Calories: Should You Be Counting?

A bit older article by Dani Shugart over at T Nation, it reminds me that just because I count macro’s does not mean everyone else should.

Here’s what you need to know…

  Because their instincts are bad and their appetite is low, skinny guys seeking gains should spend some time counting calories.

  Physique competitors are at risk of undereating more than overeating. Counting calories and macros keeps them on task when their contest-crazy minds get out of hand.

  Average overweight people are better off focusing their efforts on other areas, like food quality, than counting every little morsel.

  For most people, calorie counting is a useful but temporary strategy. If it makes you neurotic, you’ve been doing it too long or it’s just not for you.


It takes a special kind of person to actually want to keep track of every last thing he consumes. He measures it, analyzes it, then determines whether or not he should adjust it. He plays accountant with his body. Some calorie accountants are very successful. They build more muscle, lose more fat, and become aware of deficiencies. Some of them even develop the skills to masterfully manipulate calories from different sources and achieve a specific look for a specific event. Anal retentive tendencies pay off for them.

But others play accountant and get nothing back for their efforts. They plug their weight into a formula or online calculator and track every morsel, then make either temporary progress or none at all. Why does it work for some people but not for others? While working with clients it’s become clear to me who benefits from counting and who would get better results by placing their focus elsewhere.

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