Calorie counting can be a devastating weight-loss method that distracts us from what really matters – the effect that different foods have in our bodies. If you try to counterbalance the chocolate eating with more time in the gym, you might be in deep waters.
Here’s a good article about the problems of calorie fundamentalism, i.e. believing that a calorie is a calorie:
That crudity leads to mistakes, like the idea that 200 calories of Skittles are in any way equivalent to 200 calories of salad. In that way, calories have been weaponized by marketers to claim their ingestible products are innocuous. As Coca-Cola has advertised, for one, drinking soda is fine as long as you exercise enough to burn off those calories. That’s reasonable if it weren’t also true that constant exposure to high-sugar foods changes the way our bodies store energy. It’s like saying it’s fine to insult someone as long as you follow it with a compliment.