Warning: This may be a trigger for those who are still struggling with eating disorders, but this is my assessment and my honest struggles with the virtues, for some, and down sides for others of calorie counting.
When I was about 15, I started counting calories. It wasn’t cause I was fat or overweight or on a diet. It was because, I thought I could be even healthier and more disciplined if I did, and it was because it seemed like that’s what many other people on the online forums did.
It became an unhealthy obsession, an idol that was hurtful, and not a tool that was helpful.
I would eat my allotted amount of calories for the day, and even if I was still starving, I’d go to bed with an empty stomach knowing that I had already eaten what I was ‘supposed’ to eat.
No, I didn’t go to a nutritionist and get a meal plan or anything like that. I became my own, very faulty ‘nutritionist.’
If you don’t have to calorie count, it’s not a fun thing to do. It makes eating more of a chore, more of an obsession, and lessens the enjoyment of eating in the light of God’s goodness, listening to the bodily cues He gave us to tell us when we’re hungry and when we’re full.
Here’s my new philosophy I’m trying, by God’s grace to work into my daily fabric. That is:
1. Eat with gratefulness.
2. Eventually stop calorie counting and eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m satisfied.
3. Don’t think about food all the time, but when you do sit down to eat, thank God and savor each bite as a gift from Him.