Counting calories can sound scary and intimidating, but there are some who don't actually need to calorie count. You may need to, but every person is different and it all depends on your health and dietary needs.
There are differing opinions on the subject and, truthfully, there is no wrong or right answer. I will say this, however: it's very hard to become overweight or obese if 80-90% of your diet is healthy and vegetable-based. Nutrient dense foods do not cause weight problems. All the overweight and obese people I know didn't get that way eating healthy. No, they were all on the Standard American Diet (SAD) and didn't move much.
If you need to lose, say 15 to 20 pounds, or don't have a weight problem, then calorie counting probably isn’t an issue. You should eat a wide variety of very healthy foods. I say eat every color available every day as much as you desire!
However, if you need to lose 30 pounds or more, then I believe counting calories is a must, at least until you have established a healthy dietary and lifestyle foundation.
I see a lot of people with weight and obesity issues and there are some common things they share (overweight for our purposes referring to those who need to lost at least 30 pounds.)
- They had no clue how many calories they should be or were eating.
- They over consumed or under-consume calories. (Yes, too few calories and your metabolism will stall, preventing weight loss.)
- They had sedentary lifestyles.
- They ate the SAD.
- They tried dieting multiple times with no permanent success.
- They wanted a quick fix or a solution without having to change much in their life.
All of these points drastically affect the way we burn calories. If you don’t know how many calories you should actually be eating, you will never take charge of losing the weight. Calories from nutrient-deficient foods equals substantial weight gain.
The mind set of the obese or overweight person must change! For them, every diet approach has been a failure for one reason: it was not a healthy approach they could center their life around forever. They must accept that this isn’t about dieting or even their weight, it’s about living a healthy lifestyle. Once they have a good grasp of what a healthy diet and lifestyle is and are able to live it comfortably, then calories aren’t so much of a concern.
Focus on living a very healthy lifestyle and, in most cases, the weight issues will take care of themselves. (This does not account for medical conditions; always consult with your doctor about any changes in your diet.)