Apps are the new, best thing for counting calories or kilojoules. There used to be books, magazines, groups people attended, and word of mouth that gave you the information about calorie counting. It was very popular in the 80’s and early 90’s.
What’s the Hype?
When searching for an app, there are lots and lots to choose from. Some are more favourably known, some provide more reliable information, but all in all, they are a tool. And they are mostly utilised for weight loss. By restricting kilojoules (or calories), an energy deficit is created within the body. This deficit means that the body must find other means of providing energy, which is where the body begins to utilise the stores it currently has. This utilisation of body stores will result in weight loss, which is a combination of both fat and muscle loss.
Bodies require a certain amount of energy to function – to sustain our heart, our brain, our muscles, our organs, and every other cell to survive. Therefore it is necessary to eat. Going without food is never a recommended, unless there is a specific reason behind it, such as preparing for surgery.
Apps can be useful as they can tell you so much about what you eat. They can even calculate what energy intake should be for desired rate of weight loss, log exercise, water intake, and provide information on the intake of nutrients you are having. But calorie counting does not always teach how to eat properly.
Scenario: there is the choice to eat a piece of carrot cake (or whatever decadent cake you like)
OR eat 2 pieces of bread with your favourite spread, a piece of fruit, and half a cup of yoghurt. There is the same amount of calories in each option, but there is a lot more nutritional value in one compared to the other. After eating a slice of cake, compared to all that other food, you know there would be a difference in terms of how you felt. Satisfied for a very long time.
Take Away Messages?
Calorie counting can tell you the amount of energy in what you are eating, but it doesn’t always lead to the best choices being made. A day’s worth of food could be made up by skipping meals and eating a variety of energy dense, nutrient poor foods (better known as junk food), instead of fuelling up the body with a larger variety of food choices which will give you long lasting energy, help fill up your belly, and provide a huge range of vitamins and minerals to nourish your body.
Learning about how we eat, what we like, and what suits us best can be something that takes time to get in tune with again, so a dietitian from Sunshine Coast Dietetics can be the one to teach you skills, change your thoughts, and open your taste buds to some new food ideas.