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The Grey Matters

Live Like Your Life Depends On It (The Last Time I Counted A Calorie)


Hey everyone!

(I just might blow your mind today.)

Who here has counted a calorie today? If I was speaking in front of an audience, I’d guess that at least half, if not way more, raised their hands.

And then I would say:

I cannot remember the last time I counted a calorie.

‘Tis true. If you’ve been keeping up with the Eat/Live Like Your Life Depends On It series, then you already know that I base my eating choices on one main thing: INGREDIENTS.

If I’m fully aware of the ingredients, then why do I care what the calorie content is?

For instance.  One 2oz Snicker’s bar contains 250 calories. I know there is some weird scientific formula for what a calorie is, but to me, it’s just this mystical number that means absolutely nothing. That’s right. Nothing. Because then you can hop onto a treadmill and it will tell you how many calories you’ve burned.

And I just don’t think we can possibly put an exact number on something like that. Especially with every single body being so different and all…. I doubt I’m burning the same amount of calories as the person next to me, even if we both run two miles. I just cant believe it.

These magic numbers we’ve decided to call calories mess people up. I truly believe that. I ONCE tried counting calories (years ago) and it drove me nuts. I don’t have extra time to spend on that. It made me obsessive. Counting a calorie could make a 250 CANDY bar look better for me than 1 tsp Olive Oil (40 cal), I egg (~100 cal), 1 c Black Beans (227 cal).

See what I mean? A healthy lunch of a cooked egg with black beans (which I would place over a bed of greens) amounts to 413 calories. A candy bar has less calories. Anyone can see which would be the healthier choice.

ingredients, organic, whole foods, real food, calorie

my favorite ingredients :)

One day this just lit up like a lightbulb in my head and I never, ever, even so much as glanced at a caloric value (or really, any of the nutrition facts) on the packaged food I bought ever again. I cannot stress this enough: all I do is look at ingredient lists. 

A recap:

1) If there is one single “chemical” sounding word, then I will not buy it. That’s my vote. That’s my choice as a consumer. All you have to do is take a look.

2) If there are more than 5 ingredients, I’m skeptical. I’ll take a close look at the list and see if there are lots of herbs listed, or maybe different grains.

3) If any type of sweetener (with raw honey being the one exception) is listed as one of the first 3 ingredients, you probably won’t see me buying it.

Based on these principles, I come home with whole foods, real foods, and I feel great because of it. You might find yourself buying LESS packaged/processed foods and more of your own ingredients. Counting calories doesn’t make sense for a home cooked meal made primarily with veggies.

Give it a try!!! Become an ingredient list reader rather than a calorie counter.

Sounds more fun, right? (maybe haha)

Love, Lou

Author: Melinda Haas

Melinda is a writer, blogger, artist and teacher. She lives in Wisconsin with her family.

6 thoughts on “Live Like Your Life Depends On It (The Last Time I Counted A Calorie)

  1. *Cheers* from a fellow non-calorie-counter!

  2. The best thing is to make from scratch. I know there are healthy pre packaged items but I’d rather make i myself. I calorie counted for nearly six months. Gained a headache, lost no weight. Granted I am just trying to lose 5 pounds but still whatta headache. I still like to pretend I lost 618 calories on my one hour walks :)

  3. I love this post so much! I’ve never counted calories ever. Like, for real. Not even for a day. I’ve always said that as long as you’re eating healthy and exercising, you’re probably good. I know there’s a little more to it than that, but seriously. All that calorie counting will just make you depressed. Love this series! You’ve definitely inspired me to take a closer look at what I’ve got in my pantry.

  4. I tried counting calories 2 summers ago and only made it 4 days before I gave up. It was making me focus on the wrong things–definitely why so many people get crazy about weight/diets! I think it’s much more important to focus on what we are eating, rather than just how much. Also, I love your tips! Definitely going to use these :)

    • I think four days is about how long I lasted as well! I’m so glad you like the tips! They were life changing for me and the best part is they’re super easy, right? :) Thanks so much Kristyn!!

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