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There’s a lot of conflicting schools of thought when it comes to your nutrition and what’s best. One highly debated topic is how much calories matter when it comes to weight loss and performance. Some say calories are all that matters, while others say the quality and type of food matters and calories are not a factor. I’m here to tell you that they’re both correct, and how to make sense of some of the conflicting information out there. Listen up to today’s show to get the lowdown on calories and what it means for you and your nutrition. If you’re looking to get leaner, build muscle, or lose fat – then you have to at least be aware of the role calories play and how to use them to achieve your health and fitness goals.
If you’re looking for more specific recommendations as it relates to your nutrition, sleep, fitness, and stress management – download our free Inside Out Strong Living Roadmap for the recommendations we give to our clients.
Men Made For More Podcast Episode 31: Do I Need to Track My Calories?
[00:00:00] Dave: Welcome to the Men Made For More podcast, a show designed by men for men. Looking to get strong, feel confident and live a high performing life. As men. We face many challenges as we try and strive for better life. Want to live a meaningful and confident life, but don’t know where to start. You’ve lost your physical and mental edge.
[00:00:18] That’s keeping you from living out your full potential. You’re tired of talking about doing big things and you’re ready to start living it. But the men made for more podcast. Our goal is to teach you how to strengthen your body, your mind, and your purpose. On your way to reaching your full potential.
[00:00:34] It’s time to start living as a man. You know, you can be to help lift up those that matter most in your life. In this podcast, we’ll leave no stone unturned as to what it takes to get out of your comfort zone and step into living a strong, competent, and high-performing life. We’ll focus on the topics that matter most for helping you develop into the man you were made to be, our goal is to not only build strong men physically, but, to help coach and develop strong friends, sons, brothers, fathers, isn’t [00:01:00] owners, and professionals in every area of your life.
[00:01:03] I’m your host, Dr. Dave Paczkowski, proud husband, business owner, physical therapist and strength coach with a passion for helping other men strengthen their body, their mind, and their purpose, wherever you’re at in your journey. Remember that you’re made for more. I’m excited to have you with us today and let’s dive into today’s episode of the men made for more podcasts.
[00:01:24]Hey guys, welcome to today’s show. We’re talking all about calorie tracking. Does it matter? Does it not? Is it important? And we’re gonna jump right in. Cause there’s a lot of conflicting schools of thought when it comes to nutrition and what’s best. And one highly debated topic is how much calories matter when it comes to weightloss, and performance.
[00:01:43] And some say calories are all that matters. They tend to be on the philosophy of calories in versus calories out. Of simplistic way of looking at it while others may say the quality and type of food matters and calories are not really a factor. And I’m here to tell you that they’re both correct and how [00:02:00] to make sense of some of the conflicting information out there.
[00:02:02] So listen up today and we’ll get the lowdown on calories and what it means to you and your nutrition specifically. So if you’re looking to get leaner, build muscle or lose fat, then you have to at least be aware of the role of the calories and how to use them to achieve your health and fitness goals.
[00:02:18] So I know if you’re listening to this and if you’re trying to get healthy, if you’re trying to get leaner, trying to lose some weight, calories have probably been a source of stress for you. Calories are something that aren’t new to anyone. We see them in the back of anything. We look at nutrition wise, we have so many tracking apps for them.
[00:02:36] A lot of the weight loss systems ask you to track these things and. Wow. That’s not a bad thing because they’ve seen lots of results. Calories are also stressful. If that’s the only thing that you’re looking at, and they’ve probably caused you stress because you’ve probably heard that to lose weight, you have to eat less calories and while some of that’s true, it’s also not the, it’s not the whole story.
[00:03:00] [00:03:00] And it’s also missing some, some key things I want to talk about here today. And I know you’re probably sick of hearing of the importance of calorie tracking. You’re probably sick of trying to do it and feeling like you don’t have the willpower maybe, or that you can’t stick with it. But again, there’s so much more to it and you’re not alone in being frustrated by this, but you have to find the role that calories play and how they best fit into.
[00:03:26] Into what you’re trying to do, what your goals are. And also do you need to track them? Yes or no. And that answer is not straight forward. It does depend on your goals, but those are some of the things that want to give some, give some clarity around here today. And I’ve seen it. I’ve seen, I’ve worked with people that eat way too many calories and don’t even realize it.
[00:03:45] There’s a lot of hidden things that pop up and there’s people that. Have they report what they’re eating and whether that’s written and they, they read it out or whether they’re verbalizing what they’re eating. There’s always the, I pretty much just have this [00:04:00] and you proud of the difference, like, Oh yeah.
