Calorie Counting Myths

Calories in calories out is crucial to weight loss…or is it? intro

Sadly, approximately 45 million Americans go on a diet each year…yet 2 out of 3 Americans are overweight! So what’s going on?

We see so many women using calories as a focus, but is that the best way?

We want to dive deep on the topic of calories because it’s what we consider one of the biggest myths when it comes to weight loss, and even more crucial a point as we get older.

In the video and post below, we discuss 5 reasons to step away from calorie counting and hope this gives you a sense of freedom.


When we talk about calories, let’s start with the basics – a calorie is just a unit of energy.  We need units of energy!  However, the latest research shows that a calorie is not just a calorie – it is not that simple. 

We know that the age-old mantra – calories in, calories out – has been the gold standard for eons.  But we are going to cover 5 reasons why we are not supporters of this concept.  

1). Calorie counting distracts you from looking at the quality of your food.

It’s critical to understand that different foods affect our bodies in different ways. The food we eat directly affects the hormones that regulate when and how much we eat, as well as how efficient our metabolism functions.

We see so many women eating processed foods that are lower in calories, thinking they are doing the right thing, but it can actually backfire. 

For one, many of the additives in processed foods can disrupt the function of our digestion and hormones. Some of these chemicals are known as obesogens. Obesogens can contribute not only to weight gain, but heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol. 

Here’s a question: will eating 100 calories of chemically processed chips or a candy bar  have the same effect in your body as 100 calories of broccoli? 

We hope your answer was no! 

Real, nutrient dense foods such as cauliflower, avocados, berries, and salmon have a vastly different effect on our hormones, appetite, and metabolism than an equal amount of calories from more processed foods like low calorie yogurts, like the one you see here. Just look at the sugar and some of the chemicals in the ingredients…modified food starch, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose…yuck yuck!

Yes, the calories are low but that does NOT outweigh the negative effect from the other ingredients. 

For more info on foods like this to watch out for, check out our  this video on our channel– 6 Foods to stop eating now:

When you really focus on nourishing your cells and giving them what they need, rather than worrying too much about calories, your cells will support you! You will be feeding your cells what they need to work more efficiently. 

Cell efficiency is vital as we get older ➦less hunger, more energy and better moods.

2.) Next reason – It’s not that accurate!

Say what?!

We were surprised to learn that the FDA allows a 20% margin of error on food labels! That 100 calorie snack might actually be 120 calories. While that might not sound like a lot, over time it can really add up.

So if you base your food decisions on calories and you don’t even know if what you are counting is correct, then what good is it?

3.) Counting calories is focusing on numbers and takes you completely away from your internal cues of hunger and fullness.

Your body is wise and constantly talking. 

You need to tune in and listen. It takes a lot of practice – especially if you haven’t been paying attention for years due to a focus on calorie counting .

Keep in mind that many of the food companies want you to eat more and more of their food so they find ways to make you more addicted, which takes you away from your own hunger and fullness cues. This could include things like diet protein bars, low calorie chips, and diet ice cream. 

We can’t tell you how many women we have counseled who base their whole day around their calorie (or points) allotment, without any thought to what they are actually feeling. 

So, really honing in on stepping away from “low calorie” foods and developing your hunger and fullness cues will allow you to throw that calculator/calorie counting app away. We realize this can be a bit of a scary step for people at first, but it can make a world of difference long term.  

Having said that, there is a retraining step that has to happen and if you notice you have a larger appetite, check out this video on our channel on controlling appetite:

4.) It gets tiring and feels restrictive. There is an increased chance of activating your inner rebel.

So, of course there is the part of you who wants to eat healthy and take good care of yourself, but there is also the other side, who does not want to be bossed around – especially when you are feeling deprived or trying to be too strict.  

We call her our “inner rebel”. She is often triggered by calorie counting. If you’ve ever had the thought “screw this I’m going to eat whatever I want! I’m sick of counting!” – that is your inner rebel calling you out! So we need to be careful not to trigger her too much.

5.) Calorie restriction can slow metabolism. 

We can’t tell you how often we see women who UNDER EAT because they are trying to reduce their calorie intake to an unrealistic level, or one that will not support metabolic health. 

Regularly eating fewer calories than your body needs can cause your metabolism to slow down. Several studies show that low-calorie diets can decrease the number of calories the body burns by as much as 23%! 

PLEASE keep in mind that if you are consistently losing too much too fast, especially after the first week or two, you are likely losing muscle vs fat, which is the last thing you want to be doing. Muscle cells burn 8x more calories than fat, so you are in fact reducing your calorie burning potential. A safe rate of long term weight loss is anywhere from ½ pound to 2 pounds per week. 

Rapid weight loss through severe calorie restriction is a big reason why more than 80% of people regain weight once they go off their calorie-restricted diets.

We have had many clients go through our programs, such as our Mega Energy Breakthrough, and they were shocked to find that they lost weight even though they were eating more calories than they were used to.


To sum up, it’s important to choose foods based on their nourishing qualities, not their calorie count. You should still manage your portions wisely. And we can tell you from experience (ours and clients), that when the foods you choose are nourishing and well balanced, you will be satisfied while nurturing your cells at the same time. 


stephanie goodman and jane schwartz


Jane and Stephanie, creators of The Simply Nourished Solution™, are nutritionists who help women over 50 go from overweight, frustrated, and inflamed to lighter and healthier so they can be more active, feel good in their bodies, and live the second half of life with energy and confidence. Their 3-pronged approach, which can fit into any lifestyle, encompasses not only wholesome energizing foods but powerful habit and mindset shifts.


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If you’re struggling to nourish yourself after menopause, our Simply Nourished Solution™ Signature Weight Loss Program offers the tools, strategies and shifts you need to stop yo-yo dieting, permanently lose weight, and feel better than ever in your 50’s, 60’s and beyond.