August 2019 - Calorie Counting

Should we count calories or not?

Here at Bootcamp Cornwall, we promote a clean and balanced approach to eating. Focusing on sensible portion sizes that contain an array of vegetables, proteins, healthy carbohydrates, fruit and lots of water.

This approach is one of the most sustainable ways of eating and doesn't promote counting calories in the meals we eat. To reduce body fat we simply need to eat a bit less and reduce our portion sizes.

However, there are times when counting (or tracking) the calories in our food can be useful in developing our knowledge and understanding of nutrition.

Firstly, focusing on quality, real foods that are nutrient dense (and avoiding processed, high fat, high sugar foods) has a huge range of health benefits for us. These benefits include:

  • Balanced blood sugar levels
  • More energy
  • Fewer cravings
  • Better functioning immune system
  • Less fatigued
  • Improved (appearance) hair, skin, eyes and nails
  • Reduced risk of diabetes, obesity, stroke and certain cancers
  • Better mental health

Combined with a regular exercise routine, eating healthy food with sensible portion sizes is the perfect equation for getting great overall results.

However, eating a clean and balanced diet doesn't necessarily mean we will still hit our health and fitness goals, specifically when it comes to losing body fat.

Portion sizes that are too big (consuming too many calories) will make it almost impossible to shift body fat.

There is a simple fix for this; manage your portion sizes! If you are not seeing the results you want and not losing the body fat you want, just slightly reduce how much you're eating.

The essence of changing our body composition, body fat and body weight lies in what we eat;

  • Eating too many calories (bigger portions) will lead to weight gain
  • Reducing the amount of calories we consume (smaller portions) will lead to fat loss

Let me ask you this:

  • Do you struggle with reducing your body fat and achieving your goals?
  • Have you tried reducing / increasing your portion sizes with no luck?
  • Do you know how many calories you need each day?
  • Do you know how much of what you eat is carbohydrate, how much is protein and how much is fat?

If you've tried reducing your portion sizes will no such luck, counting (or tracking) the calories in your food might be the next logical step to take.

This is where calorie counting has it's place; understanding how much we are consuming puts us in a much better position when it comes to making food choices, specifically when it comes to portion sizes.

Calories are the currency of our food. To understand and manage them will put you in a strong position to make good choices and get the results you're looking for.

Some people might fear counting their calories because it can get addictive and obsessive. But we certainly don't recommend doing it for more than a week or 2. The aim is to give you a good 'snapshot' of where you currently are and allows you to make any small changes that are needed to get you moving in the right direction.

Counting calories for a short period of time (1 - 2 weeks) allows us to:

  • Understand how much we're currently eating
  • How much we really need to eat
  • Allows us to identify how much of our intake is carbohydrate, how much is fat and how much is protein
  • Gives us knowledge of what our portions should look like

Once we have a better understanding, it becomes so much easier to control our diets and to know what we should be eating and how much we should be eating.

Don't forget, the more time you spend on investing in your health and on your knowledge of nutrition and exercise, the more in control you will be and the better your results will turn out.

So whilst calorie counting might not be for everyone, calories in food do count and might well be the next step for you if you're struggling to achieve your goals.

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