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Vibrant health means you can live life to the fullest. Empower yourself with the steps I used to free my life of chronic disease and medications.

Reader Interactions


  1. Excellent article! I couldn’t have said it any better. I escaped calorie counting when I was studying Nutrition at UC Davis, but I was not the typical nutrition student! I’m always telling my patients to not worry or think about calories, but its so ingrained, but I’ll keep working on it!

  2. I love this and will share a link on my blog. I get stunned reactions when I tell folks I don’t “count” anything – not calories, not macros, not fat grams. Sadly, I think the notion of being connected to your own body is so foreign to us these days that people simply have no idea where to begin.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. It bugs me when I hear people counting calories because that is no way to watch one’s diet. I simply try to eat enough at each meal to get me to the next. If I didn’t eat enough then I will have a snack in between. I try to eat a good balance of foods. Counting calories is completely unnecessary.

    One of the worst things about counting calories is foods high in fat tend to look bad, even though we really need plenty of fat in our diets. Your recommendation to eat foods that don’t come with labels is a good one–whole natural foods give us nutrition and satisfy much better than processed foods!

  4. I love your thinking, we all need to get back to the basic reason of why we eat, just like a high performance car, our bodies respond to quality food in the right amounts without all the artificial garbage added. Great article Lauren!!

  5. In total agreement that actually counting calories is not a great idea for the reasons you mention, BUT you aren’t saying that we should just ignore quantity of food, correct? Instead, if i read between the lines here, we need to listen to when our body has had enough to nourish and sustain us AND THEN STOP EATING. Likewise, if we are not physically hungry, it is probably the healthiest option to NOT START EATING something just because we feel like it (whether from boredom, stress, routine, or social setting.)

    Please “weigh” in on this part of the equation…

    Thanks, Lauren!

    • LOL, “weigh in” 🙂 Certainly, I think it is vital that we eat mindfully and slowly so we can hear our bodies tell us, ‘Okay, I’m full.” One of the most important things is to CHEW, CHEW, CHEW! That way, we slow down and aid digestion. Our culture is really separated from mindful eating because we are eating in the car, in a hurry, in front of the TV, etc.

  6. Good job! Lauren. Excellent article! There’s so much about this that’s straight up. Design of your blog is looking great too. And it’s good to see the references at the end. Thank you for pulling together so much sense.

  7. Great read! But I work full time and simply do not have the time to seek out farmers markets, sources of pastured eggs, etc. Whenever I see suggestions like this, it makes me feel defeated because I can’t do what I should. So I don’t do anything. I try to eat right, but usually end up going to ice cream and chips to make myself feel better about not being able to eat right. Vicious cycle, I know. One of these days when I retire, maybe I can do some of these things. But right now, I feel overwhelmed and unable. Maybe I just need to stop reading health blogs. Whatever. Just my two cents worth. 🙁

    • Have you thought about premaking meals for your self during the week? If it is just you in the house. One frozen meal should last you a few days. What I do is spend one day making every thing for the week. Or even grocery stores have the good stuff. You just have to by pass all the bad lanes. Customer service can tell you were all the organic foods are. That way you don’t have to search them out your self.

  8. I was a calorie counter years ago. I hated eating time. I even did the whole app like they always tell you to get. I felt sick all the time. But I was not eating enough good foods. I quit after about 6m. And said im just going to go back to my healthy life style. Once I did that I was never so hunger again that I felt like I was about to pass out. I also am pretty sure I am not eating to many calories. Plus being healthy has nothing to do with calories. I hate how they make all theses claims on tv. So glad I just went back to my healthy living.

  9. This came at the perfect time for me. I have decided only today that I am not going to follow the rubbish expectations of beauty that I have been forcing on myself forever, fuelled by popular culture. Today I am quitting weight watchers which had me so obsessed with the points value of EVERYTHING I put in my mouth, that I was actually eating more processed foods and crap, because they fit in with my daily allowance. I don’t blame weight watchers for this as I know it has worked for millions and promotes eating fresh. The problem was all ME. I was not NOURISHING myself. My focus is now health and well being, not points, calories or anything else.

