BURGERS TO BEASTS by Kripa Jalan

Weight Balance

Calorie Counting Sucks! Here's Why

Written By: Kripa Jalan
06-Aug-2021

Calorie Counting Sucks! Here's Why

Calorie counting sucks.

Now that may sound like a shocking statement coming from a nutritionist. So if this all seems incongruent, I guess I should qualify the statement above. I guess I should have probably said:

Calorie counting sucks…. for most people.

But, what’s the hype about counting calories?

This is a fundamental concept in body weight regulation, and about as close to scientific fact as we can get. It claims that:

- When you take in more energy than you burn, you gain weight.

- When you take in less energy than you burn, you lose weight.

There’s no getting around it: If you aren’t losing weight, you either need to decrease “energy in” or increase “energy out.” But as you may have already experienced, simply pushing away your plate or spending more time at the gym isn’t the obvious solution.

So, “eat less, move more” may seem like great starter advice, if you want to lose weight. But, it isn’t enough to keep you going.

You see, the concept of calories in versus out is overly simplistic. There’s a lot that happens between the time you ingest food and when you burn it.

Moreover, there’s several factors that affect energy intake and output.

#1 We don’t absorb all the calories we consume.

#2 We absorb calories uniquely based on our individual microbiomes.

#3 Cooking, blending, or chopping food changes the way in which calories are available for absorption.

Your favorite calorie tracker doesn’t tell you that!

On that note – did you know that most calorie trackers provide an output based on averages and can be off by as much as 20-30 percent in normal, young, healthy people. 

And that’s just on the “energy out” side.

The number of calories you eat—is also just an estimate.

So, we’re seeing that the concept of calories in-calories out comes with a few problems. 

Is it all bad? No!

Here at Burgers To Beasts, we use calorie counting (on occasion) to help specific clients improve their food intake. This is generally reserved for elite athletes - who are looking to up even 1% of their performance.

But for the rest of the folks who work with us, we rely on more intuitive approaches – simply because they’re less stressful and integrate into everyday modern lives more seamlessly!


If you’re wondering how you can build nutrition habits that bolster your physical and mental health as well as yield sustainable results, check out our personal nutrition coaching program!