Shifts To Stop Tracking
While I believe there has been a major shift away from calorie counting in recent years, I still hear it all of the time from my clients, so I know it still exists. And given that Weight Watchers is still a thriving business, I understand that people are still tracking points as well. Hint: your body does not count calories nor points, and neither should you.
A positive aspect of these methodologies is helping people practice portion control, especially if that isn't something they have done in the past. But when one is using a standardized metric, and not tuning in to their individual body (see shift #2), this approach might not be conducive to sustainable change and long-term health. Not to mention that not all calories are created equal, despite what the point system says.
I have not counted a single calorie in over 7 years. Not only because I have improved my relationship with food, but because I fully understand the way our bodies work when it comes to metabolizing what we eat (and you will too if you take my upcoming online course). There are two very fundamental shifts you can make to ensure that you never have to track again. After doing this a while, I am aware of how uncomfortable that can make someone, albeit ironically, because I think doing all of that math on a daily basis not only makes you anxious, but also miserable. However a combination of eating real food, blood sugar balance, and mindful eating can set you up for success. You may now delete your calorie tracking app.
Eat those foods with no label at all. Those foods that provide our body with the nutrients it needs don’t come with a label at all; they only contain one ingredient. Counting calories then becomes irrelevant. Your body knows exactly what is in an apple, almonds, a filet of wild-caught fish, and kale. It knows how to “read” this information. This is not to say that you won’t ever eat a chip from a bag ever again, but when you do, look at the list of ingredients, not the calories. Have awareness of what you are putting in your body. The shorter the list, the better. And if you can read and understand everything on the list, your body can too.
Tune in and trust yourself. This one can be the most challenging, but it is a game changer. Trust that you will make the right food choices for you and your body. This requires mindfulness and intuition. Tune in, listen, honor your cravings, and make the healthiest choice from there. Your body will tell you both what and how much it needs. So along these lines, trust that you will stop when satisfied. And lastly, trust that you will allow yourself to indulge every once in a while, without overdoing it. The more practice you have with mindfulness around food and eating, the more confident you will become.