A note on calories & cravings

Photo by Alison Marras on  Unsplash

Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash



When I eat breakfast (or brunch in most cases), this is what it regularly looks like.
Simple, delicious, satiating.

I had a flash-back recently as I was spreading my avocado on top of my vegemite (I only tried this for the first time in the last year and now I'm a convert - give me a break).
But I vividly remembered a time when I would strictly only eat 1/4 of an avocado as that met my 'fat quota' for the day according to the app that tracked my food.

Nowadays, my thought pattern goes more like... how much avocado can I fit on this little square of toast?!

In fact 4-6 years ago, you wouldn't have even seen me eating bread, pasta or rice. I told myself it was from a 'nutritional standpoint' but really, I associated those foods with gaining weight.
I counted calories like no one else. I memorised the numbers of the foods I ate daily so that I could count it in my head instead of having to get my food tracker app out.

I literally saw numbers when I looked at food. It's in my nature to find a logical or mathematical way to look at or measure something and this was perfect for me to jump on straight away.

I even had my heart rate tracker that would tell me how many calories I burned in a workout.
Energy in vs energy out, right?
Actually, not really.

Your body's energy is not solely governed or even 'mostly governed' by caloric content, and it pains me to see institutions still teaching this and referencing calories when it comes to nutrition.
Your body may not digest and metabolise the exact same morsel of food just one week later, or even a month or a year later. And this could be due to a range of factors like your stress levels, gut flora, hormonal balance, toxic load, plus loads more.

Your body is actually very intelligent - imagine that! - and if you start to take notice of the signs and signals, you will discover that it's telling you what it needs. Most of the time it's already doing all. the. things without you even knowing (including 'detoxing' every single day), but every now and again you'll get little silent messages from your body, you just need to take notice.

When your body is craving dark chocolate, maybe it wants magnesium.
Inadequate mineral levels can cause a craving for salty foods.
When you're craving non-nutritional forms of energy like caffeine, maybe your body is actually just craving nutrients.

I can tell if I've been eating out too often. I'll start feeling lethargic and have minor digestive upsets, my toilet habits will be off, and nowadays I'll literally just be craving a big bowl of vegetables. Nothing too oily, flavoured or salty.

We have a deep knowing and intuition when it comes to our bodies, and I believe we need to tap into it.
Yes you could go get your body tested and find it's resting metabolic rate, how many 'calories' or macronutrients you need a day... but do you really want to be counting and monitoring that?

We should be focusing on creating lasting eating habits and mindsets, not giving people new rules and restrictions to live by. And we wonder why we have a whole generation of people with eating disorders..