Calorie Counting
Getty Images/Asian Delight

Last year at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, 15-year-old me started to gain a real interest in nutrition for the first time in my life, and just like that, I began my fitness journey. I soaked in knowledge from various sources from the internet that I found reliable and tried to educate myself about eating right, including the specifics on how to gain or lose weight. Through all this research, the most common word of advice that I found was to count the calories you eat. Whether you were obese and wanted to simply get to a healthy weight, extremely skinny trying to put on muscle, or even someone in good shape whose goal is to be absolutely shredded, calorie counting was the best way to do it. At least, that’s what I had understood from the dozens of YouTube videos and articles I watched and read.

In the last few years, however, there has been a great deal of awareness spread about eating disorders. As a result, in recent times, I have seen just as many sources invalidating calorie counting and claiming it only promotes eating disorders. This is clearly a complex debate with a lot of interesting perspectives to it. Thus, I decided to ask Vendetta employees about their thoughts on the topics and any personal experiences they would be willing to share about calorie counting.

Adam Krieger:

“Don’t think it promotes eating disorders, but eating smart and keeping an eye out isn’t harmful IMO”

Alex Chick III:

“I think it could be helpful as long as it’s not super strict. I’ve counted calories before, it’s more about portion control. If you stick to a super strict caloric count, some people just flat out binge eat out of hunger and that can lead to a eating disorder. I still eat what I want usually, just in smaller portions for caloric intake.”

Emma Brown:

“I think calorie counting is fine in moderation. It can lead to extremely obsessive habits and that can cause an eating disorder. But if you’re just looking to balance your eating I think it’s okay.”

Vivek Sharma:

“I think calorie counting is like practically anything else, if it’s in a balanced way that is used to motivate yourself to cut down on the unhealthy foods then it’s helpful. But if it starts to get excessive to the point where you’re starving yourself to stay in the diet then obv it’s promoting a disorder.”

Bryan Tann:

“I’m very strict with my calories. Although the last two weeks I’ve been slacking with the move and my kid is here. Im going to be back at it hard after next weekend.”

Scott Logush:

“I think the quality of calories is almost as important as the number. Like 2000 calories of broccoli is not the same as 2000 calories of chips. If you’re living and dying by the number of calories and don’t care about what the calories are (and as a result don’t care about the macros) then I think it’s unhealthy. Treating both the number and the quality (macros) of calories equally is the way to go.”

Max Everett:

“As someone who has suffered both ends of eating disorders (anorexia & over eating) in pursuit of what i saw as the perfect physique, I think calorie counting and management is the best way to manage a diet. It makes dieting simple, cuts the bullshit and makes sure you aren’t targeting food groups e.g. carbs which could lead to deficiencies.”

I would say I generally agree with all the responses from the Vendetta team. Now, from my own experiences, I can safely say calorie counting did work in helping me get where I wanted to be, and I was able to still maintain a healthy relationship with food. It truly is about finding the right balance, as if you aren’t aware enough of the sheer amount of calories you are consuming, it can result in a downward spiral of weight gain. However, on the flip side, being too obsessive over every single calorie you’re eating simply isn’t a healthy lifestyle to maintain and leads people to do ridiculous things like this. So go and get your dream body using a caloric deficit or surplus. Just do it the right way!

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