Healthy Eating vs. Calorie Counting Debate



I am a firm advocate of healthy eating. Always have been always will be. But by saying that, people will automatically think that means you never eat other foods that aren’t from the land. And also what actually does ‘healthy eating mean’?

After all a healthy plan overall is better than limiting certain food sources. For me the term healthy eating is simply a phrase used to speak about one ingredient foods that have nothing else in it. And all I mean by enjoying eating healthy food is that I want most of what I eat to come from those kind of foods. Then have a balance where I enjoy other foods and meals of eating what I fancy to keep a sensible balance.

But it seems as a coach that you can’t be in both camps, you’re either a Paleo coach, part of the clean eating brigade or from the Calorie counting crowd where as long as it fits your macros.

I personally think they all have fantastic strategies and very good points. A lot of it is all the same thing as well, they are saying the same stuff but still want to fight each other. Now I learned from coaches who promoted the healthy way of eating, where calories weren’t necessarily the main focus but instead focusing on eating nutrient rich foods most of the time will get you the desired results and not worrying too much about consumption still achieved what I wanted.

Now for someone like me I totally got that. I enjoyed focusing my time eating quality foods that weren’t interfered with by man and chemicals etc. My energy levels were good, I never really put weight on and hovered around single digit body fat year round without too much trouble, I was able to enjoy treats and cheat type meals without stressing about them, I never counted calories either, and it was a pretty easy life.

I promoted this way of living because it worked for me and I still work with people now in the same way who just enjoy that philosophy and enjoy what fitness and healthy eating brings, while enjoying a social life on top.

But as I have gone on I have found out that methodology isn’t the best way for everyone. There’s more to thing’s that meets the eye. There’s people who need to understand portion control and what is in certain foods is important too. Even healthy type foods you can over eat on if you eat too much. Not understanding quantity in foods can be problematic to many people especially when you socialise and do 5 days of good eating followed by doing what you want at the weekend. That night out and heavy breakfast, with big Sunday dinner can undo all the hard work.

But if you want a social life then taking into account what you have over 7 days and using days to make up for periods where you over consume can be extremely beneficial mentally for some people because it means you can be guilt free and have a better relationship with foods through that. End of the day some people don’t necessarily want the wash board abs and extremely focused structure of fitness type nutrition plans but instead they want to know that overall, they are eating balanced energy amounts for their needs and able to enjoy all their favourite foods while understanding portion control to ensure they don’t go over.

Funny thing is I’ve explained both sides and they both sound similar don’t they, so whatever you decide in terms of nutrition plan just make sure it’s a way that works for you and you don’t hate the approach.

I’ve realized there’s people that need balance and need to know they don’t need to feel guilty about eating a bowl of cereal. They need to have a relationship with food that’s actually positive. So what do I do, do I turn these people away because they want to track thing’s or do I continue my journey in helping whoever asks for my help to implement a strategy into their lives that works for them and helps them achieve the results they set out and makes it sustainable long term.

I chose the latter. I don’t care who asks for my help I want to work to create a solution, I’m not selective in that regard the only thing I look for in someone is that they are passionate about bettering themselves and then helping them find a way that works for them.

I got into this industry addicted to helping people because of how it helped me overcome confidence issues I had. It’s a passion that has me doing 15hour days throughout the week but never looking at it like a job and quite often happy to sacrifice my own way of life to help others.

If you’re a trainer you know exactly what I mean by that and if you are working with a trainer yourself you will know exactly what I mean when occasionally you can see your trainer looking like they need a good nights sleep.

The message I’m trying to get at in this video today is there are so many strategies out there right now, calorie counting, Paleo, vegan, Keto, carb cycling, and so many more. What’s important to know is calories are important no matter what you are doing but the method you use isn’t as important if you’re simply looking to better yourself.

Consistent training doing exercise that you enjoy most, working with others if you can for that support network and community of like minded people, doing a particular nutrition plan like the one’s I’ve mentioned are fine as long as it fits into your lifestyle and you feel good from it.

Don’t get caught up too much on everything going out there. Instead of getting yourself confused by all the debates and arguing going on in which system works best speak to people around you that are similar to you and look online for people in the industry who have similar principles and ask for their advice and above all make sure you try to enjoy it.

Make it life long rather than just all in or all out. You’ll get much better results that way.