Count your Blessings NOT your Calories
Does this seem like an odd quote or request coming from a dietitian?
Well for starters I don’t really like the title Dietitian as people tend to associate my work solely with diets, as in that I must be the diet expert, or it is my job to put someone on a diet, or I only focus on calories and weight loss. The term Dietitian comes from the Greek root Diaita meaning “way of life” and the early role of the dietitian was to plan menus and ensure nutritional adequacy within the healthcare setting. Today Registered Dietitians (RDs) practice within a diverse spectrum of settings, and for my own career path I prefer the term Nutritionist as it seems more encompassing and holistic. But I digress from my Thought-spiration…
To Count your Calories can go beyond the act of monitoring daily food intake in order to maintain the proper energy balance to reach your goal. At times when someone is on a weight loss plan, they become consumed with calorie counting beyond that which is effective for weight management. If you a spending hours a day or have to interrupt your day in order to determine the nutrient composition of an item before eating it, this could actually lead to hindering your weight loss. As people become more strict or focused on Calorie Intake they tend to disconnect from their actual hunger and fullness cues.
As part of Mindful Eating I suggest you pay attention to the amount of time you dedicate to meal planning and determine if it is healthy or excessive. Trust in the meal plan we have established but if you are hungry allow yourself to eat.
And most importantly, Count your Blessings: Identify the other life events and social factors around you to not only be thankful for but to fill your time with rather than spending it looking up every type of cheese’s calories. (By the way at the end of the day, enough of them will be 100 Calories per ounce that you can save yourself the trouble of looking.) For example, if you are attending a Wedding this Summer, focus on spending time with your friends/family and enjoying a nice day/night out rather than trying to determine which entree is the healthiest. And to keep to a healthy plan, socialize away from areas where food is present to resist the urge to eat mindlessly.