Eating Healthy Isn’t Enough

Healthy-EatingIf I had a nickel for everyone struggling with their weight who responds with “I eat really healthy” when I ask them how many calories they eat. What that means is – they have no clue how many calories they are eating.  But they want me to know how clean they eat and how hard they work in the gym, so they can try to convince me they are the exception to the rule and that they are just unable to lose weight like everyone else. This is when the Red Flag Goes Up.

Listen, I’m not saying everyone has to count calories. I’m also not saying eating healthy is wrong. Gosh no! Eating healthy is AMAZING – and can change your life. BUTTTTTT… what I AM saying is, if you have no idea how many calories you are eating, there is no way you can expect to lose weight. Guessing just doesn’t work. Eating clean alone probably won’t change the scale much. Eating organic can be super healthy, but not affect your waistline. Going on the next fad diet won’t always work either. Working out like a maniac alone won’t cut it either. (again, I’m not saying it NEVER works – some people will luck out and lose weight by just making healthier choices, but most people will not be as lucky)

When it comes to weight loss, most people can’t get results just on making healthier choices alone. The only way weight loss works is when you eat fewer calories than you are burning. You can either just HOPE you are eating less than you are burning, or you can count calories and KNOW you are eating less than you are burning.

Balanced-DietIf you can’t tell me how many calories you are eating every day, don’t tell me how healthy you eat, don’t tell me you never eat fried food or sweets, don’t tell me how much protein you consume, don’t tell me how you don’t eat carbs or how you’ve gone Paleo. While all of those things are great, and I bet your next doctor’s visit will be a good one, they tell me nothing when it comes to whether you should expect to lose weight or not.

How Much Did You Spend?

target-shoppingHere’s an example: Let’s say I just come home from shopping. I bring all my bags in the house and Steve’s eyeballs pop out of his head and he says “How much did you spend?” and my response was, “I shopped at Target. All the items I got were on sale. I didn’t buy anything outrageously expensive. I didn’t get anything frivolous – everything I bought I really needed and was very practical. I made a lot of smart choices.” I can tell you right now, Steve’s response would still be “so, how much did you spend?” 

You see, Steve doesn’t care what I bought, he wants to know how much I bought ($$$$). He doesn’t care how how much stuff was on sale. Our check will bounce whether it was a smart choice or a dumb one. We either have the money or we don’t – whether I needed the items or not. All my bank account cares about is what’s coming in and what’s going out – it doesn’t care what I am spending the money on or how hard I work for the deposits.
checkbook

This is how your body works. While healthy food will help your body look and feel better, your weight is your body’s account balance. You can either afford items, or not. If you can’t afford the extra calories (whether it’s in Snickers bars or grilled chicken and rice), you will gain weight.

So, next time you want to feel sorry for yourself for eating so clean, but not losing weight, it’s time you start managing your body’s account like you manage your checkbook. 🙂

Are You Up for the Challenge?

Not everyone needs to count calories. Some people are lucky enough to be able to make smart choices (because they really enjoy eating low-calorie foods) and do well managing their weight naturally. Some people are able to make healthier choices simply because they don’t struggle with some of the temptations others struggle with. HOWEVER, if you battle overeating, binging, sweets, carbs, laziness or yo-yo dieting, I believe you should count your calories to help you stay accountable and manage portions, high-calorie items and exercise. Remember, it’s not something you have to do forever – but it will teach you SO much!

If you have tried eating better, eating smaller portions, working out more, etc but you’ve reached a plateau, maybe it’s time you start counting calories. You’ll be AMAZED with the results! Believe me, I’ve seen this time and time again – and I’ve watched people who have worked insanely hard not get results until they started counting calories. Are you ready to start moving that scale?! Commit to counting calories for 30 days. Unsure you can do it? Start with 14 days of calorie counting and then decide if you can do another 14 days then. I bet you surprise yourself!

count calories

Visit www.LoseIt.com today and download their app on your smartphone. I promise, it can change your life forever.

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About Bonnie Pfiester

Fitness Columnist and Lifestyle Coach, Resident Trainer for Designer Whey, Fitness Advisor for FitStudio, powered by Sears, FitFluential Ambassador and Owner of Max Fitness Club, home of BCx Boot Camp in Vero Beach, Florida.

Posted on August 27, 2013, in Diet & Nutrition Tips, PFOODIE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Great practical article!

  2. What an awesome article, Bonnie! This is a message I really need to hear. I’ve been patting myself on the back for my good choices but still feeling a bit discouraged from not losing weight like I expected. I think that the 30 day challenge is just what I need to get myself on the right track. Thanks for your continued motivation! Meghan

  3. Fit Journey 50

    So true! I’m amazed at how many people just refuse to believe it. Thanks for a great article!

  4. This is all just sooo true! The only tricky part is figuring out exactly how many calories your own body needs but once you figure that out, the losing weight is just a matter of math and committment of course. 🙂

  5. I’ve wanted this to not be true for so long, but now I’m “back on the app”. Thanks for the reminder that it really is worth the effort! I don’t think I’ve ever made it 30 days, but I’m hoping to keep the momentum going this time. Brilliant idea on making a “challenge” out of it!

  6. Thanks for the information. Rightly said, eating healthy is just not enough. You should know what amount of calories you are getting in. Try to have food stuff that has low calorie and high energy values rather than having high calorie food stuff and less energy. You should keep an eye on each and every calorie that you take.

  7. Could not have said this better myself. I get this all the time too and it drives me crazy. I tell people to get a calorie counting app, or a good rule of thumb is if you are eating healthy and not losing weight eat less of what you eat.

  8. I agree with the central idea of this article that an understanding of caloric intake is essential to leading a healthy life. What i would suggest though, is to let go of calorie counting as soon as possible after that understanding is gained, so that it doesn’t become obsessive, and shift to concentrating on the type of food consumed.

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