How to Stop Tracking Calories in ED/Diet Recovery

Hey there! ๐Ÿ‘‹ 

Are you wondering how to:

  • stop calorie / macro counting and tracking,
  • how to become an intuitive eater and eat normally,
  • how to eat normally and reach your ideal weight,
  • how to break free from quasi recovery and how to stop feeling obsessed, stressed and anxious around food and free your mind?

Additionally, if you want to know:

๐Ÿ‘‰how to stop and get over mentally calorie counting in your head

๐Ÿ‘‰how to stop, avoid, quit, and overcome obsessive calorie counting

๐Ÿ‘‰how to eat without counting calories

๐Ÿ‘‰does calorie counting work for weight loss?

๐Ÿ‘‰how to stop calorie counting and start losing weight

Then, you're in the right place!

In this article I talk about how to break the life sucking habit of calorie counting, how to find your balanced diet and become a normal & intuitive eater again without having to calorie / macro count!

 


 

I've been where you are, and I want to share some recommendations I learned both from my experiences and from working with others now, that may help you too, break this destructive, unnecessary and time-consuming habit.

If you’re still calorie counting, and don't know if you should stop, I would highly advise you to make this a priority to overcome this vicious mental imprisonment and claim your freedom and peace back!

 

WHO IS CALORIE COUNTING GOOD FOR & NOT GOOD FOR?

» GOOD FOR:

I will note that I am aware for some people, in the beginning of their recovery, that tracking their calories or following some kind of type of meal guide, a recovery meal “guide,” to help have structure, to show you that eating more and more types of foods, is good and encouraged.

So if you’re coming from the diet mindset and you’re so used to eating very small portions, only specific types of foods and. you are calorie counting or tracking to make sure you’re eating ENOUGH, then that is fine, in the beginning.

But it's always it’s advised to stop counting calories eventually, later down the line.

The whole goal is to be able to taper off calorie / macro tracking so you don’t have to rely on a calorie app or a meal guide to tell you how and what to eat, and experience true mental freedom.

The whole point is to be able to heal enough that your body and you are in tune enough for your body to be able to guide you, with hunger and satiety cues and all of that.

» NOT GOOD FOR:

WITH THAT SAID, for some people, tracking calories or following a structured meal plan / guide, could be the WORSE thing for them because they’re coming from:

  • calorie counting, measuring, calculating, tracking their calories / macros, 
  • following a strict meal plan
  • following the clock of intermittent fasting eating windows
  • still trying to hit only a “capped” amount of calories that they can’t go past (So 1,200 calories or 800 calories a day)

(This is insanity btw; it’s not enough calories, it’s starvation just like the Men in the Minnesota Starvation Experiment exhibited. Which you can read more about this in my book “Damn The Diets.“)

So if you’re counting calories, with the intent to make sure you don’t eat past a certain amount, this is a problem.

And you can tell it’s a problem because your mind is uneasy, exhausted and hyper-focused around in ways such as: 

  • anxiously counting calories
  • worrying about only hitting a maximum and not allowing yourself to go past that,
  • still feeling hungry and still thinking about food even after just eating,
  • you wanting to eat more or eat more of a variety of foods you're craving but you won't allow yourself to have it 

And you run into a lot of problems as it interferes with your life, work, studies, relationships, etc, if you haven’t already.

Let me ask you:

  1. what has costing calories / macros taken away from in your life?
  2. What have you missed out on from having to track calories / macros?

 

MENTAL CALCULATING

With all of that said, if you’re the person that’s BEEN trying to stop calorie counting and tracking, yet even though you deleted the apps like myfitnesspal or chronometer, and you've thrown out your meal plans...

...you may have been counting and tracking for so long, that you still find yourself mentally calculating calories and macros constantly.

You’re always thinking:

"this food has 60 calories and this food has 140 calories"

you’re always adding and tracking now, in your mind.

And this obsession is stressing you out, keeping your mind stuck and you can’t even be present in your life because you’re just thinking about:

calories, macros, fats, carbs, proteins, ingredients

~ "if you eat this then you’re going to gain weight"

~ "if you eat this much in this meal then you’re going to have to cut this amount in the next meal."

~ "tomorrow you’re going to have to go run it off and you have to walk this amount to be able to burn off the calories"

You know, that kind of mental chaos?

I mean, that’s exhausting.

I get it, I was there.

So I know that was a huge weight off my back in my recovery to be able to overcome that.

It’s so freeing to not have to spend my days counting, tracking, calculating, fearing that I’ll gain weight if I eat this food or this amount of food, or if I follow my body's cravings then I’m just going to blow up.

All of those fears and anxieties and looping thoughts are gone and it’s so freeing and peaceful.

