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Nourishment

Avoid Excessive Reliance on Calorie Tracking

Credit: Unsplash
You’re not a machine, and the human body doesn’t function in absolutes.

There are certain aspects of life where maintaining an entirely precise count is feasible. Personal finances, quantity of cookies consumed, the number of fancy Santa figures displayed in your living space, and similar matters fall under this category. However, the calculation of calories ingested and burned on a regular basis does not fit into this realm.

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The exact moment when calorie tracking gained popularity is uncertain, possibly around the late 90s or early 2000s. However, the intricacy of calorie processing by the body indicates that it doesn’t always align precisely with the figures on nutritional labels. After all, you’re not a computer; a simple subtraction won’t directly equate to energy balance. The amount of energy your body expends is influenced by numerous variables, including dietary patterns, organ functions, physical activity intensity, and many more. Achieving an exact calorie count burned by the body is practically impossible, leading one to question the rationale behind meticulously tracking calories in the first place.

Credit: Unsplash

Calorie tracking is a prevalent practice among individuals following specific diets, but the act of dieting itself often yields better results than fixating on calorie counts. Research indicates that being mindful of the food choices, such as noting vegetable and fruit intake, is more impactful for weight management than solely concentrating on calorie numbers. Moreover, constantly tallying calories can be mentally draining. Food is meant to be enjoyed, not meticulously examined. A diet journal should highlight “today I ate some asparagus,” rather than detailing “today I consumed precisely four asparagus spears, containing X calories and X vitamins to be offset by X minutes of exercise.” That’s unreasonable.

If weight loss is your goal, scrutinize that nutrition label, but don’t burden yourself with excessive calculations.

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