[00:04:01] And this, well, yeah, I have some soda or some juice with, with this and Oh yeah, no, I have a little snack just after lunch or before breakfast and Oh yeah. I add this to my, to my coffee as well. And all of a sudden, all these things add up without us realizing it. So the. Problem with that is that it’s probably pretty obvious that you might not be losing weight or you might have more weight around your midsection or more waiting areas.
[00:04:27] You don’t want to, if you’re letting these subtle calories sneak into your diet. Now there’s also the people that I work with the guys out there, especially that are trying to effectively build muscle. They’re trying to put on strength and you ask them what they’re eating and they might be under eating for what their body needs.
[00:04:44] And the only way to know this and while calorie tracking I’ll talk about is not a perfect science. We have to at least have that baseline, to know where you’re at, to know if you’re getting enough calories or if you’re having too many calories and how to adjust the plan accordingly to [00:05:00] meet your goals, because.
[00:05:03] Whether we like it or not, calories are King when it comes to controlling your weight. And that’s whether you’re trying to lean up, or if you’re trying to put on weight, put on muscle, because if you want to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than what you’re burning. And if you want to build muscle you’ll benefit from being in what we call a calorie surplus, or having more calories than a what’s your base resting metabolic rate is in terms of what you would burn.
[00:05:28] If you just pretty much sat on the couch and did nothing all day. But that being said also want to let you guys know that focusing on calories alone will set you up for failure. So it’s not sustainable. It’s not fun. And it’s not clearly accurate to simply track calories because for a few reasons, first.
[00:05:49] Digestion is more important than ingestion. And what I mean by that is just because you’re ingesting a certain amount of food doesn’t mean your body’s actually processing [00:06:00] this. And doesn’t mean you’re actually using that the way that it needs to, and this is complex and goes beyond the scope of this specific episode.
[00:06:08] But basically what I mean by that is. You could have, you could think you’re getting a certain amount of protein, but if your body doesn’t, if your hormone processes aren’t working, if your body’s not working efficiently to process those things, then you’re not going to use them efficiently. So calories alone.
[00:06:26] Doesn’t tell the whole story. Now, another piece of that is calories vary from thing to thing. They’re not. It’s it, it take a piece of fruit. For example, one medium sized banana, the same length as the other one is not going to always have the exact same nutrient makeup. It’s not going to always have the exact amount of sugar and calories and carbs in it.
[00:06:47] That’s just because. Not everything’s made chemically. And some would argue that even the fruits are, and some of these things are, but for the things that are, that we should be eating, the whole unprocessed foods, calories are going to vary from thing to thing. So to [00:07:00] assume that it has some amount of calories is not always accurate because it’s going to vary from time to time.
[00:07:05] And you have to be aware of that. Now the last piece of this is for why it’s setting you up for failure is that. Calories alone relies on willpower. It’s a simplistic formula. If we say that you simply have to eat less calories that comes down to you being robotic to you, being able to say no to your hunger cravings for you to say no to social situations.
[00:07:29] And if you do happen to, to binge out on something, because I know we’re humans who would ever do that, and you have a day where you eat. 2000 more calories. The amount of days it’s going to take at a 200 calorie deficit is going to be 10 days just to get back to your baseline. So those are reasons that calorie counting alone is going to set you up for failure.
[00:07:50] Now, second piece to this is Cary tracking is often inaccurate, but it is a starting point and it does guide you in, on giving you a baseline. [00:08:00] So even though it’s not. Exactly accurate. If you eat fairly consistently and you’re inputting that in and tracking it, there is some benefit to it because you’ll at least have this baseline of saying, am I moving in the right direction?
[00:08:12] Or am I not? Am I losing weight or am I not? And if I’m not, then calories is one piece of the puzzle to look at. And circling back to our point of, of sustainability is this, this gets really complicated. And I don’t know if I’m going to be able to fully paint a picture here in today’s episode, but just want to get you guys thinking that calorie counting alone.
[00:08:35] If it doesn’t feel sustainable, if you’re not eating away, that leaves you feeling satisfied. If you’re feeling like you’re having to rely on willpower and always feel hungry, it’s only a matter of time before you crash and those calories catch up anyways. I forget where I read this. I’m pretty sure it’s a Gary Tobbs book, but it’s called why we get fat and what to do about it, but I’m pretty sure it says if we, if we ate just an extra.
[00:09:00] [00:09:00] 10 calories a day. So if we were off by 10 calories, which is essentially like one, amen. So if we ate an extra almond per day, it would add up to like 30 pounds. You gain over a year 30 pounds. You lose. If you take out that almond. And basically what that is saying is that our bodies are complex. They work, they work in amazing ways with our hormones, with how it’s regulated and.
