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Pros and Cons of Calorie Counting & Food Tracking

Our residential nutrition expert, Georgia, is always giving her advice and guidance on certain topics over on our Facebook Page. She’s regularly giving the low down on particular diets and their effects on the body & fitness, and we’re keeping all the writings here on our website for you to refer to when necessary!

Check out what she has to say below…

If you are looking to lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit (eat less than you burn).

The food and drinks we consume fuel our body for daily function – breathing, digestion, movement, exercise and so on. Any excess energy/calories are then stored either in the muscles or as fat – if we consume more than we burn, it will lead to weight gain.

One way to keep on top of this deficit is by calorie counting and tracking the food you eat. This might work well for some but not for others, so what are the pros and cons of this approach?

The Pros:

  • Calorie counting can be an effective way to get an approximate estimation of how many calories you are consuming.
  • Provides a routine/goal to work towards, which some people find beneficial.
  • Can help increase knowledge around the foods/drinks we eat and identify areas for improvement for example if you are lacking in any vitamins/minerals.
  • It can be used for a short amount of time to build healthy habits and create a balanced diet diet.

The Cons:

  • Some of the apps can give you a very low calorie goal. Nobody should really be eating less than 1300 calories a day unless instructed to do so by a doctor.
  • It can be quite time consuming and requires effort to get a close to accurate calorie estimate (remembering to add oils/butter/drinks/snacks etc).
  • Can be addictive and cause negative feelings if you go over calorie goals – but don’t worry a balanced diet should be flexible and allow for treats!
  • Can take away focus on nutrition – yes technically you can eat whatever you want if you are within calorie goal BUT you shouldn’t neglect those nutrient dense foods such as veg, whole-grains, legumes, fish etc!

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