Why she never counts calories

Counting calories is a time consuming, soul sucking waste of time. Yeah, I said it. While there is some value in understanding the foods you’re eating (ie. your brownie is going to be higher in calories than your broccoli) it’s a brain mush to record every single thing that passes through your mouth and can often lead to dangerous, obsessive territory. Instead of appreciating and paying attention to your delicious meal, you end up obsessing over this and that and next minute, lunchtime is over.

Weight loss is more than just calories. It’s moving your body and getting a shine on with a workout, making sure you get enough sleep and self-care, and of course, a eating a diet full of fresh and balanced foods. Don’t get me wrong, the number of calories you take in and burn off are important, but eating the right foods and developing a sustainable #happyfit lifestyle means you don’t need to count them, and you certainly don’t need to be reaching for that packaged ‘low calorie’ option either.

1. You lose track of your hunger cues

When we concentrate on counting our calories instead of concentrating on eating mindfully, it can actually play funny buggers with our natural hunger cues. Eating just because you have calories “left” or not eating because you’ve gone “over” your calorie count for the day means you’re just ignoring what your body is telling you. Trust and listen to your body, it knows a lot more than some random tracker or number. And who wants to do math before and after every meal? Having a meal plan helps take the guesswork out and gives you moments to actually tap in and listen to the old bod.

2. It can make you feel crap

Counting calories to achieve a certain body shape or size can make you feel crap. End of story. The first step to a healthy and happy body is a healthy and happy mind. Make sure you’re serving up regular sessions of self-care and start to love yourself unconditionally, no matter what your current shape or size is. A Ninja is a Ninja at any shape.

3. All calories are not created equally

A calorie is not just a calorie. A 200 calorie piece of cake vs 200 calories worth of veggie sticks and hummus are going to provide your body with different things and fuel your body in different ways. I promise you will feel a lot different after consuming the cake vs. the vegetables!

4. Restriction turns into binge sessions

When you count calories, you end up making foods totally off limits, making us feel like we’re missing out and deprived. And then when you eventually give in to that pizza party, you end up bingeing and eating a lot to make up for lost time. You can still indulge in your favourite burger every now and again, mindfully enjoy each bite and reset and restart after. Learn how to make smart choices and swaps, too.

5. You become fixated on the scales

While we’re throwing out counting calories, we’re also going to chuck our scales right where they belong – in the bin. Your weight fluctuates due to hormones, weather, and water, and doesn’t always tell an honest story. I focus on how I feel, not how I look or how much I weigh. I have more energy, I’m less moody, and I can think clearly – these things are worth more to me than any number, and help me keep on track with my actual goals.

6. Focus on the FIT, not the FAT

Focus on your fitness goals and you will feel great, strong, empowered, and will be reaping the benefits of glowing skin, more energy, weight loss, and body sculpting. In the process you will take your mind out of living for a number, and instead, live according to how you feel. It should feel great to look good.

I exercise to have energy and feel good, not to lose weight. I eat to fuel my body, not to deprive it. I practice mindfulness and meditation activities to make sure I am able to zen out when I need to, and I always make sure that self-care is involved in my every day. The last thing I ever want to do is give my body less energy it needs to dominate my day.

Tiffiny Hall is a fitness expert and the founder of TIFFXO.

These are the 7 health myths Tiff Hall wants you to stop believing, and her one weight loss rule she swears by.

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