Stop counting calories

22 September 2021
22 September 2021

Counting calories makes you ignore the feeling of hunger and satiety. Those are two signals that you should follow to lose weight in a healthy way. A mother asked me via Instagram whether it makes sense for her son to count calories. I immediately answered the question and noticed that more and more people have questions about this.

What are calories?
Each label contains information that does not make you wise or happy as a consumer. Unknown terms such as ‘E621’, ‘ammonium carbonates’, ‘dextrose’ but also ‘saturated fat, of which sugar’. Then there are also numbers that you don’t know whether it is good or not. As early 70s, people were counting calories. We thought: better to eat too little than to eat too much because imagine that you would become overweight. Calories are listed at the top of a label and that indicates how much energy your food and drink contain.

1210 Calories as an energy source. Can you still perform?
Now you know that the calories provide energy. But should you count them? To give you an idea how many 1210 calories is, below is a short overview.

As you can see, there is a huge difference in what you eat and what your body needs. If you wait until the end of the day and eat a bag of chips, you will have consumed 1210 calories. So you won’t eat all day and you’ll be hungry. If you start the day with a McDonald’s breakfast, you can’t eat anything for the rest of the day. Your body won’t last. You don’t eat 23 cucumbers in one day either. If you see the short list above, you know that counting calories is impossible.

The energy value of the food plays a major role in our daily life but does not say much about the ratio of the nutrients. It is therefore wise to pay more attention to the label and content than to count the calories.

Less is unhealthy
If you eat too little, you will not lose weight. You may become lighter, but in many cases this is muscle breakdown and has little to do with fat loss. Most people who are obese often eat too little but also unhealthy. When someone is overweight and starts paying attention to their diet, the first thing they say is “I have to eat more than I normally do”. This ensures that awareness is set in motion, but also fat burning, resulting in weight loss.

Quantity is not always quality
If you emphasize counting calories, then you are not looking at content. The latter is very important. Your body cannot do without carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Your body can do without zero and light products. For example Coke Zero contains phenylalanine. This substance takes care of your mood. With a large glass of zero you get 3 calories and a lot of sweetener and flavor substitutes. Your body is completely disrupted and does not know what to do with it. In fact, the body needs energy to get rid of those chemicals. Take a good look at the table below per 100 grams. The light product contains fewer calories and the fat has gone down. The saturated fat with has gone up. So you can simply gain weight without noticing it.

Peanut butter Peanut butter light
664 calories 533 calories
58 grams of fat 41 grams of fat
5.8 grams saturated 6.3 grams saturated
49.1 grams unsaturated 34.2 unsaturated
11 grams of carbohydrates 17 grams of carbohydrates
6.4 grams of which sugar 5.8 grams of which sugar
21 grams of proteins 18 grams of proteins
0.55 grams of salt 0.55 grams of salt


What is the solution then?
When you are concerned about your health, you read a lot of contradictions. Products with all kinds of claims that are often just not quite true. For example slogans like “0% fat”. What it doesn’t say is that they are high in sugar. That is not stated in the slogan, but on the label. We allow ourselves to be influenced too much by advertising and media. Influencers post messages on social media for which they are paid. Our emotions also play a role in the choice of what we eat. Eating emotionally is a (daily) habit for many people. The solution may be easier than we think, but it just takes some energy (that’s what you get when you eat healthier). Bring some rest in your daily functioning. Get your liver, intestines and metabolism up and running and ensure regularity. Healthy food doesn’t come in a can of powder and you can’t get it from a lettuce leaf. Eating healthier starts with awareness and should be introduced slowly. Don’t say it won’t work for you. It will, just hold on.

Tasty recipe: If you want to eat half of the 1210 calories, then the dish below is recommended.

Only six! ingredients:

Preparation method: