Let’s talk numbers, shall we?
When it comes to nutrition, numbers find their way into the conversation quite often. Calories, grams, pounds, ounces, cups, teaspoons, tablespoons, percents, RAH! It’s enough to make you kinda crazy.
I’m here to tell you to stop thinking numerically.
Just stop it.
No seriously. Stop the mental adding and subtracting, the daily weighing, the measuring, everything.
Likely story is that, one day, you decided to become more aware of what you were eating and what you were weighing, and to find that out, you resorted to numbers. How many calories did you need and what did that mean for grams of fat, carbs and protein? And how much of that came from this cereal? And how much cereal could I eat to get that number? But if I wanted to eat a snack after then what could I eat for this many calories? And then how many calories do I have left for the day? And what do I weigh in the morning, and then at night?
Does your brain hurt yet?
If you still have that reel of questions in your mind, I don’t doubt that you’re a little tired from all the number-crunching.
As an almost-dietitian, I’m required to think like that, it’s my job. But when it comes to my own food and my own body, I turn the numbers off entirely. Why? For my sanity, my peace of mind.
Because I know from practice how much food my body needs, and how I feel when I’m at my “happy weight” and what a cup of pasta looks like on my plate. And if you already know these things, then why burden your mind with the constant scrolling of numbers?
If you are just starting out on a journey to bettering your health and eating habits, then yes, inevitably you will be looking at numbers at first. But once you develop healthy habits, then forget the numbers and go for practicality. Go based on experience. Maybe the calculation told you that you only need 1500 calories a day to maintain your weight, but only you truly know your energy requirements. It may take time and a little trial and error, but trust me when I say it is so much better than killing yourself with the calculator.
And if you are convinced that you need to keep track of the numbers, consult a dietitian. It is what they are legally trained and qualified to do, so that you can breathe and know that you are in good hands.
Being consumed by numbers is no way to live, I know that from experience.
Instead, practice mindful-eating.
Savor your food, savor every bite. Enjoy the fresh, crunchy lettuce as much as the smooth and sweet chocolate.
It takes practice, and it may not be easy at first, but it will be worth it. Soon the numbers will fade, and your sanity will return. You’ll be amazed at how much brain power is freed by simply letting go.
Do you count calories?