It is not unusual for calorie counting to become an unhealthy addiction. Eating disorder statistics show an alarming number of dieters end up with eating disorders. To make matters worse, the internet and cell phones have ushered in a whole new level of obsession.
Here is an article discussing app-orexia , using i-phone apps to count calories through the day. Having those numbers available all day long can increase a person’s reliance on them–often to feel they are ‘okay’, and to relieve anxiety. Focusing on calories, like all eating disorder behaviors, serves a much deeper, emotional purpose.
I have had many clients who rely on sites like Fitday.com or constantly look up the calorie content at restaurants before they go. Unfortunately our society has set people up to have this kind of hyper-focus on numbers and manipulation of our intake.
The most important characteristic that determines one has an eating disorder is the obsessive thoughts about food, weight and body. Behaviors and weight vary widely among those who suffer, but the thoughts are quite consistent. It is not fun to live in the head of a person who suffers this way.
The belief that we have to vigilantly monitor every morsel that enters our mouths is a fallacy. It is a lie. We have been taught we cannot trust our bodies. This is where we lose our way.
We don’t need to know how many calories we are consuming. We don’t need to count grams of this or that. I used to buy into this belief like everyone else. I have since learned calorie counting is pointless, and even harmful.
Eating well is about listening to your body. If you are eating according to your hunger cues , your body gets exactly what it needs throughout the day. Some days your body needs more, some days less.
So put down the iphone. Stop going to the online calorie counters. What you need to know in order to eat healthy is not outside of you.