Why Calorie Counting
However, very soon after they begin their calorie-restricted diet, their body's metabolism slows down to adjust to their reduced calorie intake and no further weight loss occurs.
The body does this by reducing the conversion of T4 into T3 because the process is dependent on the level of ATP in the liver and the level of ATP in the liver is dependent on the amount of food eaten. Calorie counting and reducing your calorie intake has a negative impact on the level of ATP in the liver.
By the same token, if you suddenly increase your calorie intake, as is recommended when you have a Treat Day, your metabolism will actually speed up, which means your body will burn more calories for that day!
Furthermore, not only is trying to calculate the number of calories consumed in every meal time consuming and difficult, it is virtually impossible to do if you're eating at a friend's house or at a restaurant.
Where are the calories coming from?
When people do use calorie counting as a way to help them lose weight, often they will give little regard to what they're eating, just as long as they're staying within their allocated number of calories for the day. This approach is seen in the 'points system', which is used by some weight-loss programs.
Of course, if you want to lose weight you need to create an energy or calorie deficit. However, simply calorie counting without being concerned about the types of food being eaten is guaranteed to fail!
I have personally spoken with people who have used this system and they said that they wanted to eat chocolate and drink wine on a particular evening. Therefore, they planned on not eating for the entire day and then allowed themselves to indulge that evening by allocating their entire number of points for the day to that evening event!
Not only is starving yourself for the entire day an incorrect weight-loss principle, but also not being conscious of where the calories are coming from is a problem too.
Meal frequency not considered
Meal frequency is another important point when it comes to helping people lose weight. Having 5 or 6 small meals a day will certainly assist with your weight-loss efforts rather than simply giving no regards to how often you are eating. The biggest problem with not following this approach is that if your body goes without food for longer than 3 or 4 hours it will enter into a catabolic state a.k.a. a negative nitrogen balance and this means you will lose muscle, which will result in your metabolism slowing down.
Meal timing not considered
When you eat is another important point to keep in mind because it can have a major impact on your endocrine system and whether or not your body stores the nutrients eaten as fat!
For example, many people eat very little throughout the day and then have a large meal in the evening. This is the worst time of the day to be eating a large meal simply because that is when your body's metabolism is slowing down preparing for sleep. Of course, it is therefore more likely that a large amount of the calories from that meal will be converted into body fat.
Furthermore, a large amount carbohydrates in the blood stream in the evening has a negative impact on growth hormone in the body and growth hormone is known to be the body's most powerful lipolytic (fat-burning) hormone.
Determining portion sizes
In saying all this, calorie counting does serve a purpose and that is when someone is starting their weight-loss program. It is certainly not essential but it is useful in helping a person in determining their correct portion sizes. Once they are 'visually aware' of roughly how much food they should consuming each day, then they can stop counting calories.
Use your appetite as a gauge
Another approach to assist your weight-loss efforts is to simply use your appetite as a gauge rather than calorie counting. Once you start following a certain nutritional plan simply make a conscious effort to see how long a meal lasts before you start feeling hungry again. Ideally, a meal should keep you satisfied for 2 or 3 hours after which time it is time for the next meal.
If the meal is too small or if the amounts of certain macronutrients are incorrect, you may find that a short time after eating you feel hungry again. This was discussed in my article titled, Chicken Salad Recipes.
Furthermore, if the meal is too large you may find that you don't feel hungry for many hours after eating it. For example, if you have a big lunch you may not feel hungry again until late in the evening.
As you now understand calorie counting is a waste of time for many reasons and is something you don't need to worry about if you are following all the correct nutritional principles.
If you would like to discover all the principles you need to lose all the weight you want, get a copy of my e-book,
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