Kill The Calorie Counting! | Kinetik Fitness
Kinetik Fitness

Kill The Calorie Counting!

16 June 2015

Are you obsessed with calorie counting? On a daily basis I come across people that say; ‘How many calories are in that?’ or ‘I burnt over 400 calories on my run today.’ or my personal favorite ‘It’s only 150 calories, it must be good for me!’ The whole calorie topic can be just as mind boggling as many other areas of nutrition.

The first thing we need to clear up is what a calorie actually is. Do you even know?

A calorie is simply a measure of energy. The calorie you refer to is the large calorie or dietary calorie and you will see it written as kcal. This is because 1000 small calories equates to 1 large calorie. All food labels nowadays will tell you the amount of calories inside. Sometimes its listed per 100 g serving or simply it will say 250 calories (companies ideas of trying to make it easier to understand). Big companies within the food and drink industry have latched on to this as an angle for marketing purposes. For example the whole of the McDonalds menu now has the amount of calories listed next to the food.  If you think eating a McChicken Sandwich is going to benefit you nutritionally because it’s only 470 calories, then you’re seriously mistaken. We are led to believe that eating low calorie or a low calorie diet is the way forward, particularly when comes to losing weight/fat. Again through clever marketing, lack of knowledge and uneducated opinions.

What I’d like to do in this blog is give you some guidance, information and make you aware that counting calories and the amount of calories isn’t important. Most of what I mention will be in relation to weight loss but I prefer to use fat loss because at the end of the day isn’t that what we all want!? No body says to me; “Oh how do I put on 5 lbs of fat?”  But I hear; “How do I lose 5 lbs?” day in day out!

The first point I want to make is in relation to reducing calorie intake to lose fat or calories in vs calories out. You may or may not know that everyone has their own Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR for short. BMR is defined as ‘an estimate of how many calories you’d burn if you were to do nothing but rest for 24 hours. It represents the minimum amount of energy needed to keep your body functioning, including breathing and keeping your heart beating.’ A very rough estimation is that women usually require 1500-2000 calories per day and men 2000-2500. Simple science should tell us that if you’re a woman and you eat 1500 calories per day or you’re a man and you eat 2000 you should remain the same weight and if you eat less calories and burn more doing exercising you’ll lose weight, RIGHT?… WRONG! Weight can be affected by so many different variables not just calories in vs calories out. You’ve probably experienced stepping on the scales in the morning checking the number then weighing yourself before you go to bed and the weight could of fluctuated by 2-3 lbs. If you want to lose body fat it’s not as simple as counting calories or embarking on a low calorie diet. I’d also point out that weighing yourself is not an accurate representation of if you’re actually losing fat and changing body shape either.

The next point I want to make is in relation to exercise. A common misconception is that people believe that because you’ve done a workout that has burnt 500 calories you can eat whatever you want. Again WRONG! Just because you’ve done a hard workout doesn’t mean you can go and eat a pizza and a bottle of wine and expect to lose fat. It is vital if you want to lose body fat to eat a nutritious diet and to exercise regularly. But not only exercising regularly, exercising correctly.

What is more important than calories is the actual types and qualities of the foods and drinks you’re consuming. At the end of the day a calorie is just a calorie. If you have 500 calories of burger and chips on one plate and 500 calories of fresh fish and vegetables which one do you think is going to be the most nutritious and aid your fat loss? Which one is going to make you put on fat and feel lethargic? They’re both 500 calories but with very different nutritional values and implications to your body.

What I really want you take away from this blog is that it’s not the calories that are important it’s the quality of the food. Don’t get me wrong if you keep eating large amounts of anything you’re not going to lose fat but if you get the right balance of nutrients, exercise and rest you will start to lose body fat. To some extent you are what you eat, if you eat sh*t you’ll look and feel like sh*t! I know that’s a blunt statement but I challenge you to eat a more balanced, nutritious diet for a week or so, then have something not as nutritious and see how you feel.

I want you to Kill the calorie counting and start concentrating on the quality and quantity of your food, drink and exercise.

Thanks for reading!

p.s. If you liked this blog, then we’d love you to share it with your friends on social media. Here at AW Personal Training we are on a mission to help as many people as we can improve their health, wellness and overall quality of life so share away!

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