Reasons Why Counting Caloric Intake is Not Always Recommended

By January 30, 2020 No Comments

Counting calorie intake may be useful to see if you are on track with your body’s requirements, however, it is still an estimate and generally, not required to stick to the exact decimal. This in itself, may cause a negative relationship with food, if one is continuously tracking their intake. Life is about enjoying food, and we can still eat healthy and great lives without counting calories. 

It is recommended to consume a variety of foods from the 5 food groups per day as per the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (Breads/cereals, Dairy, Meat/Alternatives, Fruit, Vegetables). When tracking calorie intake, most people usually focus on the number and not the variety/type of foods they are consuming. 


Here’s an example of the differences in food intake between the same caloric intake:

1800 calories/7,500kJ (Approx.) – 

  • 1 king size Mars Bar 
  • 1 Jumbo protein cookie 
  • 1 medium chicken parmigiana (nil sides)
  • 1 regular croissant


1800 calories/7,500kJ (Approx.) – 

Breakfast: Weetbix x 2 with full- cream milk with 1 chopped banana

Morning Tea: Carman’s classic fruit and nut muesli bar

Lunch: Sandwich (9 grains bread – 2 slice) with 1 slice tasty cheese, ¾ tin tuna and ½ cup leafy greens

Afternoon Tea: 1 medium apple and veggie sticks (1 carrot and 1 cucumber), served with 1 tbsp dark roasted peanut butter 

Dinner: Atlantic salmon with 1 cup mixed greens salad & grains and ¾ cup mashed potato

Supper: FroPro caramel ice-cream (~½ cup)


Above shows that there are many ways people may be reaching the same calorie intake, but in different ways. Consuming regular meals and a variety of foods from all of the 5 food groups is more beneficial to health instead of 4 items over the whole day that are high in energy content. 

Please note, there is nothing wrong with consuming any of the foods such as chocolate, croissants or a chicken parmigiana, but making smart and healthy choices can allow your body to function well and provide many health benefits. It is all about balance, as long as your predominant dietary intake provides good variety and meets foods across the 5 food groups, there is nothing wrong with heading for the moreish foods once in a while!



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