Losing weight, reaching your ideal body goal or simply maintaining your current size don’t simply come down to exercising regularly. You really have to pay attention to what you eat, and what’s more, how much you eat of it. Tracking your calorie intake is what usually comes to one’s mind first. However, you can easily control your diet without calorie counting as well. Find out how you can eat mindfully without the pain of using any kind of calorie trackers! 😉
Problems With Calorie Tracking
Probably the most commonly believed myth for diet control is the calories in – calories out approach. It simply tells you that you should consume lower amount of calories than what you burn to lose weight. This is, of course, true, but here are the top reasons why you can’t calculate this equation precisely.
#1 Calories displayed on product labels are incorrect
According to Precision Nutrition, food companies are not consistent with the methods used to calculate calories. As a result, you can eat the same yogurt of two different companies and falsely assume they have diverse amount calories. The error rate may be up to 50%. We are not talking about only a few calories plus/minus anymore.
#2 The Atwater System is inaccurate
The Atwater system is still widely used as a base for calorie estimation. This system is underpinned by assigning a certain number of calories to each macronutrient. However, according to the IDEA Fitness Journal, it’s not a proper estimation for protein full and raw-consumed foods. Furthermore, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’s research has found that the system isn’t accurate for low-fat and high-fiber diets either.
#3 Calorie tracking apps are not always correct
Even though these apps let us scan the barcodes, we don’t always have the chance to do that. Option b is usually clicking on someone else’s estimates. Yet, if even food companies are allowed to mess it up, how could you trust someone else’s presumptions.
We do suggest some other alternatives to tracking other than apps in our Ultimate Tracking Guide.
#4 Guessing the amount hardly works
Calorie counting requires us to know the exact amount we’ve consumed. This is rarely possible unless you carry a kitchen scale in your back pocket at all times. As a result, we usually end up guessing the amount, which is often wrong. Now, this way you simply end up with false numbers in your tracking app.
#5 Calorie expenditure estimations are unreliable
Unless you’re wearing a fitness tracker all day long, it’s almost impossible to accurately calculate your calories out. The exact same activity can result in different amount of calories burnt for two people. This number really depends on individual characteristics and also on the intensity level of one’s output. Moreover, differences across trackers and the occurrence of errors can also cause wrong estimations.
READ OUR DETAILED POST ON WHY CALORIE COUNTING SUCKS
Mindful But Tracker Free Eating
A much better and easier way to keep your diet on track is mindful eating. The Precision Nutrition team introduced a method that allows you to eat right portions sizes without the use of any scale or calorie tracker. You don’t need anything else just your hands.
Simply follow these rules with every meal and you won’t mess up your ideal calorie intake again.
These portion sizes are designed for approximately 4 meals a day. You should adjust them accordingly.
READ HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR IDEAL MACRONUTRIENTS
Portion Sizes for Women
Portion Sizes for Men
Of course, the food amounts will be different for everybody since they are connected to individual hand sizes. Note, your hand size is dependant on your body size. Therefore, this is exactly the factor that makes this approach fair and personalized.
Now go ahead and start controlling your diet with your bare hands!