5 things I learned from counting calories

When I was in high school, after much binge eating during the holidays, I was one of those who googled “How to lose weight in_ days”. And the search results led me to only one answer: Lose or gain a total of 3,500 calories to lose or gain 1 pound on the scale.

Is this the truth? Or simply a marketing ploy by fitness companies?

TBH I didn’t know for sure. All I know is that I was young, I was vulnerable, and apparently in hindsight, gullible. 😄 Little did I know too that the c word would help change the course of many men and women’s lifestyles through the years.

Like in 2010, Obama signed a federal law mandating some fast food chains in America to post the amount of calories per item on the menu. This is after some longstanding debate on whether or not companies should be held liable for people’s overall health results by being honest about “what’s in the burgers”. Especially after people sued a fastfood chain for the same reasons.

In the Philippines, restaurant menus won’t state the calories per meal, but a number of companies would offer the list of calories upon request such as Starbucks and Wendy’s.

So if our premise were true (3,500 cals = 1 pound), what does this mean for our health and weight goals?

In just this past week, I tried to portion-control my diet, which meant eating only a total of 1,200 calories per day. (This was vis a vis my BMI and the time frame for my goals). I did this for five days and here are the five things I learned from such experience of counting calories

1. If you have to do it, make sure it’s worth every bite

Since I will be limiting my calories AKA food intake, I have to make sure that the food I’m eating is delicious at least.

This is what 1200 calories look like. Minus the plant of course.

Even though I’m on diet, it doesn’t mean I’d like to feel that I’m on one.

So I did try to look for recipes I could whip up to help me in this goal. But I figured I couldn’t squeeze in cooking time given my schedule these days.

Luckily, I found an online diet food delivery that prepares set meals for set calories, @epicuremeals AKA Gourmade PH.

I heard that the person behind this is an award-winning chef, so all my food had been tasty and delish.

2. Make the better choice of food

Better means healthier. With all the food in the world packed with different amounts of calories it’s critical that we don’t make the mistake of eating the wrong one.

Oatmeal with banana slices

So if given the choice between a banana and say, a cupcake or a yogurt, each with 100 calories, choosing the banana would yield a much healthier result for the body as it offers enough energy minus the added sugar.

But of course, we can’t memorize all the calories in food unless we keep a journal.

So it’s best that we ask help from a dietitian licensed to compute for the calories and to mix all the food groups together. This is also part of @epicuremeals services.

Besides, eating a mixture of food. From sweets to protein to rice didn’t make me crave for a specific taste at all. Which is great because I always fall in the claws of cravings when I try to deprive myself of anything. (Read: I love to eat. My diet is a myth).

3. It’s not a one size fits all.
For one, some fitness buffs attest to the fact that eating 1200 calories per day won’t guarantee weight loss. Moreso, that the number of caloric intake per person is not the same for everyone.

Bistek Tagalog with brown rice

So be wise, research and get an expert advice.

4. It’s just part of the whole process

Controlling your calories is only one part of the whole process of weight loss or gain. Exercise also plays a crucial part in achieving goals.

Malunggay and white cheese omelette

5. There are cons, apart from pros
Eating less could mean getting hungry and I personally am not a fan of starvation diet.

Make sure you don’t fall into the trap just for the sake of weight loss. Eating healthy is the key, without ever getting hungry. 🙂

Chicken katsu curry with brown rice

To the young girl who may happen to stumble upon this blog, I tell you that you are beautiful. There’s no need to be tied around some magic number of 1,200 calories nor be conscious about which food to eat all your life.

Simply eating whatever you like in moderation is the best thing to do. ❤️

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