Weight Loss & Diet Plan

Why Counting Calories Isn’t Essential for Weight Loss

Colorful salad bar with healthy food
Written by Nancy

We all have that one friend who refuses to eat food because they’ve already reached their calorie limit for the day.

People who are attempting to lose weight often get obsessed with calorie counting, not realizing that it really doesn’t matter much.

Counting calories isn’t essential for weight loss. Here’s why:

1.    You Don’t Know How Many Calories You Need

Yes, we have some idea of how many calories a person who’s our size and age needs in a day, but that’s just it, it’s an approximate number.

To know exactly how many calories you’re burning in a day, you need to invest in indirect calorimetry; a long, complicated process that involves you being wired up to a sophisticated machine for extended periods of time.

The calorie numbers that fitness gadgets and apps show are also approximate values of how many calories you’re burning during the day, so don’t take them too seriously.

2.    You Don’t Know How Many Calories Your Body Is Absorbing

Healthy Asian dishes in plates
Just like you don’t know how many calories your body uses up in a day, you don’t know how many calories your body absorbs in a day either.

Calorie absorption varies from person to person. Your calorie absorption rate depends on how the food was cooked and the amount of fiber the meal contained. Even the bacteria present in your stomach impactcalorie absorption rates.

3.    The Calories Stated on Food Packages Aren’t Reliable

So, you don’t know how many calories your body needs to survive, and you don’t know how many calories it absorbs in a day—but there’s more! You also don’t know how many calories you’re consuming.

The calorie counts you see on food packages are unreliable; the FDA allows companies a 20% margin of error on food labels. That means a 200-calorie snack could be 150 calories or 250 calories.

4.    It Causes You to Turn a Blind Eye to Hunger Cues

As much as you want to suppress it, hunger is natural; it’s a necessary biological impulse that serves to guarantee our well-being.

People who get obsessed with calorie counting try to suppress their body’s need for food just because their calorie requirements for the day are complete.

Ignoring hunger is unhealthy. If you have the urge to eat, pick up a healthy snack instead of ignoring your hunger cues.

Contrary to what many popular diet plans will have you think, weight loss doesn’t have to be unnerving and complex.

Simple lifestyle changes go a long way in helping you attain sustainable weight loss. If you’ve constantly failed to attain your weight loss goals, it’s time you look for an approach that’s more in line with your needs.

Waist All Day offers a unique nutrition and weight loss course that discusses diet, exercise, sleep patterns, and other factors that impact an individual’s weight and physical well-being.

It can help you get the waistline you desire with expert diet plans and fitness advice.

Check out their blog and sign-up for their weight management course today.

About the author


I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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