Why calorie counting doesn’t work

Low-calorie diets have been the bane of most women’s existence for their entire lives and yet most of us know that calorie counting doesn’t work.  Low calories diets miss the point entirely when it comes to healthy eating.  Replacing nutritious food with low-calorie food is not good for your body, your energy or your long-term health.   Importantly low-calorie foods and packaged products have been processed, modified and little nutrients are left in the ‘product’. In addition, calorie counting is not an accurate way to measure your food intake.  This blog will outline why calorie counting doesn’t work and what to look for in your daily meal planning.


Recently I reviewed a client’s healthy eating schedule so I could offer a few pointers. This is how her day panned out:

–  Gluten-free oats with pine nuts, almond milk and honey
–  Fruit – apple
–  Lunch – salad, avocado, ham, low-fat cheese, tomatoes, beetroot
–  Fruit – either plum, nectarine or strawberries
–  Yoghurt – low-fat Muller light
–  Dinner: soup from a tin or homemade soup.
–  Television time – popcorn from a packet.

There are a lot of healthy messages getting through with this diet sheet but in a broad overview, this diet is 99% carbs with high fructose and high corn fructose sugar.  With trans fat in the yoghurt, low-fat cheese and popcorn. There is no break from the glucose spike all day, this is a high carb, constant grazing, low-calorie diet. It has very little protein and fats.

Some clients understand that food needs to be combined, protein and fat with carbs will lower the GI. But even that doesn’t go far enough to satisfy your body’s needs. The more I worked with women the more upset and troubled I have become about clearing up the diet myths. After speaking to shocked women who had followed ‘diet guidelines’ for half of their lifetime only to find out that despite ‘not having a sweet’ tooth they have ended up with diabetes. The basic lack of understanding that carbs (all carbs) break down into sugar in your body, whether it is a slice of rye from handsome Pete at the organic grocery shop or a packet of biscuits, plagues me.


Why don’t women know basic nutrition?

With glucose (from carbs) in your body, your body will use and gorge itself on that before it even begins to ever start on the fat in your love handles. Veg are carbs, fruit is carbs, biscuits are carbs, bread, oats, bananas are carbohydrates. With headlines that scream ‘fats are bad’ and others that yell ‘you eat too much protein’ and yet the biggest offender is being adored and pushed down our throats in the ‘healthy heart’ paradox which was never ever scientifically proved – ever! I am not saying don’t eat veg I am telling you your diet is anything but balanced and you are worried about what milk to put in your tea?

High carb breakfasts suit some body types.  Read more watch your macros not your carbs

Low calorie means high toxicity

The diet industry is exactly that – an industry. They produce healthy products that look healthy, they use healthy, clean looking typefaces, images and wording that dupe everyone (me included) into thinking it is healthy. I have done it, gone into Waitrose and bought a green smoothie. The packaging and ingredients look amazing, there was a rare goji berry that was going to increase my vitality and make my bottom get smaller with one mouthful. Fair enough, the packaging doesn’t go that far, but as women are associations and promise that we give the forbidden goji berry or whatever famous product it is. 

When I thought this purchase through –  after I had consumed it. I thought about my reasons and my purchase behave further I thought, wait a minute when was this ‘product’ processed? And what sort of process has it gone through to get to me in Waitrose on a Saturday morning?  Where are the native tribesmen that have harvested this amazing fruit and who got it here to Peckham? What has gone into this healthy product to give it long shelf life?


Low calorie misses key nutrients

Low-calorie eating often means that clients miss out on key nutrients. Starchy white and beige carbs are really non-essential. Your body would survive without starchy carbs, like bread and pasta.  Your brain may say otherwise but starchy carbs like bread and pasta are man-made and not vital to your body’s biochemistry.  Veg and green carbs obviously are not only vital for your body but they are also the lowest calorie foods you can eat. However, that is not the way most dieters work, because starchy carbs cross the blood-brain barrier and trigger feel good, receptors in your brain. You have been programmed to crave them. Most dieters will forgo healthy food, essential proteins and fats in order to eat highly processed, carbohydrates that they crave. These processed food have been manufactured to do that. It isn’t just the fizzy pop or the cakes that trigger a reaction in your brain. We get fixated on being ‘bad’ and eating bad food. Of course, you do everyone does, but you do that mindfully.

The major reason you are overweight is that we eat too many starchy carbs not because you eat too many cakes.

Don’t miss:  Fats don’t make you fat and cholesterol does not give you heart disease

Protein and fats are essential for your body function and yet because their calorie count is higher they are pushed out of ‘dieters’ food log and replaced with the cheaper cut. Carbohydrates in particularly starchy carbohydrates have fewer calories and also fewer nutrients and more processing.

Calorie counting is the wrong science

The diet culture is based on this simple belief that 10 grams of carbs are fewer calories than 10 grams of protein or 10 grams of fats. Therefore simply put if you eat carbs you are consuming fewer calories. This hypothesis ignores your gorgeous body’s chemistry and it’s amazing ability to right itself using insulin. Normal cells are highly sensitive to insulin. Insulin is your body’s inner guidance system, but she is exhausted. You can relate to that. The glycemic index was created to monitor your body’s ability to cope with glucose.

Glucose and insulin are only one chapter to your body’s macro balance.  Introducing more protein and fats and concentrating on less on the GI of carbs. Eating more protein and fat and the GI will look after itself.

Don’t worry about what milk to put in your tea — almond, cows or soya. That is introspection and over pixelated instead look at the bigger ‘macro’ picture of what you are eating every day.

Add some nuts and avocado and cook with coconut oil. Don’t miss coconut oil is poison headlines to terrify

Like a little earworm, I am going to change your life, you can continue with your normal routine and add in a few habits and change your thinking about food slowly and over time you will become healthier, happier and leaner.

Would you like to get your nutrition right?  Book a time that suits to chat You will come away from our conversation feeling inspired, motivated and ready to grab life and deal with whatever it throws you, I guarantee. Whether you decide to work with me or not you will become very clear in your goals and have a clear awareness of where you need and want to go.  Let’s chat – click here to book your time

Get Gorgeous is a journey together – yours and mine.

PS. Don’t forget the gorgeous book – your insight into great health and vitality PLUS find out more about the amazing Gorgeous Health offers there are to accompany the launch of Gorgeous! how to look and feel fantastic every day.  Click here to find out about my amazing book launch offers


What other gorgeous girls have to say…

Join my next Pilates retreat day 

Join us for some Spanish warmth, Pilates exercises and time to relax, unwind and consider your next steps for you.  A healthy and relaxing week combining powerful tools to help you relax, release stress. How often do you have the chance to step back from your day and … breathe?

Next Wellness retreat to Greece, with daily Pilates in the Greek sun click here

Sally Chapman Human Resources Director Gorgeous Pilates Retreat 11th February 2019



2 responses to “Why calorie counting doesn’t work”

  1. […] Most women are woefully under consuming protein especially if they have been on a low-calorie diet for the last few years.  The new emerging understanding of fats will also help you achieve a more streamlined figure.  Read more why calorie counting doesn’t work […]

  2. […] Don’t miss:  Fats don’t make you fat […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to discover how you can Get Gorgeous?

Book a Discovery Call with me, Adele, and we can run over you, your goals, and how we can get there...together! Click the button to book yours now...

Get a free chapter of my book

Simply fill in your details below to get instant access to your free chapter of my best selling book

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

More to explore

ADELE'S Latest Retreat

Escape for 7 days of sacred self care in the rustic mountains of Andalucia, Spain – the perfect place for restoration and transformation.