Counting nutrients up, not calories down

I used to count calories.  Many women have in the past or do now.  I always fell off that band wagon over a couple days or weeks.  In my current pull-up challenge phase though, I started counting grams of protein.


Here’s why I like counting protein over counting calories:

Counting calories is depressing.  When counting calories, you see the number of food you can have drop throughout the day.  You’re surprised and frustrated by how many calories it dropped because of a cookie, or because of some chips.  You see the number go down, down, down.  You’re perseverating on the decrease.  Then, if you are down to 0 by 3:00 pm, you are either hungry the rest of the evening, OR you eat more anyway, and feel guilty.

calorie counting

Counting protein is encouraging.  Instead of dropping, you’re adding.  Count up instead of down.  20 grams of protein at breakfast, plus 21 grams at lunch, plus 19 at dinner = 60 grams for the day.  I feel fulfilled, uplifted, and encouraged.  I’m trying to get more, not less.  I never talked about what I can’t have because it’s too many calories.  Instead, I said “what can I add to my body that will make it work better and help me reach goals?”  

food diary

Counting protein still allows you to see the mistakes, and make changes.  When I count my protein, I still write everything down.  That way, when I see chips with a big 0 next to it, I think “okay so chips are not going to help me with my goal.  And, they don’t have other healthy nutrients either.  It’s fine that I ate them, they just aren’t going to help me.  Maybe next time I can try carrots with hummus.” (Just an example)

Eating food should not be demeaning, discouraging, or confining.  We should be able to eat freely and make choices based on things that give us more life, more health, and more benefits.


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