Be honest with me for a sec…
Do you spend your days reading food labels, scanning bar codes or googling ‘how many calories are in an apple?’
You’re not alone.
When I look back on my days of dieting, I mostly think of how overwhelmed I was by all the numbers.
(And this girl doesn’t even like math!) 😝
Whether it was the numbers flashing back at me when I’d step on the scale, adding up daily calorie totals, or analyzing pie graphs of how much carbs, fat, and protein I was consuming…
…every day was a straight up numbers game.
Heck, I was using the #iifym hashtag like it was going out of style!
Because, you know ‘if it fits your macros’, anything goes right. 🙄
Is that my innocent attempts of wanting to be happy quickly evolved into me needing to seek validation outside of myself.
Numbers validated if I was going to have a good day or a bad one.
But here’s the thing that so many disconnected eaters are missing…
When you rely on external forces like sticking to a regimented food plan, eating because ‘it’s time’, or eat a pre-measured amount (whether you’re hungry or not)… you gotta know that you’re missing out on a very important part of life.
Where does the fun, spontaneity, or pleasure fit into that calculation?!
The truth is, it doesn’t.
Which is exactly why I’m going to encourage you to throw out the diet tools.
You heard me.
Finito. Au revoir. Buh-bye. ✌🏼
…now, now, not so fast.
Before you slap your laptop closed, or exit out of your web browser… hear me out.
To be honest, counting calories and staying stuck in this numbers game is really just an outdated way to approach your lifestyle.
If it was so easy to lose weight, from just following a structured calorie restricted meal plan… don’t you think we’d be a nation of thin people by now?
I’m not even going to get started on that topic because striving to be thin is another diet industry disaster within itself.
But if you do want to get into the religion of thinness you can read more about that righhhht here.
What I mean, is free meal plans are basically thrown in our faces.
Whether you find em on Pinterest, in blogs, magazines, or inside of apps…
One thing is for sure.
Clearly, this numbers game isn’t working.
Which is why I’m about to break the 5 mains reasons behind WHY tracking your every move, and counting calories/ macros is a total waste of your precious time…
What’s better is that I’ll share what you can do instead, so you can finally set yourself free from this numbers game! 🙌🏼
Let’s dive in!
The myth that all calories are created equally is by far one of the biggest offenders in damaging your relationship with food.
When we consider calories over nutrients we can easily forget that our bodies aren’t meant to be a dumping ground.
What I mean is, even if a cheeseburger and a Buddha bowl have the same amount of calories… that doesn’t mean our bodies will benefit from eating the cheeseburger.
Oh and for the record, eating the cheeseburger and then later burning it off at the gym doesn’t count either.
But I know you’re smart enough to get this.
Our bodies are wildly complex.
And for your gorgeous body to thrive, it takes a lot of moving parts for her to function optimally.
“But I don’t track calories, I focus on my fat, protein, and carb intake instead”
Not so fast…
This absolutely goes for the modern version of counting calories too…
Yep. Macro fanatics- you too! 😉
Hear me out for a hot minute.
When I was working towards hitting certain macros milestones– aka trying to create the perfect pie graph…
…I’d end up avoiding or skipping meals, even if I was STARVING.
Only because I didn’t want to be outside of my daily macro count.
So to break it down, comparing nutritious soul food to junk that I wouldn’t even feed my chichi isn’t going to serve you if you want to live a healthy, vibrant life.
And starving or punishing yourself isn’t going to get you there any faster either!
Nothing fires me up more than when someone says, ‘THEY said it, so it must be true’.
I mean…who are ‘they’, anyway?!
When I stopped relying on what others said to be true, started to ask more questions and make my own judgment calls… that’s when things really started to click for me.
If there’s any solid advice I can give… it’s that (just like inside of gossip magazines), not all the information you read is true.
The same goes for food labels.
Did you know that there are actually labeling laws set in place to allow for a 20% margin error when creating the nutritional facts panel?
Which means that your 100 calorie snack could actually be 120 calories, or that 400 calorie chocolate bar could actually be 500 calories.
Must I say more?
When you’re tracking every bite, lick, and taste that you put into your mouth, it’s safe to say that the numbers game can go from overwhelming to pure chaos.
