This video, glorifying a ballet dancer’s calorie counting method to lose weight, has been brought to my attention by more than a few clients. Now, I’m certainly not one for creating controversy, but this is something that needs to be discussed. Although it is presented as an easy-to-follow guide for losing weight, it does not cover the whole story behind calorie counting. Sure, it can be an effective tool for fat loss, but it certainly isn't devoid of negative, if not harmful, side effects.
There are many different diets out there these days, and many of them work quite well for fat loss. But, they all have their danger zones and flaws (that’s the benefit of having a coach, to help you navigate around those flaws). And, when any diet is presented without disclosing all the facts - the good, the bad, and the ugly - it has the potential to be poisonous.
In this video, the ballerina talks about calorie counting so casually, like it’s a no-brainer, an easy method for fat loss. Easy, breezy, beautiful, right? If you are someone desperately wanting to lose weight, it’s likely that you will be heavily persuaded that this is the answer to all your prayers.
What isn’t mentioned are the negative aspects that go along with this type of diet. In order to make an educated decision for yourself about taking care of your body, you need both sides of the story. By conveniently neglecting to talk about this other stuff, this video can be quite deceptive.
Instead of tricking you into something by pulling the wool over your eyes, I want to educate you by pulling back the curtain. When you are able to see the full picture, you’ll have a better chance of making a decision for yourself that will benefit not only your body but your mind and health, as well. So, before you start counting calories, consider the full story:
As you can see, calorie counting isn't as straightforward and easy as this video makes it out to be. If you are someone who can handle all this stuff without being consumed by anxiety or obsessed with the numbers and constant litany of your daily food intake running through your head, then this calorie counting might be a viable option for you. If any of the above points cause you to say, “hmm…that's disconcerting,” then you might want to explore other methods for fat loss. I can tell you firsthand that calorie counting wasn’t for me. It led me down a selfish, lonely, depressing, anxiety-ridden path that was very unhealthy for me...and made me miserable.
Can you get results with it? Sure. Can you use calorie counting in a safe way? Yep. Many people do. But, I know that for my personality type (and I’m willing to bet many dancers’ personality types) this calorie counting can be extremely dangerous – both physically and mentally. Anytime you feel like you have to sacrifice the health of your body and mind to lose fat, you probably need to find another way of doing things.
I will repeat that there is not one “right” way to eat or diet. Nutrition is a complicated realm that we humans haven't even begun to fully understand yet. Fat loss should be an individual approach unique to YOUR needs, situation, and goals. The key is knowing yourself enough to be able to recognize which methods are going to feed your demons and which are going to fuel your fierceness. That requires research and experimentation on your part. The world lies to you all the time. It’s up to you to dig beneath the surface to find out all the facts so you don’t let yourself be manipulated by propaganda that attempts to paint things a certain way. Be a scientist with your body, and find a method that works for you.
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