Want to lose weight without having to keep track of every calorie you eat? According to this nutrition expert, you’ll never have to count calories again if you follow this simple principle.
You’ve probably heard it over and over again. To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume. And it’s true, to a certain degree. So, this means tracking your calorie intake… right? I mean, there’s even dozens of apps, calorie charts and trackers designed specifically for that purpose.
Well, according to Mike Geary – nutrition specialist and author of The Fat Burning Kitchen – you can officially stop obsessing over calories. In fact, you will never have to count a single calorie ever again… if you follow just one simple nutritional principle.
First let’s look at some reasons why counting calories more hassle than it’s worth:
Why you should stop counting calories
It’s wildly inaccurate
Geary states that counting calories is often more of a guessing game. Numerous studies show that most people hugely underestimate the amount of calories they consume. According to this article research shows that overweight people tend to underestimate their calorie intake by a whopping 40%. Normal-weight people underestimate their calorie intake by 20%, which is still a lot.
Here’s some more studies on how we underestimate the amount of calories we consume:
Not all calories are created equal
OK I have to rephrase that. Actually all calories are created equal! That’s because a calorie is a unit of energy. Just like an inch is a unit used to measure distance, a calorie is also an exact amount.
So yes, all calories are created equal. What’s not created equal is the types of food your calories come from. Calories come from the carbohydrates, fat and protein contained in the food you eat. The combination, amount and quality of these vary greatly over different foods.
Food labels are often inaccurate
According to this study, the calorie count listed on food labels is often wrong. In fact, the number of calories listed on the next food lable you read could be inaccurate to a degree of 50%. The reason for this is that the method often used to calculate a food’s calorie content is over 100 years old.
The way food is processed has a big impact on its calorie content. The old formula doesn’t take this into account.
There’s plenty of other reasons why counting calories isn’t as effective as it’s made out to be. To list just a few… it:
- tends to take the fun out of eating out, dinner parties and your neighborhood bbq.
- often causes obsessive thoughts about food
- takes a lot of time and people usually stop tracking their calorie intake within a few week or even days.
OK, you probably get the picture. Calorie counting ins’t all it’s cracked up to be. So what’s this nutritional principle Mike Geary talks about that is supposed to help you stop counting calories while still losing weight?
Here it is:
How to lose weight without counting calories
The ‘secret’ principle that will banish calorie counting for good lays in the nutrient density of the food you eat.
If a good deal of the food you eat has a high nutrient density, your body gets the nutrition it needs without getting too much calories.
What’s the easiest way to increase the nutrient density of your diet? Start eating more ‘whole’ foods and cut back on the processed foods.
Now a nutrient rich diet doesn’t mean you should only be eating fruit and veggies for the rest of your life. Mike Geary explains that a high nutrient diet can also include lots of foods you probably thought were bad for you. He mentions a few of these in his article: “7 ‘Fatty’ foods for a flat stomach”.
So, there you have it… adding more foods to you diet with a high nutrient density makes calorie counting obsolete. Want to know exactly how to construct your own nutrient rich diet? Check out Mike Geary’s book. It really provides a wealth of information on fat loss through a healthy and nutrient rich diet.