To quit is often a hard sell with my clients, but once they quit, they never go back.
What I find is that counting calories is a common way to control anxiety about food, or control food choices in general. While I can understand why, it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. Unhealthy behaviors around food will never be solved by counting calories. In fact, what I find most interesting is that people don’t count calories for a meal just once…they do it over and over and over again throughout the day, especially when they start to feel anxious or have unwanted thoughts. Going back to breakfast and lunch and recounting to be sure they “did good” is a way to calm themselves down.
When you feel a need to count calories, it isn’t because you need to count calories, it may be because you are feeling anxious or stressed. The issue is that for someone that feels anxious or stressed, they worry that if they don’t count calories then they will overeat. The anxiety is making them feel like there is a behavior that needs control rather than understanding the thought process about anxiety. Make sense? And that’s not even including what happens to anxiety when someone “goes over” on calories… The great paradox is trying to control actually makes you out of control. Even if it's not counting calories, living with any food labels or rules can produce the same results.
What I find the most disheartening is that people are counting calories when their minds should be focused somewhere else. While they are playing with their kids, they count calories. When they are in an important meeting, they are counting calories. When they are laughing with friends, they are really just counting calories. That, my friends, is NO way to live.
It can be hard, it doesn’t happen overnight and it does take work. Changing negative thoughts always is. But it is so worth it!
Will you accept the challenge?