Monday, 20 May 2013

To count or not to count?

Alright, so I've never really believed that calorie counting is a very positive thing because in the past when I've become too obsessed with counting calories it has driven me mad! Food becomes numbers, and the numbers become the enemy. However, last week I had a few MAJOR evening binges so I decided to see how bad it really was, and to compare them to a 'normal' eating day. Now normally I've been eating 5 times a day, oatmeal and banana for breakfast, some fruit and carrot for a snack, sweet potato and some other veggies for lunch, fruit and cottage cheese for a snack, and some whole wheat pasta or quinoa with fish or chicken for dinner. I used to snack on almonds as well, but money is a little tight right now so I've been trying to keep my food as cheap as possible.

Anyways I made an account on MyFitnessPal, and I logged in my calories and exercise on a "crazy munchie day" (3 scones and 3 snickers bars!) which put me at about 3000 calories! But since I'm doing the #MayMuscles blogilates calendar, and going to the gym (I won a 1 month free membership!) I also worked out about 2.5 hours that day. Now logging in the workouts I do isn't quite accurate because I'm not always sure what to categorize them as, but according to my fitness pal I burned around 800 calories, making my daily total around 2200. Which isn't so bad! (especially for someone who isn't on a weight loss mission)

In comparisson, on Saturday I ate 'super healthy' in my mind, sticking to my normal food routine and did my blogilates and attended 2 classes at the gym (again about 2.5 hours working out). My food intake calories ended up being around 1000, and my burned calories about 900.. making my daily total around 100!?

Well firstly this calculator may not be totally accurate. Not all the foods I eat are perfectly listed so I just have to find what is closest, and same goes for the workouts but even if I add a margin of error it's still crazy! No wonder I was able to workout so hard last week while having my crazy evening munchies, because my body was desperately in need of that extra energy!

So my point is, calorie counting isn't always bad because you might realize (like I did) that your perception of what you are eating vs burning is completely off. Now I'm not saying I'm going to have chocolate, scones or half of an apple pie every day (yes, I baked a pie and ate half of it in one was awesome) BUT I am definitely going to eat more!

So don't get obsessed with the numbers, but maybe log in one normal day just to get an idea of where you are and see if any adjustments should be made. And remember, calories are not by any means the only part of the food to focus on, "not all calories are created equal!" (there's a great article about the negative sides of counting calories)

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