And if you’re thinking: "pff, I could never be free of this,"

...you can.

I have faith in you.

I’m here with you.

And I did it, my clients have done it and I have faith that you can do it as well.

If you really want it, and do the mental work in your recovery, you can do it.

 

 

TIP #1

One thing, (out of the many) that I could suggest to help you through this, I would suggest to remind yourself to take it one day at a time, and even one moment at a time.

This was crucial and powerful in my recovery.

Because too often we’re focused on what’s going to happen in the future, which influences us on how we're going to behave in the present moment.

So we’re choosing our actions based off of what’s going to happen in the future.

For example, right now, if you’re counting calories, you’re fearful of calories, you’re fearful of carbs or you’re fearful of fat or whatever it may be for you...

it’s typically because you don't want to gain weight or feel bloated, tomorrow or next week.

So you’re counting calories now in order to prevent something from happening in the future.

So if you take it one day/moment at a time though, you can then be conscious enough to take the necessary action of what you need to do right now and be in tune with what your body is trying to communicate for you to do right now...

...rather than what you need to be doing for the future.

So you bring your actions back into the present moment of right now, in this moment.

Not one day, today, not tomorrow, not next week, not six months from now.

 

But if we’re living in the "one day at a time" mindset, and you just focus on what you need right now, despite what’s going to happen in the future, then it can help release this pressure and overwhelm.

It can cloud your vision, intuition and discernment and skew the decisions you make if you’re always living for the future and you’re always fearful of the future.

Because that fear can come in the way of the decision that you need to make, that your body’s trying to tell you to make, that your gut feeling is trying to make you take.

But the fear is outweighing that desire and therefore you go this familiar and comfortable way instead of going this new way.

So you may restrict or you may exercise even though your body’s telling you it needs rest, or your body’s trying to signal you that it needs this type of food or it needs more food in general...

...But you say no, because of the fear of the unknown, the "what if's," the judgment, the failure, of things spiraling out of control and so forth.

So you’re not listening to what you actually need right now and today.

You’re fearing what’s going to happen tomorrow and therefore you’re not going to make the most productive decision for your recovery and for your health.

Too often we get stuck in always focusing to the future.

And we can get overwhelmed, we can get fearful, and we can get doubtful.

And all of the fears, doubts, overwhelm and overthinking, not only clouds our vision but it also clouds:

  • confidence in ourselves
  • our confidence and trust in our bodies wisdom,
  • the trust in ourselves that we are capable of handling what's to come.

Because when we’re challenging so much of our beliefs and where we’re coming from and what we’ve thought to be true about food, calories, weight, etc we can become so overwhelmed.

And we can end up thinking:

  • that it’s ever going to get better,
  • that the overshoot is never going to go down,
  • that the weight is never going to redistribute,
  • that we’re never going to accept or be happy with ourselves.

It can seem so far-fetched if we look too far in advance or if we look at the whole grand scheme of things all at once, all the time.

Then we can get too overwhelmed and it can actually cause us to just freeze up, digress, sabotage, go backwards, relapse, or lose faith altogether because we feel like we just can’t do it, or that we’re not strong enough, or that it's not possible for our unique reasons..

Because, again, trying to take on the burden of the whole rather than just the smaller burden of right now.

Do you see what I mean?

I hope that this is making sense. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

TIP #2

It's also common that when we’re trying to overcome this obsession with calorie / macro counting, that a lot of people need to just go cold turkey.

And even with cold turkey, they’re still going to be that mental calculation for a bit while you work on your mental recovery.

 

ORDER TAKEOUT OFTEN AND/OR HAVE SOMEONE PREPARE YOUR MEALS

And that’s why it’s so important to go to takeout or go out to a restaurant or have someone else prepare the meals, so you can't mentally calculate the calories.

It’s going to challenge every bone in your body, and that fear and anxiety is probably going to rise up, because you have no idea what’s in that meal, and that’s going to be the smartest thing to do at that point, to just completely step into that fear and that anxiety of not knowing.

That’s going to help so much, the more and more that you do that.

 

MENTAL TIPS & TOOLS

#1 - Remind yourself that that’s going to be the healthiest thing for you right now, and that you need to do this if you ever want to break free from this.

#2 - Remind yourself of your why, whatever your "why" is, whether it's that you want a better quality of life beyond the fears and the obsessions and the stress of having to be perfect with your diet, and so forth.  

#3 - Continue to focus on what you’ve gained, and not what you’ve lost.

The more you go on in your recovery, the list of what you’ve gained, is going to get a lot longer than what you’ve lost.

 

#4 - Again, taking it one day at a time, means that you don’t have to figure it out all right now.

So worrying about something new and the fear of the unknown, that doesn’t solve any problems, right?

