Calorie Counting vs. Portion Control
Jul 11, 2017
I started down the calorie counting road and quickly messed myself up... how many were from protein, fat, carbs??? how much fibre??? How many should I have? What about the salt? What about the percent of calories from each macro-nutrient?
THIS IS NOT how I want to live my life. I'd become so focused on all the numbers, including the scale twice a day that I'd lost focus on everything else. I forgot to take my medications and vitamins, stopped getting exercise (to be fair I've been sick with a very bad cold for 5 days). All my time was spent obsessing about numbers and meal planning and old 'dieting' thoughts.
I stopped. I saw the dietician yesterday (first visit post-op at 7 weeks, which is standard for all patients at this center). She said I could reasonably expect to eat close to one cup per meal (total). Half of it to be protein, a quarter each of carbs and veggie. They stress eating a fruit too, but what they mean by fruit is a portion of an apple, banana, orange, or quarter cup of berries, etc.
Turns out my struggle is not the calories or the macro nutrient division (what percent of total calories should each one be) or any other 'number', it is knowing an appropriate serving size. I'd gotten so used to thinking a mountain of food was 'normal' and that what I ate at fast food stores or restaurants was a 'normal' serving.
Now post-operatively I'm really looking at the labels and realizing my 'helpings' have been totally out of whack with healthy.
I've begun to measure (weigh) as much of my food and liquid as I can. At first I thought it was to be sure I ate enough of everything which put more pressure on me to be 'perfect', to 'follow the diet' - mentalities of shame and judgement, let alone eating past being satiated. I now realize it is only to keep my portions appropriate. I can't eat that whole cup of food, at least not yet, and I don't fret about it... now I know I haven't eaten too much!
Seems a bit silly but the shift in perspective has enabled be to be empowered instead of shamed or judged. It has opened me up to a world free from dieting and number crunching to a simple weigh or measure and document. I am now open to journalling because it is another tool to figure out what isn't working. That shift is the result of now seeing a journal as a record instead of as a document to incriminate me.
I know I can put write my meal was steak, potato and beans with blueberries and not need to log the weights and measures because they are standard. Half a cup of meat is about 2 ounces (60 g) of protein. Quarter cup of potato is about 7-8g carbs. Its soo easy.
Now have to learn the new portions sizes (for my smaller stomach not for normal people) for other things like peanut butter and hummus.
Eventually I'll be able to write 'pb and apple' and know I have a standard measure for it as well.
Calorie counting, number crunching, scale abuse all feed the disfunctional mentality of dieting, conformity and in a way opression through shame, guild and judgment. Weighing or measuring is a means of having consistent portions and the freedom to know that with healthy choices you can't help but live a healthier life, one in which you are free to explore your greater self worth and confidence.
Calorie counting, etc is slavery. Weights and measures (with journaling) is freedom.
As always, these comments are my personal insights and discoveries not facts or direction to anyone else. I welome your thoughts and comments.