As an intuitive eating coach and RD-to-be, I help women stop obsessing about food. Often, the first step is to stop counting calories.
For many people, that’s harder than it sounds! Right now, maybe you’re thinking:
“Christine, I know how many calories are in everything, I don’t know how to get that information out of my head!”
“I’ve tried to stop calorie counting before, but my brain just does it automatically.”
You might even be thinking…
“I want to stop counting calories, but I’m worried that I’ll start bingeing or eating way too much if I do!”
No matter what your worries and fears, know that you’re not alone.
While calorie counting isn’t natural or necessary (more on that tomorrow!), it’s totally normalized in our culture. There are calorie counting apps that make it “easy”—although of course it isn’t actually easy! There are endless articles detailing how many calories are in various foods and fast food meals. (I admit, I wrote some of these articles before I knew better.) And, there’s so much emphasis on always eating the “right” amount, being regimented and disciplined about your food intake, and sticking to a certain portion size.
The thing is, calorie counting doesn’t work. And, it takes a mental and emotional toll.
I probably don’t have to sell you on this. If you’re here, it’s because you know it doesn’t work, and you’ve experienced firsthand the toll it takes. You’re ready to stop counting calories, but you don’t know how.
First, let’s talk about why calorie counting doesn’t work
- Your body literally changes the way it operates in order to conserve calories. It gets more “efficient,” which means it learns to do the same things while burning fewer calories. And, it tries to prevent fat oxidation (burning fat for energy) at all costs.
- Your hormones shift to make you hungrier. Yup! When you eat fewer calories than your body needs for a long period of time (and therefore lose weight), your body produces less of the hormone that makes you feel full (leptin) and more of the hormone that makes you feel hungry (ghrelin). So, you’ll feel hungrier all the time, and it’ll be harder and harder to stick to whatever number of calories you’re trying to stick to.
- You start obsessing over food. Studies have shown that restricting calories or being on any type of restrictive diet makes people think about food far more often. If you find yourself always thinking about/planning your next meal, or even dreaming of food, it’s not because there’s something inherently wrong with you—it’s because you’re restricting food.
It’s tough to stop counting calories, but it’s possible!
I’ve already said this, but just to reiterate: It’s totally normal to wonder if it’s even possible for you to stop counting calories.
I’ll say this again, too: It is possible. It’ll take a while to empty your head of all of the calorie counts you’ve memorized over the years, and to break the habit of mentally adding up your plate before you eat it.
Honestly, quitting your calorie counting habit will take some work. And, it will take longer than 7 days. But this challenge will provide a foundation and a roadmap for that journey.
Every day for 7 days, I’ll send you a journal prompt and a quick activity.
The activity might only take a second, or it might be something that you can weave seamlessly in your day. The journal prompt will make you reflect on your current way of thinking and figure out a way forward.
It’s totally free!
Yup, this 7-day challenge is free, and always will be. And, while I won’t be able to give you any 1:1 advice during the challenge, you can always feel free to respond to the emails with a question.
What are you waiting for?? Sign up now!