Some of us swear by limiting what we eat to a certain number of calories a day. And some of us also swear against it. But whether you think counting calories is they key to losing weight or a useless thing of the past, everyone needs to see what a girl named Sara Puhto had to say about it.
Last week, she posted two side by side photos of herself to Instagram and explained how the picture on the left shows her when she limited her diet to around 1000 calories a day (which would often end in a ravenous food binge). The image on the right, on the other hand, shows her after she started eating around 2000-3000 calories a day. Maybe taking in more calories (and not limiting our meals to just barely satisfying our hunger) is better for us after all.
Let’s talk food 🍔🍏 Left: October 2015 (11 weeks into BBG. weighing 54kg) Right: September 2016. (59 weeks into BBG. weighing 56-57kg). Ever since I started gaining fat, I thought it didn’t matter what I ate as long as it was less than 1000 calories. This always ended up in me either going to bed with intense hunger pains or leading to me binge eating everything in sight and not stopping until I was in pain from fullness. This mindset was so messed up, I thought I would be happy if I ate less, weighed less and hit my goal weight of 50kg. But the less I ate the more unhappy I got with myself. I had no control over how I was eating because my body was constantly in starvation mode or too full to function. I was gaining weight from fat from all the junk food I was binging. I was so devastated- I didn’t understand why eating less wasn’t working. I thought I wasn’t strong because I couldn’t go a few days without binging. In January 2016 I realised what I was doing wasn’t working. I decided to go vegan and found out how eating <1500 calories is putting your body into starvation mode and is only a “quick fix” to losing weight and you’ll eventually gain fat back by eating junk food since your body is lacking food and craves junk. I then started eating more and stopped using apps to count calories. It was hard but I knew if I just trusted my body it would work. Something had to work. I slowly had more energy and could push myself during workouts! I initially lost weight due to body fat and then gained weight due to gaining muscle. I now weigh around 56-57kg (6-7 kg above my goal weight). I’m not sure on exact weight because I don’t weigh myself anymore, I don’t let numbers dictate how I feel about myself anymore. I just go on how I feel mentally, and I feel amazing! I finally feel like I have a healthy relationship with food. Eating 2000-3000 calories- I roughly estimate and always eat more than 2000 cal because I know I’ll be hungry if I eat less. I eat healthy 70-80% of the time. Just remember: don’t let numbers get you down and define you. Don’t go on some silly starvation diet- it won’t work in the long run. Food is meant to fuel you, not make you upset.
It’s obvious that Puhto looks perfectly healthy in both photos. However, she’s a little more fit in the photo on the right–when she ate around double the daily calories than she usually did.
“Eating <1500 calories is putting your body into starvation mode and is only a “quick fix” to losing weight and you’ll eventually gain fat back by eating junk food since your body is lacking food and craves junk. I then started eating more and stopped using apps to count calories,” she wrote on her post. “I slowly had more energy and could push myself during workouts! I initially lost weight due to body fat and then gained weight due to gaining muscle.”
We’re not telling you to chow down on every hamburger and sugar or fat-filled snack within reach, because that certainly won’t help you feel healthier. And we’re also not saying that it’s good to stick to a certain number of calories to eat each day. But what we would like you to take away from Puhto’s story is this:
“Don’t let numbers get you down and define you. Don’t go on some silly starvation diet–it won’t work in the long run. Food is meant to fuel you, not make you upset.”
No matter what kind of diet you try out, why waste time forcing yourself to be uncomfortable? Instead, make healthy choices that won’t leave your stomach grumbling from hunger or keep you overeating into the wee hours of the night.