I have been saying this for a long time. Clean eating beats calorie counting every time.
In an article published in the New York Times called, The Key to Weight Loss Is Diet Quality, Not Quantity, a New Study Finds, it says: "A new study, published Tuesday in JAMA, may turn that advice on its head. It found that people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains, and highly processed foods while concentrating on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods — without worrying about counting calories or limiting portion sizes — lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year."
Yes, weight loss is dependent on energy in and energy out, but only calorie counting is not reliable for four reasons:
- Calorie burn estimates are not accurate.
- Every person burns calories in their own unique way
- What and how much you eat will influence calories burned
- Your weight history will determine how many calories you burn
My advice: If you are looking to change your body composition, don't just jump right into a "macro-plan" or follow a calorie counting plan. Just start eating clean. Commit to 30 days. Eat whole foods, cut out refined sugars, drink lots of water, and eat vegetables at every meal. See how your body responds.
I'm still a fan of tracking your food as another level of accountability. You can either use the myfitnesspal app or simply write down what you eat every day. As you review your journal, don't just focus on the quantity, but more so the quality of the food you're eating.
If you want more intensive help and learning the ends and outs of nutrition that is right for you, check out the link below to my online nutrition coaching.