Hey guys! Hope your Monday’s are off to a good start! I’ve been wanting to post this topic for a while so I’m going to dive right into it: 

Why I stopped counting calories and tracking macros

While I know many people have had success with doing so (as I once did in the past), it’s personally not for me anymore…and hopefully these reasons will give you something to think about if you contemplate counting calories or tracking macros at some stage: 

1) Calories do not measure nutrition: Merely representing a unit of energy, calories provide no indication how your body utilises those calories, the impact the food has on hormonal activity nor its influence on overall health and wellbeing. While a Snickers bar contains around 250 calories and an avocado racks in about 320 calories, the latter packs in far more nutrition per calorie and is more likely to leave you feeling satiated even once you’re done eating. 

A crackin' lunch at Le Pain Quotidien

A crackin’ lunch at Le Pain Quotidien

2) Counting calories takes away the joy of eating: Even though I eat a very healthy diet, I definitely still consider myself a foodie- I appreciate quality ingredients, can talk about food for hours, and love the experience that comes with both cooking at home & eating out. When I counted calories & macros, I noticed myself dreading social situations that focused around food purely because of the uncertainty over what I’d be eating and how it was prepared.  Rather than a source of fulfillment and nourishment, food turned into a ball of numbers: A freshly-baked piece of bread was no longer something to be enjoyed, but instead viewed as 83 calories, 15g carbs, 2.7g protein & 1.1g of fat.

3) I became less in tune with my body & hunger signals:  Hunger is not a straight line & no 2 days are the same.  There were days that I found myself eating more just because I had calories remaining for the day whereas other days, I purposely restricted my eating to ensure I didn’t exceed my daily calorie allowance.  What I didn’t realize is that each day, I was making myself less in tune with my own body & hunger signals.  The thing is that our bodies are a lot smarter than we give them credit.  Once you learn to trust it, your body will tell you when to eat and when to stop and eventually it will all balance out.  If anything, we can look at babies & young children as role models.  Even if there is merely an ounce of milk remaining, babies clamp their mouths shut once they’re satisfied.  They know that eating or drinking too much volume will make them uncomfortable and they choose not to do it. 

Learning from my cutie-pie nephew

Learning from my cutie-pie nephew

4) It made me obsessive & more stressed: Anyone who has ever counted calories or tracked macros  will agree that it eventually turns into a numbers game i.e. trying to figure out how to get the most of your calories and hit your targets most efficiently.  I found myself glued to my iPhone trying to readjust the numbers on the MyFitnessPal app, to the point that I considered buying a different brand of food for the sake of saving 10-15 calories per serving.  The truth it that after a certain point, the build-up of stress & cortisol will start to hinder your progress no matter how on point you are with your numbers.  When your body is stressed out, either mentally or physically, it stores fat as a defense mechanism.

5) Weight management goes far beyond calories in versus calories out: Although eating less calories than you’re expending technically should translate into weight loss, it’s not as black & white.  Foods affect our bodies in different ways and go through various metabolic pathways.  Not only that, but the foods we eat can directly affect the hormones that regulate when and how much we eat.  Rather than focus on numbers, we’d be better off addressing the kinds of foods eaten, sustainability of our diet, quality of workouts, state of our physical & mental health & our overall lifestyle choices (e.g. sleep & stress levels).

Getti, Marylebone High Street

Getti, Marylebone High Street

That all being said, I do think that counting calories can be beneficial to an extent, especially in terms of understanding portion sizes & ensuring you are eating enough.  Rather than morph into the focus of weight loss or healthy eating, counting calories should simply be a tool to turn to every so often.  I personally still do look at calories & macros as a guideline,  but if I’m counting anything, it’s going to be ingredients. 

Have you ever counted calories or tracked macros?

Even if you haven’t, I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter!


Monday favourites: 22/06

June 22, 2015

I think I can speak on behalf of (most) fellow bloggers and say nothing is more annoying than a missed alliteration. As much as I would love for this to be a Friday Favourites post, unfortunately I missed the boat on that one last week…so Monday Favourites it is: Uncle Ben’s Rice:  I have seen […]

Read the full article →

Weekend in Venice

June 15, 2015

Hey guys! I’m back in London after an incredible weekend in Venice attending a close family friend’s wedding.  What a city, what a wedding, what a couple! While every wedding has its charm, this one was truly spectacular.  And like most weddings/holidays, it involved everything seen typically as unhealthy: Indulging in copious amounts of gluten […]

Read the full article →

Just a walk

June 8, 2015

After a food-filled post last week, I thought now would be a good time to  talk about my current workouts.  Since I stopped the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Program in March due to feeling burned out both mentally & physically, I adopted a relatively low-intensity workout regime that involved a combination of yoga, swimming and […]

Read the full article →

Weekend eats in London

June 1, 2015

Happy Monday…and good morning if you’re on this side of the world!  Since I’ve arrived in London, it’s been one big food fest – I mean, what better way to catch up with friends/family than over good food!  I’ve felt so overwhelmed (in a good way) by the increasing amount of restaurant choices and quality […]

Read the full article →

Playing tourist in Budapest

May 28, 2015

It seems like Budapest is the place to be year.  In the past month alone, I’ve spoken to a number of people who are planning a trip there, so I figured it would be helpful to share some recommendations from last weekend.   I had no idea what to expect but honestly, I thought Budapest […]

Read the full article →

Body loathing

May 26, 2015

Hey guys! I just got back from Budapest yesterday which was epic.  There are so many highlights I wan to share, so I’ll definitely put up a separate post within the next few days in case you’re planning to visit.  In the meanwhile I wanted to quickly link up to my latest entry on Huffington Post:  My […]

Read the full article →

Currently (May 2015)

May 18, 2015

Hey guys!  It seems to have become tradition that I post a Currently Survey right before travelling.  I’m pre-scheduling this post so I’ll actually be on board and a few hours away from London when this post goes live.  To say I’m excited would be an understatement.  Between all the packing and making my way […]

Read the full article →

Homemade nut butter

May 11, 2015

Have I ever mentioned that I have a weakness for nut butters?  Spread on toast, whizzed into my smoothie, mixed into oatmeal, rolled into cookie dough balls, sandwiched in between chocolate, or straight up on a spoon- anything goes!  As soon as I get to London, I will definitely be stocking my freezer with one of […]

Read the full article →