Calorie counting may not be the most effective method for keeping track of one’s diet, after all.
Most people first start looking at the calories they are consuming when starting a diet, but counting calorie intake is the minimum one can do to lose weight.
The most efficient way to keep a healthy diet is to look at the ingredients in each food product and understand why they are healthy to consume. It is important to see the ingredients because each food group, such as grains, protein, vegetables, and dairy are important to well nourish the body the correct way.
The recommended calorie intake can differ based on age and gender. For women ages 19-30, the recommended calorie intake is 2,000-2,400 per day, and for men of the same age range, it is between 2,400-3,000 calories, according to Healthline.
Calorie intake is not the same as nutrient intake. Anthony Vargas, junior business administration major and midfielder on the men’s soccer team, focuses on the content of his meals for soccer practice and game days.
“I have to focus on carbohydrates and protein to replenish the muscle mass and focus on what my body needs,” Vargas said.
To be a student-athlete at California Baptist University, food choices are important. Two student-athletes at CBU have different balanced meals they consume to be productive throughout their days based on their sports and how many calories they are burning.
“Mainly carbs, protein and fruit on the side, but I do focus more on what I eat on game days and cut back on certain foods,” Vargas said. All sports can have someone consume nutrients differently due to the different physical exercise.
“Chicken is my go-to for protein and I add salad and fruits,” said Faith Bolde, junior film production major and member of the dance team. Counting calories is also an unhealthy diet lifestyle.
“Anyone who struggles with anxiety or disordered eating should steer clear,” Breese Annable, a physiologist that specializes in disordered eating, chronic dieting, and body image, told Outside Magazine in the article “Counting Calories Doesn’t Work,” recommended by professor of kinesiology, Dr. Trevor Gillum. Every day is different and each day one can burn different numbers of calories.
“When it comes to calories your body needs on a given day, it’s nearly impossible to accurately guess that number,” Christine Byrne, author of the Outside Magzine article. Revolving around calorie count can be unsafe and lead to unhealthy choices.
Calories are often shown on packaged foods. These packaged foods are processed and often lead someone to not feel satisfied with their meal, which makes that person want to eat more.
It is a bad eating tactic to focus on empty calories rather than getting their daily dose of nutrition, including protein, carbs and vegetables. Rather than eating processed foods, cooked meals at home is the best option to consume for a healthy diet.
Counting calories should not be the first and main priority in a healthy diet. Instead, nourish your body with the right nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Everyone is different. Calorie intake has little to nothing on a healthy diet and lifestyle. Instead, place nutritional value higher in importance.