Calorie Counting. Been there, done that. It can get pretty obsessive really quickly. Once you start, it’s hard to stop. I’m here to share some helpful ways to stop this habit.
I want to remind you that stopping this habit is probably going to be difficult, and that is okay. Remind yourself that at the end of this journey, you will have a better and more positive relationship with food. You will be able to balance life a bit easier without this pressure weighing you down. It is a journey and it is hard, but it is possible.
Grab a Sharpie
The first way you can stop yourself from peaking at the calories and nutrition information on your food is to scribble it out. Take a black sharpie and scribble out the numbers until you can’t see them anymore. This way, you won’t be tempted to check next time you reach for the box.
If you tend to track your calories on an app, I’d recommend scribbling out the barcode on the box as well. This way you can’t scan the item to see how many calories there are.
Ask A Friend
It might be hard to avoid seeing the calories in a specific food when trying to scribble the information out, so ask a friend to do it for you. I know this can be daunting and make you feel vulnerable, but your friend will most likely understand and be willing to help you out. They can scribble out the information for you so you don’t happen to accidentally see the nutritional information.
Throw It Out
Right when you get the food item, take out the contents and throw away the box. This is personally the most effective way for me to stop counting calories.
You’re probably thinking to yourself that yeah, you can throw out the packaging or scribble out the information but its all still a quick google search away. In these moments I encourage you to think twice before googling the calories in the food you’re about to eat. I know it can be tempting and seem so easy, but think about how much anxiety it causes you when something has “too many” calories. You are giving the food and the calorie count power and control over YOU. You may feel in control by tracking these numbers, but you really aren’t. Think twice about how counting calories makes you feel. It makes me feel anxious, restricted, restless, and stressed. Do you want to feel those emotions right now? Probably not. Close out of the browser.
Rip It Off
Another way is to rip off the calories from the packaging itself. You don’t have to throw away the entire container, but just take off the nutrition label. Again, you can ask a family member or friend to rip it off for you, so that you don’t accidentally see the numbers.
Eat Around Others
I personally get embarrassed if I’m caught in the pantry trying to figure out how many calories are in a cracker. I get worried that my family/friends will notice and realize I have a problem. To stop yourself from counting calories on food labels, try to eat and cook when others are around. This will hopefully prevent you from checking out the nutrition label or searching up calories on your phone when you’re in front of friends and family.
Delete the app
You probably have a calorie tracking app on your phone that you go on everyday. I highly encourage you to delete it and take a week off from tracking calories. I know it can be hard, but this step is the first step to a healthier relationship with food.
Be Kind to yourself
Leave notes on the foods you tend to check often. Your notes can say things along the lines of “You are beautiful the way you are” or “Food is fuel, not the enemy”. These little reminders can help you in those moments change your mindset and have a more positive outlook.