Stop Counting Calories … and all those other numbers we obsess over.
Do you really enjoy counting calories, carbs, protien and fat?
I’ve been hearing lots of “How Many” questions from clients recently. “How many calories can I have each day?” How grams of carbs? proteins? fats? It’s a very popular way to think about food. We’ve been taught to obsess over these numbers.
I say, it stops here! Stop counting calories! And all those other numbers too. While food journaling is an important tool to gain an understanding of your eating habits and triggers, a constant obsession with food figures erases the joy and pleasure of the food we eat, and breaks the connection and appreciation we have to the food on our plate.
3 Shifts You Can Make To Love The Food You Eat
Eat Whole, Real Food — If it comes from the Earth you are good to go. I mean, really, from the Earth. Eat quinoa and not pasta made from quinoa. Eat flax seeds rather than flax seed crackers. Anytime you eat something that’s been taken from it’s original form and made into something else (yes, even that delicious whole grain bread you love from the corner bakery) you are consuming a processed food. Concentrate on adding as many whole foods as possible and reducing processed foods to a minimum.
Pay Close Attention To What’s On Your Plate — Take a few moments and really see what you are about to eat. Where did it come from? What colors are there? What textures? How does it smell? Be thankful to all the people who had a hand in bringing the food to the table — from the farmer to the farmhands to the driver to the market workers — a heck of a lot of time and energy went into the food on your plate.
Acknowledge The Nutritional Benefits On Your Plate — Rather than thinking about calories, fat, carbs and protein, think about eating a rainbow of colors. The color of your food tells you a lot about its nutritional value, and eating a variety of colors is one sure way to get as many vitamins and minerals you need for a healthful diet. It also ensures that you eat a variety of foods in the process.
Take The Challenge: I challenge you to go processed-food free. Start with one day. Just one day, nothing that comes out of a package. Rather than eating a “nutrition” bar, eat a handful of nuts. Rather than having store-bought kale chips, have some fresh kale with half an avocado. Then, extend it to two days. Perhaps you will be inspired to make “processed-free” days a part of your every week. You will feel better and your body will thank you!
You might also like to read: Low-Fat And Fat-Free Are Just Plain Wrong
Want to dig deeper on the issue of counting and labeling food and how this affects your eating habits? Set up a free 30-minute Let’s Chat call. Schedule Here.
Pamela Henry says
Thanks Melissa! I have made the switch to primarily unprocessed foods in recent years. Thank you for the reminder to be present with the food on my plate and really see it. This is a big one for me, I have always been a fast eater and I know how much better I feel when I approach meal time from the space of gratitude.
Melissa Rapoport says
Thank you for sharing, Pamela! I find that starting with eating mindfully with the same meal each day sets the stage for mindful eating at nearly every meal. Give it a try. It will slow you down! Much love xo
Maggie Chula says
I totally agree. Love the food you eat. I am going to take your challenge tomorrow!
Melissa Rapoport says
Great! Let me know how the challenge works for you. Happy Eating!
I’ve made some significant dietary shifts in the past two years and found this post helpful in trying to get my head to “catch up.” Would love to read some posts on how to manage eating unprocessed foods while traveling. Am finding it quite a challenge. Thanks for what you do!