Often times in the fitness and weight loss industries you will hear that not all calories are created equal. And to be honest, they’re right.
Calories, which are simply a unit of energy, are going to be different depending on the foods you choose to eat.
But who cares? Frankly, food is food.
Once we begin to nit pick and scrutinize and deem certain foods bad vs good or healthy vs unhealthy then we create an unnecessary, unhealthy relationship with food.
And when it comes to healing your relationship with food and building back the trust with your body, focusing on calories is a recipe for disaster.
So many times my clients are coming to me with years of not trusting their own body’s innate wisdom when it comes to food choices.
They are constantly looking at a bowl of yogurt and fruit vs a bowl of cereal and even though their caloric content are roughly the same, they are plagued with thoughts of “But the fruit is healthier,” “The cereal is processed,” “I’m healthy only if I eat the fruit,” “I won’t be able to go out for dinner tonight if I eat the cereal,” “I’ll have to workout more today,’ etc..
I get it. I lived in that mindset for 15 years.
Over analyzing and obsessing about those tiny tid bits of life is exhausting. And how convenient that our fears around certain foods and entire food groups are a major driving force for that industry’s funding.
Fitness and weight loss industries feed off of our own insecurities and tell us to not trust our own body. Over countless diets, cleanses, detoxes, etc…we are programmed to put all our trust into a generic ‘calories per day’ or ‘this many servings per day’ or even ‘using our palm, finger, or tupperware container’ to deem the appropriate amount to eat. Instead of trusting ourselves to make that decision!
And we’re somehow surprised that our relationship with food is damaged?
We’re somehow surprised that being told we’re too fat, we shouldn’t be hungry because we just ate, we didn’t workout enough that day to have dessert, feeling guilty that our bodies naturally change as we age, or constantly seeing social media plastered with the ‘ideal’ but unrealistic body type is somehow not a recipe for disordered eating, eating disorders, yo-yo dieting, or an unhealthy relationship with food and ourselves?
If you want to take back ownership of YOUR life and not be weighed down by calories, calories, and more calories (because let’s be honest it’s boring and time wasting)…
Here are 3 steps you can start today to make this transition stress free:
1. Get rid of any tracking device you use.
No calorie counting, no macro counting, and no tracking the calories you burn. If you want to stop focusing on calories then do not keep putting calories in your line of sight. I know this can be a hard one because it’s often seen as your last bit of control you can hold onto, but it’s not serving you. You move further and further away from your own intuition with honoring your hunger and rebuilding the trust between you and your body.
2. Eat the foods you fear the most.
If you want to remove the strong hold focusing on calories has over you, start to eat the foods/calories you fear the most. Fear is heightened and enabled by inaction so take action to bust through those calorie myths and regain back the control. Eating the foods you felt uncontrollable around or you felt you didn’t have strong enough willpower to say no to, will prove that you have the knowledge, power, and confidence to choose what’s best for YOU.
3. Stop participating in diet talk.
Continuing to talk about and participate in diet talk only enhances those thoughts and feelings about calories. This also applies to un-following accounts that promote weight loss, calorie counting, thin bodies, and anything else that triggers you and enables strict food rules. It’s hard enough to form our own thoughts and opinions about how to live, and when you add in everyone’s suggestions and recommendations on what you should or shouldn’t eat, it just makes it way more complicated and not sustainable.
In the end, it doesn’t matter that calories or carbs or fats are not all created equal. It’s about you being able to make up your own mind and decide what YOU want to eat. Without the pressure, without the guilt, and without the judgment coming from others and most importantly, from you.
So take a stand today and choose freedom, choose flexibility, and choose literally whatever floats your boat. Because there’s so much more to life than obsessing over the things we eat and counting how many almonds are in a ‘serving’ size (and yes, I used to do this).
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Certified Holistic Health Coach
Eating Disorder Recovery Coach