I have spent a couple of years understanding the weight loss process and achieving it for myself. One of the truths that I have learned is what this post is about.
Can I Eat What I Want If I Stay Within My Calories? Food comprises of three aspects – Calories, Nutrition & Taste. If you get your required calories from nutrition i.e. they are not empty calories and you stay within your limits then you can eat any food without fear. Balance is the name of the game and thankfully it is easy to learn.
Balancing taste with nutrition is an art form and a skill that can be learned. I will explain how you can balance calories, nutrition, and taste so that you can enjoy your food without any guilt.
Balance Calories, Taste & Nutrition
Food is one of the genuine pleasures of life. And there are very few pleasures which are worth chasing. Instead of enjoying the food we either feel guilty or scared of it. And what is the reason? Ignorance! Let me explain.
The dictionary meaning of ignorance is “lack of knowledge.” Since we lack knowledge of how calories, nutrition and taste work we misunderstand food. Let’s dispel this ignorance once and for all and escape the prison of food phobia.
The question “Can I Eat What I Want If I Stay Within My Calories?” is just a disguise for “Will I be able to enjoy tasty junk and comfort foods if I count my calories or maintain a calorie deficit?” This question is just the fear in your mind. And how do we get rid of fear? By building confidence. So let’s do that.
Before we proceed, let me give you a friendly disclaimer. There is no magic bullet coming up. I am going to teach you a skill – a smart eating skill aka guilt-free-eating skill. If I say I can teach you to play guitar overnight or teach you a sport overnight, will you believe me? Of course not.
Like any skill, the guilt-free-eating skill will take time, patience and perseverance. But here is the good news. All you have to do is just give me your 67 days and I’ll teach you a life-skill that will stay with you for the rest of your life. It’s a one-time effort. Visualise being free of the guilt of eating any kind of food. Guilt-free eating for the rest of your life – that is the claim. So if I’ve been able to oversell the magic bullet then let’s proceed 😉
The smart-eating skill involves counting calories manually. But before you hire a hitman for me let me explain. It is not about counting calories. It is about developing a sense of nutrition. It’s a background sense that’ll run a few hundred calculations in a fraction-of-a-second and help you make a food choice. Compare it to a particular aspect of a sport; like a shot selection in tennis or a throw in basketball or a kick in football. The player has to make a quick decision. And if you have played a sport then you know that though it looks like he took a single decision there were hundreds of calculations that ran in that fraction of a second.
I have given a quick summary of how to manually count macros and calories below. But I’ll strongly motivate you to read my detailed post on it to better understand the entire process.
Steps to calculate the Calories in food using a kitchen food scale:
- Take a recipe
- List all the ingredients as per the recipe
- Measure the weight of each ingredient using a kitchen food scale
- Once we have the weight of each ingredient we’ll use Google to calculate the calories and macros
- After we have the calories and macro-info of all the ingredients, we then just sum them up and voila we have the calories and the macro-info in the entire recipe
The above steps are the dry technical aspect of the process/skill. The interesting part is how do we make the food tasty. And this is the best part. Once you have developed a sense of nutrition you’ll be able to do better trade-offs. E.g. if you like your pizza extra cheesy then by counting the calories you’ll know which ingredients can be adjusted to accommodate the extra cheese. Sometimes, this may not be feasible. But then you also have the entire day to do the adjustment. If you are not able to do it in one meal you can adjust it in another meal. This is at the micro-level.
You can also do it at the macro-level. You can plan your meals for the entire week and do the adjustments to accommodate your favorite comfort food whilst also maintaining the nutrition balance. Now, this is an art form. If you think by just reading and dabbling with food measurements you can learn the skill then I’ve already warned you. If you take time to learn this skill then it is my promise that’ll you’ll be out of the prison of fear forever.
COOL FACT: Once you have mastered the skill there will also be another change in you. You’ll gradually begin to like food which you earlier disliked. Think of this. Sometimes you dislike a person but when you become aware of their good qualities you tend to like them. Learning to count calories and macros and using them to make food tasty and nutritious is just the training wheels. The real benefit would be of change in perspective. Once you have acquired the skill, you won’t be measuring food always. Rather it’ll be an implicit choice. And you know what would be the beautiful part – you’ll be voluntarily choosing healthy food over unhealthy without the use of will power.
Will I be able to enjoy tasty junk and comfort foods if I count my calories or maintain a calorie deficit?
My guess is that you should know the answer to this question by now. Junk food by definition means food with a low nutritional value. So naturally, they will have more empty calories. By learning the aforementioned skill you will be able to easily convert any junk food into a healthy meal and enjoy it like a regular meal without compromising on taste.
When you eat out you are not in control and hence you can do very little. But now you are equipped with a smart skill. You’ll make smarter choices and play the food-balancing game to perfection and that too effortlessly. Be ready with an answer to this envious question, “Wow! How come you eat any food and still manage your weight?” 🙂
“Eat what I want” is possible. But it still feels unreal to me!
For something to become real we need to do 3 things:
- Get the theory
- Get all our doubts resolved so that we believe in it
- Meditate upon it i.e Be with it i.e. Spend time & effort in achieving it
Most of the time we are stuck in step 2. We are stuck in analysis-paralysis. I am not at all saying to skip this step. I am requesting you to not misuse the power or reasoning. If a student asks unnecessary questions to the teacher it is not the loss of the teacher. Be conscious of the broader picture and reason efficiently.
If we skip step 2 or rather if we do not spend enough time in this step then achieving step 3 is impossible. Once you’ve got enough evidence to believe in the theory and your gut feels convinced then don’t further research to be 100% sure. “Perfection” is a myth. Strive for being “Good Enough.”
Now let us put this knowledge to use. I have given you the theory. By performing the steps yourself you’ll get the clarity. It will also clear most of the doubts that you’ll have about the theory. If you still don’t feel convinced then please feel free to contact me on vijit[at]vijitsingh[dot]com.
Once you feel you have “good enough” knowledge proceed to make it real. You achieve this by practicing it regularly.
Consider the example of learning to play a musical instrument or learning a new language. First, we get the theory. Then we get our doubts resolved by practicing it ourselves and reasoning it with a teacher and/or ourselves. Then once we “get it” we dedicate ourselves to master it. In a few months we feel confident and can say we “know” it.
What you are doing here is something profound. You are taking action without motivation. Your gut says this works but you are not very sure. You still go ahead with action irrespective. After some time (3-5 weeks) result will start to trickle. That’ll automatically motivate you to increase your effort effortlessly. And before you realise you’ll breeze by your goal. That is how you make things REAL out of imagination.
Is “Eat what I want” a feasible idea in the long run
100%! Once your ignorance is dispelled and you have acquired the guilt-free-eating skill, you can enjoy any food as much as you want. What I teach is a life-skill and so by definition, it should be with you for the rest of your life. I have been using it myself and have maintained my desired weight for the last 4 years effortlessly.
I don’t think any other animal has this problem. I am sure this was a silly question for us too in the past. “Eat what you want” is not just a feasible idea but the ideal idea, only if we know what to eat. Now knowing everything that is healthy under the sun is not an easily achievable feat. But by learning the guilt-free-eating skill that I teach, you’ll be equipped with the right knowledge to be able to eat smartly, for the rest of your life.
I want to request you to have an open mind and give my program a try. I am not charging any fees for it. I genuinely want you to achieve your goal. At any point, if you face any problem in understanding the program please feel free to email me. I promise I’ll help you in every way to achieve your goal. Wish you the best. Happy Eating!