#5 - Give everything, all your fears, anxieties, doubts, insecurities, over to something larger than yourself and trusting that it’s all going to work out, trusting your body, trusting your gut feeling, trusting that you’ve tried all of the things in the past and it didn’t serve you.

And the calorie counting and restrictive eating definitely no longer serves you anymore.

And this is the only path to freedom, and it will actually take this burden off of you and it will actually work out in your favor in the end.

 

 

#6 - Remember that the more that you stress, the less you progress.

So continue progressing by getting rid of these stressful, obsessive behaviors.

#7 - The more you let go, the more you trust, the better things will get.

And the better the outcome will be.

Now it doesn’t typically happen on our time, but it always happens on time.

So if you're like, “This is taking too long. I can’t get over these behaviors, I can’t get over these fears,”

...just keep going.

Just keep challenging yourself.

And with time, it will happen.

When the timing’s right.

When you’ve learned those specific lessons that keep popping up, keep reoccurring, keep staying in your life, that you haven’t learned whatever lesson that needs to be learned from it.

But it will happen when you’re ready, when you’ve done the work, when you’ve kept going even in those times of doubt, not having faith.

But you keep going because you know that this is what you need to free yourself and to heal yourself.

And that’s why we may want to know the timeline of things, because we think it’s actually going to help us.

But more often than not, it doesn’t help us; it just stresses us out and causes confusion.

It becomes too big to even handle if we’re trying to tackle it all at once and just trying to speed up the process.

We’re given what we’re able to handle; we’re not given something in life that we’re not capable of handling.

So just know that you are capable of this.

And have faith in this and this process.

And remember to take it one day at a time.

And just know that it’s very common that your appetite fluctuates, it goes up and down.

 

CALORIE COUNTING UNDERESTIMATES OUR CALORIC NEEDS

If you’re going off of a set number of calories, that’s never going to know what your body needs on this specific day.

There’s so many different factors that plays into our appetite, the rise of hunger, the lowering of hunger, the rising of satiety, the lowering of satiety.

Our hormones may be fluctuating, we may be earlier on in our recovery and we’re facing extreme hunger or we’re still facing extreme hunger even after we’ve got our period a year into recovery.

Or maybe we just had more stress or we had more energy exertion yesterday or the week before or today and we’re hungrier.

And so it’s always going to be fluctuating.

And a calorie counter app, a strict set meal plan 

…Nothing external is going to be able to know what your body needs in every given moment on every single day.

It’s always going to fluctuate.

Take it one day at a time with your recovery, and you’ll be able to gauge exactly what you need that day.

And don’t focus on:

  • when it’s going to stop,
  • when you’re going to get over this,
  • when your appetite’s going come down,
  • when your satiety’s going to rise again,
  • when you can add back in exercise,
  • when the edema’s going to go away,
  • when your weight’s going to redistribute,
  • when you’re going to finally be recovered,
  • when are these things going to happen?
  • I need a timeline.
  • This is taking too long.

...perhaps these are all bombarding you and stressing you out, because you’re too focused on the future and the outcome rather than the journey in between.

The way to overcome this is to bring yourself back to the present moment and take it one day at a time.

Focus on what you need to do today in order to get you to where you want to be in the future. 

So whenever you start to feel yourself drift and just stressing out about the future and stressing out about when this is going to happen and when that’s going to happen, breathe and take yourself back into the present moment.

Know that it’s all going to work out if you just continue to take the necessary actions, whatever those may be for you right now.

And taking it one day at a time, one step at a time, one baby step at a time.

And that’s what’s going to get you to where you want to be in the future.

You don’t even have to stress about that right now, because you’re doing everything that you can right now, that you have control over right now.

Because you don’t have control over:

  • when things are going to happen
  • when your body’s going to balance out
  • when your hormones are going to balance out
  • when your period’s going to come back
  • when your hunger and satiety’s going to balance out
  • when the exhaustion and fatigue is going to ease
  • when all of these things are going to happen.

You just have to trust and continue to follow your body, one day at a time.

Amongst all the other things that can help with this, that’s my biggest suggestion for you today.

I hope that this has helped you.

And I hope that it resonates with you so you can implement this into your recovery too.

I know that it helped me a lot in my recovery, so I wanted to share and I hope that it helps. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

If you want a complete step-by-step guide and system for your recovery, check out my “Break Free from Quasi Recovery course, Find Your Balance Program” 

With that said, that’s it for this post.

Thank you for reading, and until next time, I’ll see in the next article. ๐Ÿ’•

 

Xx 

Kayla Rose

Holistic Nutritionist

P.S. I’m hosting a free masterclass specifically for people who want to stop feeling obsessed around food and truly heal their metabolism and you’re invited! Click here to sign up.

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