We hated it in school, and yet so many of us live and die by it in our daily lives when it comes to healthy living. We think “calories in/calories out.” I was very much on that bandwagon, but over the last 18 months or so I’ve come to realize it’s an UTTER waste of time.
Counting calories WILL (through sheer determination and overcoming every fiber of your body’s set point) eventually get you to your goal. It took me four years (four years!) to lose my post-partum weight. I kept it off for three years and then the yo-yoing began. All it did was frustrate me and prevented me from having fun in my life.
Here’s my advice based on how I’m living my life these days:
Eat lean proteins; lots of fruits and veggies; go easy on the starches; and try to ditch as much sugar as possible.
If you can live with that combination of foods (trust me you can), and if you can move for fun not for calorie burn, you’ll be fine. Your weight will settle in to a happy place and you’ll reach through your computer screen and give me a hug.
I was on Weight Watchers for years following their counting system. It’s not quite calorie counting, but I can still look at just about any plate of food and figure out how many “points” it is. How does that help me enjoy my food? Plus, Weight Watchers gave me a way to “cheat” legally. I could have that big hunk of bread and the sugary dessert if I just saved up my points during the day to blow it at dinner. Is that a healthier way of eating?
I’ve been evolving this idea for a while now and “The Smarter Science of Slim” is the closest I’ve come to the life I want to live. The book talks about choosing quality foods and getting on with your life the rest of the time. It’s about minimal time spent on exercise geared to boosting your metabolism which frees you up to move and be active only for fun. I do still believe we should move most days of the week, but in a way that brings us joy, not just as a means to stay in our skinny jeans.
I love Pilates, hooping, and running. I love hiking, a little Spinning (especially when I’m angry), and the occasional yoga class. I literally walk all over town. I’ll try other exercise classes just to see whether or not I like them. It’s pretty diverse really and that’s how it should be. Doesn’t that sound better than what is usually shouted at us when it comes to fitness?
I’m training for a 10K right now because I want to see if I can do it; I want to stretch my limits and attain a new goal. I’m NOT counting calories as I run, and I’m trying to be okay with my pokey time and just let the experience unfold.
So ditch the calorie counting! Ditch the regimented workout routines! Focus on eating well and feel your body hug you back. You’ll be so glad you did.