What Your Calorie Tracker is Not Telling You
Albert Einstein once said “not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” I’m not sure if he was referring to his calorie tracker or not; maybe he ate a pop tart and wanted to skew his intake for the day. Regardless of what he was referring to, the quote says a lot about calorie counting.
Look- I’m not going to poo-poo calorie counting. I’m also not going to commit and say that everything your calorie tracker spits out is the gospel truth. Like anything else, tracking your intake is a tool, and the success of the tool depends largely on the competence of the user. Logging your food can give you some insight on what you need to do to reach your goals, but quite a few people get a little too locked into things. Unpacking scales, measuring cups, and a Bunsen burner every time you eat is no way to live.
I don’t say that to imply that calorie counting doesn’t work – as we’ll talk about in a minute, it has it’s road bumps. With that being said, you probably wonder why in the heck you should even bother.
The reason for tracking your calories is the law of thermodynamics. To paraphrase, to lose weight you need a calorie deficit; that means your body needs to burn more calories than you consume. As I’ve told my clients, the quality of your diet determines your body composition. This means that your macros (fats, protein, carbohydrates) determine how much muscle and bodyfat you carry. On the other hand, the quantity of your diet will always govern your weight loss/weight gain.
That quantity isn’t as easy as you’d think to determine. As I’ll explain in this video, things aren’t so cut and dry when it comes to determining the accuracy of your intake. I don’t say this to discourage you, but to simply help manage your expectations.