Does Calorie Counting Work?

Many diets revolve around restricting caloric intake for part or all of the day. While this can and does work it is very tedious and a really restrictive way to live. While there is research to support caloric restriction having a positive effect on longevity and extending life expectancy the research is less conclusive on weight loss. Some eresearch even suggests that long term calorie counting can actually lead ultimately to weight gain because of the negative effects on your metabolism from extended caloric restriction.

Clearly, eating too many calories is not good when it comes to maintaining a healthy body weight because over time you will gain extra pounds. But equally, restricting calories isn’t necessarily the best long term weight loss solution as your body compensates by slowing down your metabolism. The downside of this is when you go back to eating normally you’ll almost certainly gain back the weight you lost in a boomerang fashion.

Most calorie restricted diets suggest sticking with 800 -1100 calories per day depending on whether you’re male or female. Other versions such as Intermittent Fasting suggest alternating between normal calorie days afollowed by days of only eating 500 calories. While many of these approaches have had short and sometimes long term benefits many dieticians think that starving the body (even temporarily) can negatively impact and even damage your metabolism.

We feel that a more sound approach is to consider the type of foods you eat and their macronutrient ratios rather than only being concerned with calories alone. While massively overeating calories isn’t good for you (unless you’re an athlete or a body builder) sticking to the 2000 – 2500 recommended calories per day and eating a healthy balanced diet is a much better way to go. So don’t focus on the calories but do focus on the nutrients of the foods you eat to maximise weight loss and ultimately improve your health.