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Thread: Counting calories = fear of food?

  1. #1

    Default Counting calories = fear of food?

    After Dh went through a phase of counting calories and training for a marathon, I thought i was going crazy with all the "did you know that *insert food* has *so* many calories?"
    However, realising Summer is just around the corner I decided to start using the online program that Dh used. Basically it has most foods listed (in Germany) and you just enter exactly what you have eaten and it shows you all the details, Calories, fatt, sugar etc...

    I have set myself a number of calories I will allow each day and after over a week of using this program i have began to really think and learn what is bad and good, which is a positive thing!

    The question is, is this really a bad thing? I mean, before i wouldnt worry about how many calories - now i find myself constantly worrying about it and at the same time worrying if this way of thinking is now stuck in my mind. I know this might not be a bad thing, but I'm thinking - knowing the truth may end up leading to a fear of food.

    What do you think?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Over the rainbow


    Na - I think it might become a problem when you start obsessing and not putting anything in your mouth without over analising it three times, kwim? I am on Weight Watchers and they teach you to NOTE what you put in your mouth. To make sure that what you put in there, you really want in there. So in the beginning I was hyped and worked out all the points, wrote recipes and made a big issue of it. But now, I just make healthy choices and I enjoy myself. I think you can say you have a problem when you can't enjoy food anymore.

    So I'll get worried when you are at a girlfriends birthday party and you are the only one eating JUST from the veggie-bord (no-dip) and everyone is avoiding you, because you are telling then exactly how many calories there are in a slice of cheesecake Get my drift?

    The other thing about being TOO consious about what you are eating is that it rubs off on your kids. I read an interesting artical in a local mag the other day and how kids can learn BAD habits from grown-up's pushing GOOD habits. So by not being totally at ease with food yourself, you might be influencing your kids to have a bad body-selfimage. So you have to teach your kids that eating healthy is good, but that healty also means "cheating" with the odd soft-serve.

    This has nothing to do with you, I just thought you might find it interesting.

  3. #3
    paradise lost Guest


    It's only a prblem if you let the perception of food change innapropriately to your situation.

    Like if you are trying to lose 20kg then a daily snack which has 600 calories is probably holding you back, but if you are a normal weight and are NOT gaining weight and are healthy then the 600k/cal content of that snack isn't relevant to you.

    I run too, and i made the decision NOT to calorie count until i get up past 30miles/week (currently run far less). At that point i'm running enough that the activity is reducing my appetite but my need for calories is way higher. I currently maintain my weight and activity level on about 2900 calories a day but i get that number by adding up what i ate in a week and dividing it
    by 7, i don't keep a food diary at all as a normal routine.

    You need to know you're getting enough calories too. There are online calculators which ask about your age, weight and activity level (how much and how hard you work in life (like running after littlies) and exercise (like any classes/running etc. you do)) to ACCURATELY tell you how many calories you need. I am not overweight at all but i know ALOT of people are shocked i eat more than the "average man" needs to maintain my weight. I'm 181cm. I run. I need that fuel.

    There is no "bad" or "good" food. It is all about balance. If counting calories assists in your losing a few kg's then it's all good, but if it leads to you obsessing about every morsel you put in your mouth then it's not worth it. If you are a normal person you might not need a 700 calorie donut, but the donut isn't "bad", and someone who is having treatment for cancer or other illness or someone who is very underweight and NEEDS their calories is going to feel ALOT better after eating one donut than 700 calories worth of carrots.

    My mum was a BIG calorie counter when i was a kid and i agree with Nadine. It might have been good that i knew how many calories were in every kind of food by the time i was 11, but it isn't healthy that i REALLY REALLY believed that a healthy active woman my height could only eat 1000 k/cals/day if they wanted to lose weight - i can eat more than double that and lose weight healthily.

    So no, it's not bad, but a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, so it's best to really have an awareness, if you're counting calories, of how many you need.


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