Recovery // Why you should stop counting calories

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*Trigger warning for talk of Eating disorders and weight (numbers included)*

As I'm sat here typing this, I'm eating a bagel covered in Peanut Butter and Strawberry jam.This is an everyday occurrence now,but this time 14 months ago (in the beginning of my recovery) I would weigh and calculate every morsel of food.I remember using the scale to weigh lettuce and having to check it repeatedly to make sure it was accurate.My history with calorie counting is far too lengthy to talk about in this post,but I thought I would share my experiences with you.I know it can be hard when you always hear people say "urgh this is so bad , it has x/y/z calories".You can't really blame people though,magazines are covered in eye catching titles claiming that the latest celebrity is so much happier and healthier on this diet that has a 99% chance of being restrictive.I thought I'd share with you my tips on how you can move toward a more natural and way less stressful relationship with food.

1.Buy food that doesn't show calorie information! I think I had some bakery bread in the freezer for 6 months because I was too scared to eat it.However,since recovery I have been able to expand my cooking knowledge and try out some wonderful new food.I like to think of it as experiencing food like a child would,they enjoy all the colours,flavours and textures that their meals have to offer without judgement or attaching labels.

2.If you struggle with associating calories and how many you have with guilt and other negative feelings,I have some really helpful affirmations that help me get through my emotions.

"I trust my body"
"500 years ago people didn't count calories and they were absolutely fine!"
"I am allowed to enjoy this food and nourish my body"
"I am feeling sad/guilty/anxious and that's OK and it will pass"
"I am trying to create a healthier relationship with myself and food"

3.Try to get out of the mindset that low calorie=healthy and high calorie=unhealthy.Foods like Peanut Butter (one of the foods I really struggled with),Olive Oil and some fish contain high levels of fats that are great for brain function and skin. Whereas lots of low fat or sugar substitutes often contain more additives so that it appealing and tastes nice.Having a good mix of everything is often the best way to make sure that you're eating well.

4.Listening to your body is one of the greatest tools in stopping calorie counting.Learning to recognise hunger and fullness signals (especially when you have disordered eating) can be very difficult.However,this is a learning process.Initially I had to count calories to make sure I was eating enough but when I reached a healthy weight my body was able to tell me what it needed more reliably.There is no shame in eating when you're hungry.There is no shame in eating full stop.

5.This leads me on to my next point, making sure you eat regularly.Not eating often enough can often leave people quite irritable and it can mess up your hunger signals.I always eat 3 meals and 2 snacks,but whatever works for you is great! Make time for food and enjoy getting to know your body and what it wants (you might learn something new.)

For me,when I was restricting my food intake,other areas of my life also became limited.Therefore,it would make sense that when those rules slowly became lifted,I was able to experience life much more vividly.I understand that everyone's lives are different,but I really hope this helps or at least makes you think about calories and your relationship with them.After all,there are much more important things to worry about.

Do you count calories? Let me know your opinions and experiences! 


  1. I've never counted my calories. But sometimes I do feel guilty because I had too much chocolate. To be honest my mom, heck my entire family, worries more about my weight than I do! I use to punish myself. Blaming myself. Until it came the day that I realize: I'm not skinny. I will never be skinny! So I might well just enjoy food.

  2. Thanks for sharing that with me! I know, it's strange isn't it when lots of people seem more occupied with your body shape than you are.I'm so happy that you're learning to enjoy food.I'm learning too :) x

  3. Hey Kim! I just wanted you to know that I've nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blog Award and you can check it out at http://veroniquegee.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-very-inspiring-blogger-award.html :) Have a fantastic day!

    xoxo, Vero.


  4. Thank you very much! I will check that out :) xx


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