There’s a topic that’s been on my mind lately, and I wasn’t sure if I should share or not, but decided to give it a go. How many of you can say you go through a day without looking at calories, or thinking about them? Unfortunately, that’s our world, where we are told to cut the calories to lose weight, or we need to work out more to burn more calories. It could be true that we may be eating too much, not working out enough, or not eating enough healthy foods. But, sometimes these thoughts may be doing more harm than good.
**Please remember I am not a RD nor do I claim to be one! These are my thoughts and experiences. **
I work out 6x a week; typically running 3 days of those, and strength train typically 3 days. I love to work out, and I don’t think it’s a chore. Some days I might feel like that and miss my morning workout, but by mid day, I am ready to get my sweat on after work. I won’t lie, though, sometimes it’s social media that puts a pressure on me to get my workout in. I may see pictures of other workouts, Tweets asking what the workout was today, or see bits of being “lazy” if we don’t work out today. Yes, most times it’s me that wants to get the workout in, but sometimes it’s due to these other influences. The reality is, I eat pretty healthy, and work out enough, whether I miss one workout or not.
I won’t lie to you, and I’m sure you all know it, but I believe in complete moderation. You will see me eating processed bars (Clif Z are my favorite). You won’t see my eating salads for lunches and dinners. You will see some veggies, but not entire meals based on them. You will see fruit, but you will also see pretzels, cookies, white bread. To be honest, my body doesn’t handle “clean eating” (whatever that is) or tons of vegetables the best. In fact, it makes me feel down right terrible. My Colitis flares up after eating some of this food too often, like too much wheat, or too many raw veggies and I’m left in pain after everything I eat. Typically, it’s the processed food that gets me back on track for whatever reason. Remember we are all different.
Anyway, that’s not my total point. My point is that yes, I do eat that stuff. Yes, I need extra rest days. No, I am not good at taking unscheduled rest days. But here’s my main point. Calories get a bad representation. People think they are so bad for you and to limit them to ridiculous amounts in order to lose weight. Listen up; as hard as it may seem, I bet if you aren’t losing weight, but working out multiple times during the week and making healthy choices, you aren’t eating enough. Cutting calories does work, if you need it, but you need to really make sure that’s what you need. You need to take into consideration all that you do in a day, and what food you eat. I know most days I don’t eat enough. I try to eat more, but when teaching, I can’t just eat a snack whenever I want. At lunch, I have a certain amount of time to shovel food in. I typically will eat something after dinner, but that’s what works for me. Maybe I ate a bigger breakfast, or skipped my workout. I shouldn’t feel guilty about it, because honestly, I’m sure I needed those calories.
A few weeks ago, my dad asked me to create a nutrition plan for him to lose some weight. You know what I did? I made him a plan that took into consideration how many calories he needed, and that was it. He has lost upwards of 20 lbs by eating more. It’s a crazy thought, but when we don’t give our body what it needs, it doesn’t work so well. He was hurting his metabolism but not including snacks daily, and not eating a well rounded diet with fruits and veggies with meals. Yes, serving size matters and he cut down on that, too, but only because he wasn’t so hungry that he had to eat it all because he had gone so long without food.
Just a little humor..
When I did Insanity a few years ago, I ate more than ever and lost the most weight, without needing to. These days, when I feel like I’m gaining weight, and feeling a bit larger, I actually realize that I haven’t been eating enough. I did an experiment a few weeks ago writing down what I had eaten for a few days, and it was always less than 1500 calories! For me, someone who works out 6x a week and lives a life, it wasn’t enough. Maybe to someone it would be enough (remember I’m not an RD!) but it doesn’t work for me. I need more to feel my best, just like I might eat more pretzels than others, and less vegetables than others.
So next time you think you need a diet, try feeding your body the calories it needs. It really does make a difference.
Anyone else have the same feelings with calories? Are there times you know you aren’t eating enough? What are your thoughts on calories in general? Do they get a bad reputation? Have you ever tracked your food intake to make sure you ate enough?
**Please know that I am not telling you how to live your life, or to eat things in excess. You need to figure out what works for you, but this is just a friendly reminder that we do need a good amount of food in order to live and have our bodies work like they should. Also, I am not insulting anyone for Tweets, status’, or pictures! We all say and do it, but I was just using those as examples.