My first diet, when I was nearly 13, I counted calories. Somewhere I learned 3500 calories equals a pound so I became obsessed at cutting back on the little energy rascals so I could lose weight.
At first I did lose weight, but soon I became starved for food—particularly junk food. I could not get satiated, so I ate and ate, and ate all the weight back on. I followed the calorie gamut for years, without much success. Sure, I would go down in weight but could only hang onto the weight loss for so long before the ravenous self burst forward, and I binged once again.
Later in life, I learned calorie counting was never really proven to work. Some Parisian mathematician/physicist, way back in the 1700’s, came up with the idea, and everyone went with it—I mean everyone.
An author, Dr. Zoe Harcombe, PhD, who I first heard as a guest on a Podcast (I’m a podcast junky if you don’t already know) I’ve followed for the past few months, sounded almost like she mimics me when she discussed her work and books, with regards to calories, food addiction, hypoglycemia, and auto immune deficiencies.
When researching for this very blog you’re reading, I wanted to see if there was someone, besides myself, on the calorie argument, guess who popped up? Yep, Zoe Harcombe. I was pleasantly surprised and eager to read more about her.
If you ever want to read some very important information read Dr. Harcombe’s work. It’s very good. She is spot on with just about everything she writes. I now have several of her books, and thus far not one disappoints.
Dr. Zoe Harcombe is a researcher, author, blogger and public speaker in the field of diet and heath, with a PhD in public health nutrition. A few of her books include: Stop Counting Calories Start Losing Weight, The Diet Fix, The Harcombe Diet, Why Do You Overeat?, just to name a few.
Zoe Harcombe admits in her article, Where Does the 3500 Calorie Theory Come From?, that nobody really knows for sure—and sadly, nor do any of the public health bodies/obesity organizations that use it. In my research, I came up with the similar answers as Dr. Harcombe, that nobody really knows about this calorie promise.
What I did find in my research that was of interest was that the word calorie as a unit of heat seems to have been coined sometime between 1787 and 1824 in Paris—stating it’s been around since the 1800’s, but it’s not proven to really work. Magazines, books, weight loss centers, all jumped on board, on the calorie counting train. And to date, I am sure many still follow calorie counting—maybe even you. I know my young patients for sure do. In fact, they’re terrified of calories and fat, and sometimes even protein, stocking up on carbs. Why carbs you might ask?
Well, many choose carbs because carbs are low in calories, and often can be low in fat as well. So it seems this might be just the food to eat a lot of and yet reduce weight. Not so true.
Soon after consumption, the dieter wonders why they’re so ravenous and about to eat the kitchen sink. It’s simple Sam, it’s because they’re so hungry. Why, because processed carbs do not satiate long term.
And for the record, diets don’t work…but that’s another story for another time.
I woke up from my calorie counting stupor somewhere near my early 40’s, and never looked back, and gratefully maintained the exact same weight, with normal 1 to 2 pound fluctuations all these years. The reason I stopped going up and down in weight was because I stopped counting calories and started counting healthy foods, in a balanced way, and made sure it was whole and real.
I avoided foods in boxes and bags but rather chose from the earth, in the sky, in the sea, and the land—nature’s food, God’s food. The insatiable hunger went away. The cravings went away.
And the weight went away, and I’ve easily maintained my weight since. The only foods I gave up were: sugar, flour, and wheat. And-of course within the sugar, flour and wheat are processed carbs. Yes, out the door they went too!
I made sure my foods were eaten in a balanced manner for each meal. For example, I might have poached eggs, a cup of cooked grits, teaspoon or two of butter, an orange, yogurt, and almond milk for my tea.
Any grains I purchase come from a reputable store, like from places such as Whole Foods, obtained from a vat, where it’s safely stored. No matter the meal: lunch, dinner, and half-meals—they’re are all foods that are real foods.
To learn more on recovery from food addiction, eating disorders, weight issues, dieting, please check out my Release Your Obsession Series.
Do you follow calorie counting? How is that working for you? If you don’t, why not? If you think calories are a good thing I’d love to know. Your views are all important to me.
Speaker, writer, licensed clinical psychotherapist, PhD in addiction psychology, eating disorder professional, hypnotherapist changing the view about compulsive eating one addict at a time.