Do calories matter?
Posted on 30th June 2020 at 11:40
Whether calories confuse you or you have heard conflicting information this blog will clear it all up for you.
"I don't believe in calories".
"You can't put on body fat eating too much fruit and veg".
"Only idiots track calories".
I am sure you have heard these kind of comments before.
I have heard many comments like this before, whether its from friends, family, prospective clients or even other trainers.
First of all saying you don't believe in calories is like saying you don't believe in centimetres or you don't believe in litres.
A calorie is a just form of measurement. A measurement of energy like centimetres are a measurement of distance and litres a measurement of liquid.
Now of course you don't have to track calories to lose body fat but I will say this. Tracking calories is a great way to really understand how many calories you are eating, how many calories you need and allows you to enjoy a diet that doesn't demonise any food groups.
Now when it comes to fruit and fat gain I first of all want to say that I am big advocate of fruit within a diet. Its full of fibre and essential micronutrients but like any food eaten in excess it could stop you from losing body fat or even lean to fat gain over time.
A large banana could have anything from 100-130 calories in it. Not many calories on its own but eat 2-3 of these a day and thats over an extra 200-300 calories a day.
It's like avocado.
A food that is often deemed super healthy and although its packed full of fibre and is a good source of monounsaturated fat it still contains calories. And quite a few calories for that matter.
One medium sized avocado contains around 230-250 calories.
Now avocado is something I would advise you have as part of your diet and its one of the staples of my diet.
However you need to be aware of portion control.
If you have a whole avocado every day these calories can really rack up. Now of course you will only know about these calories if you look at tracking calories or at the very least educate yourself on food calorie values.
One of the easiest and best analogies I use with clients for tracking calories is comparing it to saving money.
If you wanted to start saving money for a big holiday what would you do?
Probably look at your income, your outgoings and your bills. From here you can start to see where you need to reduce expenditure so you can start putting money away.
You would then probably check your bank statement more frequently and probably jump on your mobile banking a couple of times a week to keep an eye on things.
This is no different to tracking calories.
Your mobile banking app is like your My Fitness Pal app.
Your income is like your expenditure, your outgoings and bills are like your calorie intake.
Spend more than you earn and you will go into your overdraft. This is liking eating calories more than you expend.
So trying to lose body fat is like trying to save money.
You can still enjoy spending money on nice things (eating nice food higher in calories) but you need to be aware that if you spend more money one day you need to spend less the next day (eat more one day eat less the next).
The other issue that I have is when people say tracking calories takes a lot of time.
First of all how much time do you spend on your phone that could be better used?
A lot I guess.
We are all guilty of it.
But what if you used some of this time for something that would actually be good for you and would help you understand your diet that much better? Once you have got to grips with tracking calories it literally only takes 1-2 mins every day and when you eat similar foods regularly you can easily just add them from your recent entries. That and the barcode scanner makes things super easy.
It really doesn't take much time and after a while makes nutrition feel so effortless.
So my advice to you is remember that calories really do matter.
You don't need to track calories to lose body fat but it can definitely help both in the short and long term.
If anyone says to you that calories aren't important remember that the basis of calories is that you consume more energy than you expend body fat gain will occur. Whether you eat 1000 calories from pizza or 1000 calories from avocado.
Also remember you can't create or destroy energy only use it or store it. If you have put on body fat these calories haven't come out of thin air, you have eaten them.
And if you don't use calories they will be stored either as glycogen or body fat. They don't just disappear just because they come from fruit.
If you have any more questions about tracking calories, maybe you are unsure on the right macro splits or aren't seeing the results you want send me an email and I would love to help in anyway I can.
Email me firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions you have.
Tagged as: Nutrition
Share this post: