To count or not to count?
Many times clients wonder if they should be counting calories. While counting calories is an age old
practice associated with losing weight is it really necessary? The simple answer is no. While there are
many benefits to counting calories (more accurately counting macros) it’s a practice best left alone, at
least on your initial weight loss journey.
While I don’t believe you should be busting out the food scale I do believe keeping a food journal is a
huge benefit for both mindfulness in what foods you are consuming and self-accountability. Let’s be real
though, calories DO count. Meaning you need to have the basic understanding of the foods you are
eating and the relative caloric amounts contained in those foods (Ice cream: high, broccoli: low).
How can you know you are eating the right balance of foods? There are a couple of simple ways to
ensure you’re balancing your plate. 1) Use the plate method: ¼ of your plate should be lean protein
sources, ¼ starchy veggies (like potatoes) and the rest of your plate should contain non-starchy veggies
(broccoli, squash, etc.). This method is fantastic for eating out at restaurants. 2) Using your hand as a
rough portion estimate: Palm ~2-3oz (meat portion), closed fist ~1Cup (veggies), tip of finger ~1tsp (your
fats). You should always be focusing on whole fresh foods. Lean meats, fruits, veggies, and fats from
plant based sources.
When would it be appropriate to consider tracking macros? If you have been diligently eating whole
fresh food, your sleep is on point, your water intake is maximal, pushing yourself in your daily workouts,
and you have no underlying health conditions, but you have reached a plateau and can’t seem to
continue to lose or gain weight to reach your goals it might be beneficial to take the next step in
counting macros. Other reasons might include reaching performance weight (if competing in
weightlifting) or specific aesthetic goals.
It’s been said time and time again, there are no secrets in leading a healthy lifestyle. Not counting
macros, adhering to the newest diet trend, or taking a magic pill. The simple recipe is to eat non-
processed whole foods, move every day, stress less, play more, drink your water and make sure to get