Calorie Counting Is Like Training Wheels For Eating Well

Tony Horton, the P90X guy, has been writing for Ask Men lately. In this week’s column, he talks about calorie counting and takes the same view Churchill took on democracy: it’s pretty bad, but it’s the best we’ve got. The reason it’s bad is because even if done extremely well and diligently, it’s a poor approximation. There is no way for the average person to exactly count how many calories are in an apple or a chicken wing. And there is no way for them to know how many calories they burn throughout the day from various activities and the base metabolic rate.

Photo by John Schilling


Actually, there is a way: hunger. But the problem with hunger is modern Western culture. Hunger is not always true hunger, but a craving for junk food that tastes good, for a reward at the end of the day, or for something to do because Boardwalk Empire is good, but kinda boring. The challenge for most people is to be able to tell the difference between hunger and cravings, to distinguish the true meaning of cravings, and to quench them with healthy choices: banana instead of ice cream, salmon instead of potato chips. And calorie counting is a great way to start on that path: it shows with numbers just how bad unhealthy food is, with its high calorie content and low nutritional value.

And after that information is ingrained into the super-ego, we can consciously make healthy food choices that the id will accept and eventually get our instincts back on a healthy track like they were meant to be, before sugar, preservatives and chemicals hijacked our diet.

From Ask Men


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