Should You Count Calories?Jul 02, 2021
"You cannot steer a stationary ship."
This quote came up in my coaching group recently.
I’d never heard it before, but the words hit me hard, especially in light of all that is happening in our world and also our great country right now.
It’s easier sometimes, to be that stationary ship. ⚓️
You might be stationary because you lack motivation and feel as though you have an anchor chained to your feet.
Or maybe you feel like you’re slogging through the mud and at some point you can’t find the energy to take that next difficult, muddy step.
(I don’t mean to depress you; however, many of you may have been like this before).
Perhaps you lack motivation because you're feeling apathetic.
You want to care, you know you should care, but you’ve run out of cares.
You gave your last care at breakfast, three weeks ago, and have been trying to find some cares since then, but keep coming up empty.
Or maybe you're stuck because you are in a state of "analysis paralysis." ⚓️
You’ve literally thought through a situation 55 times and paralyzed yourself into indecision.
You’ve responded to life with the “hang on, let me overthink about that.”
A quick quiz:
Is intense physical labor exhausting?
The answer is an obvious "yes."
But overthinking something (emotional labor) is equally exhausting.
The big difference is when you PHYSICALLY do something, you're taking action.
There's no action-taking in thinking about something, no matter how many times you think about it.
What's my point?
I've never met a successful person who did not take imperfect action.
Now, more than ever, I keep reminding my clients (and myself) that thinking isn’t doing.
Regardless of the reason, you cannot steer a stationary ship.
Because a stationary ship is, well, stationary.
It's NOT moving. ⚓️
And you’re not going to move anywhere unless you pull up that anchor.
My humble recommendation when you don't feel like doing something positive (smart training, mindful nutrition, getting a good night's sleep, etc.) is to “act against it.”
The moment you feel like doing nothing, at that time, it's incredibly important that you do something.
The take-home lesson is to act.
Because you can’t go anywhere while you’re standing still.
Action breeds motivation.
Which can feel scary, I know.
Especially if you don’t have a direction.
If you need help moving, reach out - to a friend - to a family member - to a coach.
I know from experience how difficult it can be to ask for help - but I also know how lonely it can be when you feel stuck.
If there’s anything we’ve learned since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that all human beings crave connection and community.
Regardless of how you do it, it’s time to start moving.
Because you cannot steer a stationary ship.
One more thing.
Should You Count Calories?
You’ve probably heard the old saying, “a calorie is a calorie.”
But is this really true?
Are all calories the same?
Truth is, a calorie is not always a calorie.
We can all agree that drinking 1,200 calories in juice and soda is a lot different than eating 1,200 calories of high-quality protein, healthy fats, and fiber-rich carbs.
This is why you need to know one thing:
Even though the amount of calories you’re eating is important, the quality of those calories is equally important.
For example, if you’re looking for fat loss, eating more high-quality foods (like good quality protein, healthy fats, minimally processed, and nutrient-dense foods), and limiting lower-quality foods (processed foods, sugar, and heavily-refined foods) would be the most appropriate strategy.
A Harvard study analyzed studies looking at quality of foods vs. the quantity.
Researchers discovered that food quality does indeed matter—especially when it comes to weight loss.
Data from 120,000 healthy men and women showed that "weight gain" foods like potato chips, sugar-sweetened beverages, and processed meats caused the biggest increase in fat.
The top "weight loss" foods were nuts, seeds, vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and yogurt and lean meats.
One significant finding:
Scientists determined that, while calories are important, consuming more high-quality food, and less low-quality food, encouraged study participants to consume fewer calories overall.
So how can you apply this information to your daily life?
The quality of the foods you’re eating is just as important to your results as the amount of calories you’re eating.
If you’re eating high-quality foods, you'll likely consume less total calories.
And, for this exact reason, if you hate counting calories, just choose fresh and unprocessed foods when you are preparing your weekly meals.
If you're struggling to get the body and life you want, apply this simple nutritional habit to your daily routine.
With a little trial-and-error, you may be able to say goodbye to calorie-counting for good.
Hope this helps,
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