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Do I need to count calories to lose weight?

Ah someone who is of my own heart! I personally think sitting there and ‘counting calories’ is the greatest waste of time any athlete can ever undertake and just isn’t for me. Hey don’t get me wrong, if you are a ‘C Style’ person with a clinical nature and love numbers then go right ahead. All I am saying is that I do not I feel that you need to sit and count every single calorie that you consume per day.

For the people who are into it do you really believe that it is THAT critical that you get an exact number of calories per day? Also how did you calculate your requirements? To throw a further spanner in the works, how is it that you calculate the calories that you are eating? To feel that a precise number of calories would make that great of a difference would mean that you need to believe that:

  • the body utilises calories in the same fashion and rate that the calorie itself is determined and that every body is the same
  • the body’s needs are the same everyday regardless of your activity level or energy requirements (until you are ready to change your calorie totals of course)
  • the resource that you get your calorie information from is correct and is the same to every other resource available
  • the food that you are eating does in fact contain the exact breakdown of macro-nutrients that you are referencing from the literature/website/book etc, and to get further critical that every piece of the same food is also exactly the same

I personally believe that the body is an incredibly adaptive and responsive unit, and it works on averages and is in constant change. I just don’t believe that every day is that exact and precise – there are far too many variables for things to be 100% exact.

Working on averages, that’s what I do.

So does this mean though that the total practice of calorie counting is to be done away with, or is there an element of truth? Yes and no.

Sitting down and counting calories of every single thing that you eat every single day; yes I just don’t buy it. But knowing what you are eating and being consistent in your resolve – that is very much needed.

But are they not kind of the same thing, bingo! I know it sounds like a contradiction but hears me out. To lose weight successfully, you will need to either consumer less energy then you need or burn more energy that you take in (the combination of both works best) so in regards to food you need to be consistent in your approach. This easily achieved in eating the same sorts of foods each day in the same rough amounts. If you eat ‘x’ amount on Monday, and then you eat that same ‘x’ amount on Tuesday, does it not stand to reason that you don’t need to count calories everyday?

Ok now weight stalls, does that mean we need to then shave off a precise number of calories to generate weight loss? Lets get technical, 1 kilogram of fat contains 7200 calories so where will the split be (in regards to greater energy usage through exercise, further energy consumed due to metabolic influences post training – that is a further discussion in itself – and eating less energy). Again I feel it is making it way too complicated. Just eat a little less and move a little harder. You will know if you are on the right track if you are starting to see results again a few days later.

Keep it simple, and use your free time to the best of your advantage. It will always be the best way.

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