[00:09:24] Simply relying on calories. If we’re that specific, something is going to break down in that you’re going to, you’re gonna mess up at some point or your not going to get the results. Yeah. And it’s just too fine, finite of a thing to try and quantify exactly what calorie tracking alone. So that’s why I always say first and For most use food, quality and macronutrients to manage your intake.
[00:09:45] So if you do well with a lower carb higher fat approach, because you feel more satisfied and therefore you eat less calories, then that is going to be an approach for you. If you do better with some smaller eating throughout the day, instead of big meals, [00:10:00] you liked, you kind of graze and you feel like you do well with that.
[00:10:03] You can manage your intake better, then consider sticking to something like that. Now, if you’re like me and you like. Two big square meals a day. And that seems to do well for you, then go with that. So these are ways to use your macronutrients. And assuming that you’re eating high quality foods, foods with lots of color and then vegetables that is not like gummy snacks or something.
[00:10:26] If you’re doing that, then you’re going to feel more satisfied and therefore you’re going to eat less. So calories do so come into play. And if you do want to track, you are welcome to do that, to see where that baseline is. I think it’s a good idea for those that are maybe newer to. Having the awareness of what they’re eating and what they’re not, but longterm, you want to manage it with high food quality and finding a macronutrient and a food timing, rhythm that works for you.
[00:10:51] So a way of eating that works is one that’s sustainable and allows you to eat the appropriate amount of calories for your body. So to summarize that could be the [00:11:00] food timing you can use. So it could be eating less meals, eating more meals, doing something like intermittent fasting. It could be through the macronutrients reading.
[00:11:08] So it could be a higher car versus a lower carb approach, eating more protein, which tends to be more satisfying, or it could be through. Just eating higher dense mineral, rich foods, such as leafy greens and things that leave you feeling more satisfied while having less calories in them. So I know that’s a, uh, kind of a lot of things to consider.
[00:11:30] And really, if you, if you’re wondering about tracking calories, you’re not think of it as if you do want to track calories. I would summarize it as, do you want to have a baseline of where you’re at? And if you’re doing something that’s working, you can have a baseline of saying, Hey, I know in general, this is about how much, how many calories I need to perform at a high level, or if you’re struggling, it could be, Hey, this is where I’m currently at.
[00:11:52] Where can I make some changes to improve that? So the first one is establishing a baseline and the second one is just bringing some awareness to what you’re [00:12:00] actually eating. So if you have to punch everything in, and again, I don’t think this is a longterm approach or one that’s necessarily fun in my opinion, but by.
[00:12:08] Putting everything in, even a little things that you’re having, the sauces that you’re having, you’ll realize that you might be having more calories than you really realize, and that could be causing some weight gain or some trouble losing way to lean up the way that you want. So remember, while tracking calories alone, won’t guarantee it.
[00:12:25] Guarantee you success. The success of any salivating comes down to your goals and your ability to control your calorie intake. So find something that works for you and stick with that. If you neglect this, you’ll continue to fall short of your health and fitness goals. And that’s something that it gets frustrating.
[00:12:40] It gets overwhelming because you might just be. Missing a small change that can lead to a big result, being aware of what you’re currently consuming and what you need to be consuming to achieve your goals. You’ll be able to work your way closer to your ideal weight and fitness levels. So I know it’s confusing and I know it’s a lot to take in, but if you’re looking for some more [00:13:00] simple nutrition recommendations, as it relates to.
[00:13:03] Nutrition sleep fitness and stress management or pillars that we always talk about. Go ahead over to the show notes and download our free inside out strong living roadmap for the exact nutrition recommendations that we give our clients. And those are things like using your hands to control portion.
[00:13:19] That’s focusing on food quality and some of the other things that we talk about. So go and check that out. If you guys are interested and. Just go, go get started on, on whatever style works for you. Don’t get so caught up in the weeds of this. There’s a lot of details we could get into said there can be a whole other episode on some of those things, but find something that works and go do it, go make it happen.
[00:13:39] And let me know if you guys need anything, you know, I’m here for you. You can reach out. And if you do need anything, go ahead and shoot me an email. Shoot me a note and we’d be happy to answer any specific questions. So thanks for listening today, guys. And I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
[00:13:53]Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode of the manmade for more podcasts, [00:14:00] hope you found today’s show valuable and you have some actionable strategies you can apply to your life today. This is your first time listening. Thanks for being here. The aim of this podcast is to provide a ton of the best possible content to help you grow in your journey, to becoming the best version of yourself.
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[00:14:50] Keep challenging yourself growing and know that it’s okay to get out of your comfort zone and know that you’re made for more. Thanks for listening and see you guys soon. [00:15:00]
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