I consider myself quite good at counting reps.
I can (most of the time), talk to a client to distract them from their exercises, and count the amount of repetitions they’re doing at the same time.
I’ll often count the money in my wallet when I’m at my local farmer’s markets to make sure I have enough to pay them in cash.
I also count knives and forks when I set the table for dinner every night.
In fact, I count many things throughout the day.
But I don’t count my almonds…or any other nuts for that matter.
Or olives. I definitely don’t count my olives.
I’ll never forget the food diary I received from a client about 8 years ago, in which she had written down as a snack “6 olives”.
Don’t get me wrong, I love olives as a snack. But 6 olives…what was that about?
Turning a can of olives on its side, I discovered that a “serving size” on the nutrient panel was “6 olives”.
What happened to eating until you were satisfied? What happened to tuning in to your body to see how many olives you need today?
Over the years, as I received more and more food diaries from different clients, I discovered this was a phenomenon. Often I would get a food diary that read “10 almonds” as a snack.
This was really a thing.
But to me, it’s a thing that encourages disordered eating.
I understand that these days there is a big issue of overeating in society. But counting almonds and olives is taking the opposite extreme – and I want to put a stop to it.
But I need your help.
If you are someone who counts your food…please stop.
I know this is a big ask if you have been doing it for a long time, but at least recognising you are doing it and trying to reduce the amount of times you do it, is a great start.
I’ll tell you as a health professional – you do not need to count your food, unless you are an endurance athlete preparing for an event (in that case, it’s essential that you count what goes in your mouth, as too much or too little can greatly affect your performance).
But as an average person, just trying to eat healthily and achieve general fitness goals, counting your almonds or your olives is not a good idea.
Still really into counting?
Here are some things you could count instead:
- How many veggies do you eat every day?
- How many different coloured foods are on your plate at each meal?
- How varied are the fruits, veg and other foods you are consuming throughout the week? Or do you tend to eat the same thing every single day?
I’d love to hear how you’re stopping counting silly things like nuts and olives, and how instead you’re focusing on increasing the nutrients in your daily diet.
Have a great weekend filled with lots of different coloured fruit and veg 🙂