There is a lot written about calorie counting and many experts advise against it. I understand the reason behind this advice – as not all is equal (or fair) in the world of calories. However if you want to have a better understanding of the food you eat, tracking your food (and by default you may end up calorie counting) is a great place to start. The nutritional information of food usually includes; calories, fats (including type of fats), protein, carbohydrates (including fibre and sugar). It may also include levels of sodium, cholesterol, potassium, vitamins and minerals.
By tracking your food you may find you gain a better understanding of what is in the food you choose to eat. What makes up a piece of chicken is not just protein – is also contains fats (saturated, Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated), sodium and potassium together with some vitamins and minerals. It does not contain carbohydrates so it also does not contain fibre or sugar. A banana on the other hand contains mostly carbohydrates (and provides fibre and sugar), a small amount of protein (1.1gms per 100gms) and 0.3gm of fat per 100gms.
100gms of kumara contains 86 calories whereas 100gms of pumpkin contains 26 calories.
All the above information is important to consider when tracking/counting calories. Experts suggest that keeping a food diary will help keep you on track - however just writing down what you eat without knowing what the nutritional value of the food you eat is (including calories) will not get you any further ahead with understanding why you are not losing weight or gaining muscle size
By taking an active interest in the food you eat (knowing about the calories, fats, protein and carbohydrates), will help to provide long term sustainable eating patterns and habits.
Stop researching diets and start researching what it is that you eat. This will give you a better picture of “your diet” rather than blindly following a plan you have read on the internet.