Busy days are a given.
When life gets crazy we naturally try to do what’s easy.
Which means, that if you’ve returned home from a long busy day at work, and you’re in a hurry to meet your best GF at the gym…
….but you still need to eat dinner, AND track your foods…
You’re likely to choose foods that you can quickly scan, or calculate.
Why? Because you just don’t have timmeeee to google the all the nutritional info that went into your 10 ingredient smoothie.
Is setting you up to forget about all the abundantly healthy, untouched WHOLE FOODS that come without the label.
Brene Brown said it best, “What we don’t need in the midst of struggle is the shame from being HUMAN”.
Ain’t that the truth!
If perfectionism has been your life soundtrack, then I’m going to ask you to have a loving hard look at yourself in the mirror.
Heck, even turn your iPhone camera on, and flip it to selfie mode.
What do you see?
Could it be?! Is it really a real life human being!
Yes, yes, my girl. Yes, it is.
And being human means you’re going to make mistakes from time to time.
Does that mean you deserve to be beaten down and punished for it?
Oh, HECK NO!
Guess what. Making mistakes is totally A-OK.
But when you’re consumed by the numbers game there isn’t any room for mistakes.
With numbers, there’s only right or wrong.
Which means that if you go over your calorie limit or macros for the day… you’re likely going to beat yourself up for it.
Life is tough enough as it is, and the last thing you need is the self-criticism for not hitting a calorie goal.
And if you’re comparing your progress to professional bodybuilders, athletes, or fit Instagram models then I’ve got a truth bomb for you.
It’s their JOB to do endless tracking, training, and live within the confines of their meal plans.
They literally dedicate their entire days and lives to live and look like this.
And I so know that you’ve got more to live for than that!
Which brings me to my last and final reason behind why it’s time to stop tracking, and start living…
Forewarning: I’m about to get deep.
When you die, what do you want to be remembered for?
In the midst of my intense food tracking and diet days, I was in a pretty traumatic car accident.
I remember asking myself this same question.
Did I want to be remembered as the girl who could stick to a meal plan?
Maintained my diet?
Consumed the perfect balanced amount of macros?
Stayed within my allotted daily calories?
No, no, no, NO! 😐
I sure as heck didn’t.
And I’d place a safe bet that you don’t either.
There is a whole freakin’ world out there!!!
Relationships for you to be present in.
Dreams you’ve been wanting to make come true.
And a life to freakin’ live.
Life is too damn short to waste another second of your day calculating everything that goes into your mouth.
Stop wasting so much of your precious time, and energy on something that really means nothing when it all comes down to it.
Just image all the incredible things you could do with all the time you’d free up if you weren’t being consumed by calories in vs. calories out.
And if you really do enjoy counting, why not try counting your blessings instead?
Okay, okay Sairah… I hear you, calorie counting is a waste of time… but what in the heck do I do instead?
Is what I bet you’re saying.
Well, my girl, you’re in luck.
Because I’m going to fill you in on…
- Listen to your body, what does SHE want and need right now?
- Eat whatever the F you want. Trust that your body naturally wants food from nature.
- If you’re hungry, simply eat. (forget what it feels like to be hungry?)
- Eat for both fuel and pleasure.
- Limit distractions. When you’re eating, eat.
- Honour meal time. Get present, pay attention to your senses and give blessings to the food in-front of you.
- Don’t make food the enemy
- Find out what works, and ditch what doesn’t. Pay attention to how you feel before, during and after a meal.
- Be okay with eating more than what feels comfortable to you. It’s all a learning experience.
- Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can.
Now ain’t that a breath of fresh air! 🙃
In all seriousness though, your body really does know best.
She’s here to SUPPORT you, not work against you.
She really does want you to thrive, not survive.
Now if you’re someone who is still stuck in this numbers game, but you’re now seriiiiously rethinking your strategy… then I’ve got something for ya.
Often times we get so wrapped up in the diet mentality without even realizing it.
So what can you do about it?!
Take this super short and simple quiz to find out if you’re still stuck in the diet mentality, so you can uncover what your next steps are.
You so got this!
A life of freedom and fun in your life around food is jussttt over the horizon 😉