    • Great input Tara! I started ‘eat clean’ habits 2 yrs ago. Excited n lost weight. But…. I have weird relationship w/ food now. Addicted to it and think about food all the time! I feel lost when I have no time putting what I eat/plan to eat in myfitnesspal app. Scared if the food n calories can’t be recorded.. and at the end just eat crazily that day ’cause I thought, o well, since I dont know how many calories I just ate, might as well blow up the whole day quota 🙁
      I feel like I might end up having eating disorder if I keep eating this way. Healthy most days but binge the other days. I avoided sugars, lost weight but craved more sugar after a while. I’ll ditch calorie counting/food diary today! Thanks for the article Lauren!

  10. I do love this article and it is what I already believe. It makes a huge difference to stop eating processed foods and to stop counting calories while also focusing on pasture raised meats and milk as well as organic produce.

    I would love to share the article but there are quite a few typos which make me reluctant to do so. It could be seen as a way for people to discredit the information and I don’t want that.

  11. Fantastic article! Although I need help in finding wholefood for kids lunch box. Hard to find ‘no-packaging’ snacks for kids. I put fresh fruits, nuts, eggs, cheese n yoghurt. Still no luck in putting veggies as snacks though 🙁 Anyone had quick n easy to make ideas for veggies as snack for kids?

  12. I like this article, however, you can’t completely avoid the fact that a consistent calorie surplus will result in excess body fat.

    I started counting calories when I was 235 lbs and 38% body fat….. after a few weeks, I had re-trained myself and implemented healthy eating habits into my lifestyle (including snacks and all the foods I wasn’t willing to give up)…. and although I no longer count calories…. I know what I need to eat to lose fat, and I know what I need to eat to maintain a healthy balance…..

    I advocate tracking your macronutrient intake… as well as adopting a more active lifestyle and findthing healthy foods and activities you absolutely love.

    Again, all of the points you mentioned are fair game and have their merits……… but you can’t beat the math….. if you burn 1800 calories a day and consistently take in a lot more than that… you will be heavier….. take in less… you will lose weight (fat or muscle depending upon what macronutrients you take in)

    I do want to add however, that counting calories isn’t ideal, because as your metabolism raises and/or lifestyle changes and your body changes, your nutritional needs change…….

    I admit, I am a male bodybuilder and not built to think like a woman, but I like this blog/website for the interesting points of view and unique recipies.


  13. Lauren,

    Excellent article; it is so true and most people don’t get it. I have personally experienced much of this last year on a digestive journey I would have preferred not to have experienced. I always ate pretty healthy, organic, no white flour, little sugar… but I had a problem I had not paid attention to that grew and grew until I REALLY noticed and then it has taken radical measures of dietary restrictions, supplements, alternative care and nourishing foods to turn it around. As my digestive track settles and heals the weight I had gained when I quickly packed it on due to inflammation from diet is slowly coming back down as I heal and feel better. Thanks for spreading the real information about the relationship between calories and weight.

  14. I love this! And its something I really had to do a lot of soul searching to learn! In fact, for me, I found that I had to count my calories at first when I began eating for health because I kind of subconsciously was still trying to restrict myself and falling into those same habits. Once I finally got comfortable with eating more, I’ve been able to live calorie free, I haven’t gained any weight (in fact I’ve lost some) and my hormonal balance seems to be improving every month. The best advice I ever received was to just eat my fill of healthy foods! I’ll never go back. 🙂

  15. This is excellent! You so eloquently put into words what people assume healthy eating to be. Healthy eating is so much more than food and just how much of it we eat, it also encompasses our relationship with food and how we view food. When we calorie count, we view certain foods as either negative or positive, when we shouldn’t. It’s perfectly fine to enjoy foods without feeling bad for it! Thanks for busting the myths on calorie counting and encouraging it to stop! I particularly loved this “Real, unprocessed food is nurturing, majestic, gratifying, and sublime. Forget the calories, have fun in the kitchen, and eat with joy!” It’s great to see that you’re spreading positivity associated with eating and food. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Casey | That Sugar Fix

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Lauren Geertsen, NTP

I’m an author, entrepreneur, and nutritional therapy practitioner (NTP). I began this website at 19, to share the steps that freed my life of chronic disease and medication. Now, Empowered Sustenance has reached 30 million readers with healthy recipes and holistic resources.

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