Americans are always looking for the quickest, easiest way to lose weight and achieve their ideal body shape. Thousands of miracle weight loss pills harbor our markets and our minds with the promise of “you do not have to change anything about your life, just take this pill and the pounds will fall off!” It seems like a new fad diet book hits the shelves every week, only to be debunked by the next.

 

Counting calories is one of the most popular ways Americans decide to change their diet. They go to the store, buy all the low-calorie, low-fat food they can find, and stock their pantries to the brim. “Eat less, exercise more” has become the motto, but successful weight loss is far more complicated than that.

 

What people do not realize is that the calories listed on packages are only an estimate, and not all calories are the same. To lose weight, one must burn fat calories. Most people, however, end up burning most of their calories from carbohydrate breakdown and protein breakdown. Low-fat diets result in little weight loss — and actually raise the risk of heart attack. What is also important to note is the fact that the calories on most labels today are based on a scale produced over 100 years ago that is far out dated and not very accurate.

 

Weight control is closely tied to the body’s stress levels. When one is stressed, their levels of adrenaline and cortisol are elevated. These elevated levels tell the body to retain fat, making weight loss much more difficult. If one wants to lose weight, stop eating processed foods and start eating quality foods. Foods like raw vegetables, and slowly digested proteins, such as beans, use more energy to digest. This results in more successful weight loss.

 

100 calorie snack packs are popular treats among dieters, but offer no real health benefits (walmart.com)

Those 100 calorie snack packs may look like an easy, healthy way to snack, but, in reality, they are super-processed and offer no real health benefits. Instead, grab a handful of grapes or almonds; they are both healthier for you, and they taste a lot better than 100 calories of cardboard. Stop counting calories, and start eating food with good fats and proteins.

 

Simply counting calories simplifies much more complicated bodily process. Many different aspects of one’s life affect how the body retains fat. Hormone production, stress levels, and genetics are only a few factors that go into weight control. Everyone is different, our bodies react to stress, food, and exercise in a multitude of various ways. Unfortunately, there is no miracle drug, exercise plan, or diet that works for everyone. It is important to find the right combination of diet and exercise that works for you and your body.

 

Will you still count calories? What other diet tricks have you tried? Let me know in the comments below or find me on Twitter @whatsthesich