Are you playing the calorie game?
Many people out there are playing the calorie-game. So what are the rules of this game? They tend to involve:
- always sticking to a certain calorie limit each day (and feeling very guilty and down when you don't stick to this limit, perhaps even then massively over-eating if you go over the calorie limit just a little bit)
- feeling the need to exercise to give yourself more calories to eat in a day (and not enjoying the exercise, just doing it because you feel you have to in order to be able to eat more)
- trying to hack the calorie limit by eating lots of "free" foods - eating so many rice-cakes, more fruit than you ever wanted to, cramming in lots of sugar-free jelly ... and generally eating certain foods just because you think that they are low-calorie, even though they aren't delicious or what you really want to eat
- always feeling as though you need to keep on top of counting and tracking (and not trusting your body to know what to eat if you lose count or track)
... feeling exhausted - with your mind so focused on food and calories - that you often don't have the mental capacity to think about anything else.
So many of my clients have spent their lives focusing on calories and points, focusing on "free" foods and staying away from those foods that they categorise as "bad" or "sinful". Yet this often gets them trapped in a cycle of obsessing about food and their weight, and then often over-eating when they fall off the calorie-counting wagon. It also often means that they end up spending their days and weeks just worrying about how they can win at the calorie game - with a successful or good day being one in which they have stuck to their calorie goals and a bad or unsuccessful day being one in which they haven't. This is irrespective of what else may have happened that day... they may have got a promotion, laughed lots, met someone amazing, got married even - and yet the day is "bad" just because they didn't win at the calorie game.
Some other negative consequences of the calorie game can include:
- you eating food because you have some calories left for the day, even though you aren't even hungry
- binge-eating can often happen when you "fall off the wagon" or decide not to count calories for a day
- you focus just on numbers rather than how healthy a food is e.g. going for the low fat chocolate mousse packed full of sugar and additives rather than the avocado - just because it contains less calories
- you have no mental energy to focus on things that are really important to you - you don't think about your relationships, your professional life, you neglect your hobbies... you just aren't living life.
I help my clients to free themselves from the calorie game or calorie trap. I help them to build new habits so that they no longer have to obsess about food or calories and can instead build new habits that help them to stay effortlessly healthy. I tend to find that even intuitive eating is only effective once my clients have built new healthy habits around food. If you would like some help build new habits around food, to get healthy and yet free yourself from the calorie-game please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
You were meant for so much more... to do much greater things... to have so much more fun... than to spend your whole life counting calories and worrying about your weight.