Mission impossible: Calorie counting

Calorie counting is stupid for so many reasons. It’s hard to even count them. And it’s hard to count the calories too.

There is no way of knowing how many calories you are expending. And it may be impossible to know the number of calories you are eating too. Here is just one more reason:

Time: Are Calorie Counts on Menus Accurate? Not So Much

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8 Comments

  1. Margaretrc
    I couldn't agree more. One can't live one's life counting calories, not should one. And forcing restaurants to include calorie counts is dumber than dumb. Only in America!
  2. I agree that merely counting and restricting calories won't help most people lose weight. As we know, they primarily need to count and restrict carbohydrates. But even so, I'm not going to call for restaurants to provide carb counts, or full nutrition labels, because they'd just get those wrong, too! You need to see what it is you are eating. I wrote about this on my blog today: http://www.lifeaftercarbs.com/2011/07/dealing-with-the-risk-of-hidden...
  3. Barb
    The New York Times had this article yesterday. I am convinced that LCHF is optimal for my health. Unfortunately, when articles like this appear in reputable news sources, people accept this cr@p as gospel...and just keep struggling, wondering what they are doing wrong and beating themselves up for failing once again.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/health/19brody.html?_r=1&ref=h...
  4. Milton
    I would tell people to simply keep track of what they are eating, and keep track of their health. Is your goal to lose weight? Keep track of your weight- use a scale, write it down. Is your goal to look better? Keep track of your appearance- take regular photographs and compare. And through it all, keep track of what you are eating. For some people that will mean counting calories. For others they will keep a food log. That way you can learn what works for you and what doesn't, and make adjustments as needed.

    There's nothing wrong with taking an organized approach to your health. Just be informed! Without knowledge and information, you won't be able to make the right decisions for your own health.

  5. Milton
    Heh, a funny thought I got from reading that article, Doc.

    The article claims that "most Americans get about a third of their daily calories from eating out." Susan Roberts claims that "Anybody trying to lose weight or avoid gaining weight — and that's about 50% of the American public — are ordering the lowest calorie foods when they eat out."

    If half of the American public is ordering the lowest calorie meals on the menu and most Americans get 1/3 of their daily calories from eating out... how can we possibly have an overweight epidemic?

  6. Jason
    This is a stupid article. Of course restaurant menus aren't accurate. It's better to count when you have more control, i.e. when you make your own food. That's why many people recommend to make your own food when losing weight, and eat out less.
  7. Margaretrc
    @Jason, or you could not bother counting calories at all. When you eat the right things--plenty of fat, moderate protein, and few carbohydrates, especially sugar and starch--you have no need to count calories. Your body will do it for you, just like for every other animal on the planet. The only reason there is a need to count calories (notice it is only in America!) is we've been led astray from the way of eating that is best for our species. Get back to that and the need to count calories goes away.
  8. Pedro
    You do not need to count calories, but if you want to lose weight, at least eyeball what you eat. Having a 200g steak instead of a 350g one, having a small plate of rice rather than a huge one, and so on. I do not see why this should not work.
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