After fully wrapping up the “should I count calories or not?” question yesterday (read here), there’s an additional and very important caveat I want to make clear:
Calorie counting and intuitive eating are not diametrically opposed or mutually exclusive.
If you decide to count calories, you still can – and ought to – employ sensible “eat by feel” strategies to make dieting easier and healthier.
Or, if you decide to intuitively “eat by feel,” you can still be at least somewhat conscientious of the amount of calories you’re consuming. I eat by feel now, but I still have a very loose system for getting in the ballpark of what I know my daily calorie intake should be, roughly.
And finally, if you are counting calories, you don’t necessarily have to be deadpan accurate with it (which is impossible anyway) – as long as you’re close enough, like 10-15% within the truth, that’s good enough to facilitate long run progress, especially if by doing so you make the process easier and thus more sustainable. For example: instead of weighing your eggs each day you eat them, you just call an egg 75 calories and assume it will even out over the long run.
The ultimate idea here is that whatever you do is:
- as simple and easy as possible.
- … so long as it’s still at least *good enough* to work.
When it comes to counting calories or eating sensibly by feel, said efficiency will likely reside (surprise surprise) somewhere in the reasonable middle ground. You might need to tinker and adjust to find where that is for you, but I assure you you’ll be glad once you do. Indeed, I say the number one benefit of getting your health and fitness solidly handled is that it’s an immense relief.