Should you be counting calories to lose weight? Or is that a myth?

Well, kind of...

I mean there is real science behind the principles of energy balance work.

For instance, if you take in more energy/calories than your body uses, you gain weight.
And if you take in less energy/calories than your body uses, you lose weight.

This is the basis for counting calories. But there are some big flaws to this system...

First of there is no way for companies to be 100% accurate on their labels when it comes to calorie count.  (FYI The FDA allows for 10% miscellaneous items in foods that are packaged, sorry to put that picture in head.) 

Secondly your digestion plays a big part in how much of your food/calories you actually absorb. From how much you chew your food, to your stomach acid and enzymes doing their part to break down your food, from your liver being able to process fats and release bile to continue the last part of digestion in your colon. All those stages have to function properly to be able to digest and absorb all the nutrients in your food...

Another huge factor on how your body uses energy/calories has to do with your hormonal health. If your hormone health is out of whack this greatly affects how your body burns energy. Do you know anyone who eats very little but still can't lose weight? Yup, thought so. Unfortunately calorie counting won't help that person. (good restful sleep will do them wonders)...

And lastly if you're starting out to eat clean and want to lose weight or simply get healthier, calorie counting should not be your priority. Getting in the right amount of fiber, water, and nutrients should be at the top of your list.

Here is what to do instead of Counting Calories for Weight Loss

So what's the easiest and most convenient way to figure out how much to eat while avoiding counting calories to lose weight? The answer is using your hands as measuring tools. Below is a great guide showing you exactly how to figure out how much protein, carbs, and fat you should eat with your meal to stay fit.

The guide below is presuming you are eating 4 meals a day, so some adjustment may be needed...

Thanks to Precision Nutrition for the easy to follow guides below for women and men.

Counting Calories To Lose Weight

Images provided by Precision Nutrition (that's where I received my Nutritional Coaching certification)

Counting Calories To Lose Weight

Images provided by Precision Nutrition (that's where I received my Nutritional Coaching certification)

Remember these guides are just a starting point.  You should adjust the portions according to you how frequently you eat, your size, your appetite, how active you are and the results you are getting. This guide should help you get over the hurdle of thinking you have to be counting calories to lose weight.

A few ways you can adjust your portions are if you are feeling too full after a meal first reduce the amount of fat your consuming by half. If you are still feeling too full then reduce half the amount of carbs.

Secondly if you feel that are getting too hungry in between meals then add half a handful of carbs to each meal.

You can use this guide to know if you are eating the correct portions.
Hunger, Energy, Cravings. The should all feel balanced up to a few hours after eating. I wrote a whole post about this here.

Also if you want to get 3 amazing Kitchen Rescue Guides to help you figure out how to create healthy meals, master meal prepping, and learn how to make super shakes CLICK HERE FOR THIS FREE GUIDE.



Sebstian Muenda

I have dedicated the last 16 years of my life to health, fitness, and spirituality. I have taught classes, have a private practice and have opened up past businesses to support the community in reaching their highest potential within health, fitness, and spirituality.