. In my early 20s I kept a detailed daily record of my calories in/out. It wasn’t long before my obsession became a problem. I’d heard 1,200 calorie diets were good but at 176cm tall (above average) this was barely enough for organ survival.
One day when catching up with friends for a drink, I realised I only had enough calories for 2 glasses of wine OR a light dinner before I hit my daily calorie limit.
I bet you can guess what I did - yep - I skipped dinner and had 2 glasses of wine instead.
It wasn’t long before I began doing this regularly, my nutritional needs were no longer of importance, only the number of calories I was eating. To be fair, I didn’t know any better.
I’d been brainwashed by fad diets and thought if my calorie count is perfect, I’ll be healthy. It couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Here’s why. Imagine these two options both equalled 500 calories:
1) 1 bowl of ice-cream, or
2) 2 tuna & salad sandwiches
Looking at those two options, it’s clear which one will fill you up and which one will leave you hungry again in 30 minutes. Unlike protein and fat - sugar doesn’t trigger hormones that make you feel full - it quickly leads to more hunger making you vulnerable to cravings, mood swings and the ‘diet-binge cycle’.
Not only was I on the fast track to feeling crappy, I felt tired and irritable and I was frequently craving food. When I was next eating became an obsession.
The urge to binge on everything was strong.
Why? Because I was undereating, malnourished and I never felt full. The fibre and nutrient packed tuna sandwiches would have fuelled my body and metabolism throughout the day so I could do awesome things like move more, crave less, build muscle and sleep better.
In time, after failed attempts at losing weight and keeping it off, I began to realise that everything I put into my mouth is fuel. I could either fuel healthy weight loss and keep it off or stay on the diet-binge cycle.
So clearly a good eating and weight loss plan is not just about the calorie count, the quality of your calories matter.
If you still struggle to know how to lose weight without feeling hungry or deprived – contact us at Fitness Revolution for nutritional guidance, ongoing support and the real key to weight loss.
Coach Ange Gawthorne