"Should I be counting calories?"

Calorie counting is not necessarily the answer to weight loss

In my opinion NO! This is a recipe for obsessive self-sabotaging behaviours. It becomes addictive and the end result is not guaranteed weight loss!

Of course we need a guide on what we should be eating, but that also depends on the individuals’ activity levels and what the goal is. This can be worked out with some simple equations, but stressing over calories long-term is not advised! 

Many people believe it’s a simple equation of calories in and calories out to lose weight. You need to pay attention to the balance of where your food sources are coming from. For example, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Each of the different food groups plays a different role inside the body when they are ingested.

Diet and nutrition advice at Limitless Life in Berkhamsted

For example – take consuming 1000Kcal of chocolate one day and then 1000Kcal of oats the next day. Both are carbohydrate sources? Correct! However, eating 1000Kcal of chocolate will raise blood sugars and give you one hell of a slump in energy, leaving you craving more. Also, if the body already has too much stored carbohydrate, it will store it as fat. 1000Kcal of oats would be a lot harder to eat!  They are slower releasing into the bloodstream (known as complex carbs),  therefore, no blood sugar spike and no energy slump, keeping you feeling a lot fuller for longer. 

So it’s not about counting the calories, its about making sure you are getting the right nutrients from each food group. I would always recommend starting with a food tracker for a week, to see exactly where you are. MyfitnessPal is a great tool for this. Once you can see exactly where your food sources are coming from, you can adjust your balance.  

Nutrition is an absolute minefield for most people, but just getting the basic balance on where your food is coming from is a good start! 

As a guide I would recommend approx. 40% Carbohydrate 30% protein & 30% fat, while making sure your carbohydrate sources are coming from complex carbs and vegetables. Your protein should come from lean meats, fish and eggs and your fat sources should come from good fats such as coconut oil and avocados.