To count or not to count… that is the question. I firmly believe If you are trying to lose weight, you should not calorie count because it could could be hurting your weight loss progress. With all the fitness bands out there like Fitbit and apps like Myfitnesspal, calorie counting is very popular. But just because it is popular doesn’t mean it is helpful towards your weight loss journey.
I recently tested out Myfitnesspal, after hearing many of my clients using it. Here is what happened…
I WAS OBSESSED WITH COUNTING CALORIES AND FOOD! All I could think about was what I ate, how many calories it had, what I can eat next, and how soon until my next meal. Food became an obsession. I was stressed over what I can eat and couldn’t eat. Because I couldn’t eat certain foods (because they were too high in calories), I started thinking about it, and stressing over it… and of course, stress leads to binge eating. Needless to say, counting calories did NOT help me lose weight. It took dieting to a whole new level … I became OCD with food. I thought about
After 4 days, I came to my senses and deleted the app. Here’s what I learned.
1) Calorie counters are great to teach you the calories of certain foods that you didn’t think had much calories… fyi, red wine has about 100 calories in a 4 oz pour. Who knew??
2) Calorie Counters help you understand what proper portion sizes are, since you have to track portion sizes along with logging the actual foods.
3) If you have a tendency to be obsessive, STAY AWAY FROM CALORIE COUNTERS. It will cause you to have more cravings, since you are constantly thinking about food.
If you can use a calorie counter and not obsessive over food, fantastic! If you are like me, here is a great alternative. Use a food diary instead and write down your meals. It causes you to stay accountable without going overboard. Writing it down and reviewing it daily gives you an idea what you are eating. I recommend writing down the emotion you are feeling before and after eating. This will help you figure out why you are eating certain types of foods (sweets, salty…etc) and if you are truly hungry, bored, or if you are eating because of a particular emotion. For most of us, eating is caused by an emotion, filling a void or using it as a reward to make us feel better. Aim to use other ways to reward yourself instead of food. It could be a relaxing walk with friends, taking a long bath, or reading a good book. Developing healthy habits is the key to successful weight loss.
What are you thoughts on calorie counters? Have they helped you or hurt you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Should you post your #weightlossjourney on Facebook, Instagram and social media? Many experts believe Facebook & Instagram could ruin your diet and weight loss. The stress of judgement from so called “friends” on these social media sites can cause people trying to lose weight to rebound with stress eating. When you make an announcement of social media about dieting, You are inviting people to make comments and judgment.
When these comments are supportive and positive, it can be very inspiring. Just like you feel good when someone notices you’ve lost weight, positive comments can be uplifting. The danger is many people may not be as kind, or can be perceived as hurtful, even if they didn’t mean it.
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WHY FACEBOOK MAKES IT WORSE
When you put things on social media, people who are your friends may say things like, “How’s your diet going?” Something as simple as that statement can cause a negative reaction for many people who are trying to lose weight. If you are struggling with weight loss and haven’t seen huge results, this can be very demotivating.
Even something as innocent as “How’s the diet going?” could lead to feelings of depression if you are struggling with results or had moment of breakdown and eaten a bad meal. Because many of us are stress eaters, this can cause a spiral of stress eating behavior. Feelings of depression and worthlessness are common after as stress binge eating.
On the other hand, other people say putting their weight loss progress on social media helps with weight loss motivation. It holds them accountable and keeps them inspired to stay on track because it forces them to keep their word.
Here is my take on it. If you are going to put your weight loss progress or announce it on social media, look for a closed group of people who are on your same weight loss journey. Some social media sites like Instagram, where you have more privacy with your profile may be a low stress way to connect with others without judgement. The best success I’ve seen with social media is to connect with people who are on the same path as you. Even more so, if you can find a group of people in real life who share your weight loss goals and fitness goals, you can motivate and push each other and you will get better results then social media. It’s why workout partners are so effective. It keeps you accountable and you have someone to share your struggles and successes with.
What has been your experience on social media? I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories. Please share with us in comments.