Stop dieting, counting calories, and enjoy whole clean foods. Stop looking at the numbers on packages and pay attention to the ingredients.
People these days are obsessed with counting calories and reading nutrition labels. They are not getting to enjoy the actual benefits of food because they are eating the “low carb and low sugar” foods, which actually have no nutritional benefits and do more harm than good. People are too focused with the numbers on the package rather than the ingredients.
Why count calories if it just creates stress? Eating should be about pleasure and nourishment, not math and restrictions. Stop counting calories if you want a healthier relationship with food without stress and frustration. Don’t turn the wonderful act of eating into a math equation.
Focusing on calories often means we restrict healthy foods. This especially happens when it comes to fat. We often omit higher fat foods simply because they are higher in calories without taking into consideration what benefits we might get from them, such as staying fuller for longer and getting necessary nutrients, like essential fatty acids.
Don’t trust food labels!
Label laws allow a 20% margin of error on the nutrition facts panel due to the fact that food items vary from batch to batch. You make think you are only eating a 500-calorie meal but it may actually be 600 calories. So what’s the point then if your numbers are off?
You are underestimating your portion size: Could you tell the difference between 6 oz. and 8 oz. of food? Could you differentiate between 1 cup and 1/2 cup of pasta? Are you measuring each and every portion size of your home-cooked meals? Even if you could guarantee accuracy, do you really want to subject yourself to such a tedious activity for the rest of your life?
What to do Instead?
Focus on the ingredients and not the label. Always make sure that the ingredients in your food are clean, whole foods. If you’ve never heard of a certain ingredient, most likely it isn’t supposed to be in your food. Ingredient lists should be short, but grocery lists should be long.
Try to eat organic as much as you can. Even better by shopping at farmer’s markets or grow your own food at home. There are also many co-ops and other ways to share the cost of good quality food.
If you land at the grocery store, attempt to shop the perimeter for most of your food. It’s best to avoid the aisles inside the grocery store because they’re usually loaded with foods that contain too much refined sugar, fats, and chemicals. However, there are some good packaged items that can be found in the aisles; just make sure to look at the labels.
All in all it’s about being more mindful as a consumer. Be aware of what you are putting in your body. Everything that you buy, and that you eat, adds up. Don’t measure it or do the math, but rather enjoy it.