I used to count calories obsessively. Not only is it not good for your mental health, but it's also not good for your physical health. In this post I'll walk you through how I was able to stop counting calories for good and you can, too!
Why Should You Stop Counting Calories?
So many of us start counting calories because we think it will keep us "healthy", but it won't. It's a health thief in disguise! Like I said, it takes a toll on your mental health because it can become obsessive, make you miss out on experiences in life (because your nose is in your phone logging food!) and it can severely hinder your relationship with food.
Now, for the physical side of things. While, yes, dietitians use complex equations to estimate our calorie needs they're just that, estimates! No one, no app, doctor, heck even dietitian can tell you exactly the amount of calories you need in a day. It can change from day to day, from season of life to season of life, based on your stress level. So many things!
If you follow a calorie "goal" you'll likely be under eating some days, over eating the others, which can lead to the vicious restrict binge cycle. Rather, it's important to listen to your body because it will guide you on those days where you may need more or maybe less. This takes time and practice. I have an entire YouTube video where I walk you through how to do this, be sure to give that a watch below!
How To Stop Counting Calories
Okay, now that we know WHY we need to stop counting calories, let's chat about HOW to do that.
Delete Your Calorie Counting App
First thing is first... ya gotta delete your calorie counting app! Or get rid of your food journal or whatever it is you're using. That is step one. I know this can be such a hard step to take when you start to stop counting calories, but it's necessary. Take your phone right now and hit delete!
Start Using Mantras
If you guys know me at all you know I'm SUCH a believer in the power of our thoughts. What you think and believe THAT is what you get more of. At this point it's likely that you'll start to think of calories automatically and that's normal because that's where we have taught our brains to go. So, we need to show them a new path to go down, if you will.
I have a whole list of intuitive eating affirmations & mantras for you, 20 to be exact! Be sure to check those out and use them every time you eat. Imagine you're in the woods and you need to make a new trail to get to where you want to go. You're going to have to repeatedly walk that trail before it becomes clear. That is exactly what you need to do with these mantras & affirmations. Keep walking them. Keep saying them! Over time, it because more natural and the path is clearly marked for you brain to go down.
Goodness gracious I can't tell you how important it is to have support & accountability during this time! Having someone to talk to about it, because it WILL be frustrating is key. Someone to turn to when you want to re-download your tracking app (because you probably will want to at some point!) can help you from taking one step forward and two steps back.
So, write down at least 2-3 people you can turn to and talk about this with when times get hard. I've created a super supportive community of girlfriends inside my membership, The SociEATy. I didn't have a ton of people who "got it" when I was going through this process, and if I had I know I would have had "success" even sooner. I mean, yes, I had my then boyfriend, now husband Joe to talk with. And bless his heart he was amaze, but he couldn't relate to the obsession, ya know? Having someone to just say "I get you. You can do this." Is SO powerful!
Those 3 super easy steps can help you to stop counting calories for good. I know you CAN do it, now the question is do you think so, too?!
If you need more resources on how to overcome calorie counting be sure to take the No Food Rules Quiz. This quiz will tell you exactly what is holding you back from finding food freedom and give you a customized workbook to overcome it. It's totally free, my gift to you!
Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips or what your experience has been. I'd love to hear them!
Happy food rule breaking,
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