How often have you heard about calorie counting being restrictive / bad / creating obsessive eating habits? It’s the anti diet movement’s tagline.
Now the notion that you haven’t got to be a certain weight or size is great. But if you do want to lose eight because you want to and you will feel better then you are allowed to.
If you are going to do this you have to eat less than you burn. There’s literally no other way.
So if you are keeping track of your calorie intake in order to sensibly lose weight because you will feel better for that why would that be bad or unhealthy.
Of course, like anything, it can be taken to extreme. If you are refusing to do things because it would take you over your daily calories, skipping meals, finding yourself obsessing over your diet, severely restricting your food intake for quick results, cutting our food groups or anything like that then there’s an issue. If that’s you, those are signs it may be helpful to seek a medical professionals advice. For most people though, keeping a track of how much you’re eating doesn’t create such issues. It does allow you to sensibly work towards your goals with data you can use to see what is and isn’t working.
What are the alternatives? You could use an eating systems where calories aren’t counted. Slimming World, Weight Watchers, maybe Intermittent Fasting. They might take the counting away but they don’t prevent restrictive habits or a bad relationship with food.
You could eat intuitively. Which is great if you are happy with your body as it is, but in reality if you want to lose weight then what you eat now isn’t working and without a mean to measure your food intake how do you know what changes to make?
The upshot is, there are so many reasons you might have a bad relationship with food. Calorie counting might not be for you because of that, but calorie counting in itself doesn’t create bad relationship with food, there are so many factors in play when such a thing happens. Making a process, that is pretty factual when you take our emotional relationship with food out of the equation, into a negative idea is dangerous, not least because it’s actually the easiest, least faddy and cheapest way to lose weight out there.