The Calorie Myth

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Written By

Lauryn

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Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Calories 1080X675 1 | The Calorie Myth

Calories don’t count if you don’t count them. Contrary to popular belief, less calories or counting calories doesn’t necessarily equate to health, weight loss or getting a lean, mean body.

Here are 7 Reasons Why Counting Calories Won’t Help You “Boost Your Metabolism” or “Get Healthy”

  1. Calories Don’t Count Nutrients. Your body processes a pack of Skittles differently than a handful of berries. Eating Skittles is like putting water in your gas tank and asking your car to go—it doesn’t know how to do it. Berries are a familiar substance your body recognize.
  1. Calories Don’t Count Digestion. If you are not digesting your food, your body will have no idea what to do with the calories you eat—regardless of how many (or how few) you eat. You can eat 1200 calories every day and actually gain weight if your gut is not healthy.
  1. Calories Focus on the Scale. Calorie tracking and counting often goes hand in hand with a focus on weight and weight loss, but there is so much more to you and your health (and metabolism) than what you weigh. It’s like looking at a puzzle and only focusing on the outside border. Health includes: Peace of mind, less stress, social connection, sleep, digestion, water intake, food quality, balanced meals and movement. (Low) calories do not equal “health.”
  1. Calorie Counting Stresses You Out. When the body (and you) are stressed, cortisol levels go up. When cortisol levels go up, inflammation goes up, hormones and metabolism get thrown out of balance, we don’t sleep well, we don’t digest well and we continue to remain stressed over our body.
  1. Your Body is Smarter than Calorie Counting. Your body KNOWS when it’s hungry, full, tired, or has lots of energy to move. Listen less to your My Fitness Pal or FitBit and more to your body.
  1. Calorie Counting Lies. In a recent Google search comparing the calorie counts of a half-Rotisserie chicken, for instance, one listing suggested the bird delivers 500 calories plus 80 grams of protein. Another listing determined it had 400 calories and 69 grams of protein. Even on foods with a label, calorie counts are not 100-percent exact.
  1. Calories Don’t Equal Fat. Calories do not equal “calories stored in your body.” Far from it: Calories include a combo of all the energy units from the carbs, fats and proteins in a particular food that have a wide range of physiological effects regarding hunger, hormones, energy gained, energy spent, psychology, physical appearance, and more. Calories=Energy.

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