I talk to so many people that are so focused on the amount of calories they consume daily. While this is something that should absolutely be considered, and if you are tracking macros is inherently being tracked as well, calorie counting should not be your main goal when it comes to your nutrition.
We have all heard the "calories in vs calories out" debate. If we move more then we eat then we will have a six pack. Not necessarily. The "calories in vs. calories out" theory is far too simplistic. It does not address how our bodies react to the food we are eating. It is important to understand that different foods act differently in your body. For example, the calories in highly processed foods absorb differently then calories in minimally processed, high fiber foods. We also should understand that our bodies digest protein differently then say, sugar.
Many factors besides food come in to play here as well. Hormone levels, your current lean mass, your GI tract health, your genetics and your activity level are just a few things that can affect your metabolism, so just focusing on a number of calories per day will not get you where you need to be.
"Calorie math" often leads to poor food decisions as well. We find ourselves rationalizing that 100 calories is 100 calories whether it is coming from vegetables or candy. Nutrition quality often times gets pushed to the wayside just to hit a caloric goal.
Instead of focusing so much on a calorie number goal each day, try to focus on simply leading a well balanced, healthy life. Keep your body well fed and moving so that it can function the way you need it to. For most people, simply counting calories usually achieves the opposite of this goal. Start to learn your physiological cues, triggers and signals and create new routines and behaviors around these.
For more information or to learn about a plan that would work for you, contact Melissa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Live well, be well.