Picture this, I’m scrolling through Instagram and checking various hashtags and all I constantly see in the ‘Top 9’ is yet ANOTHER calorie comparison picture. This is nothing new, food swaps have been around for years, the diet industry loves a trend and right now it’s all about the calorie comparison.
Okay, there ARE benefits and I do accept that this is useful for people who are trying to keep a tight reign on calorie consumption. I can’t lie, I’ve been that person on and off for many years, not something that I’m particularly proud of, but it’s my reality.
My understanding is that the concept was created to be resourceful for those counting calories and gain a better understanding of where they might be going ‘off plan’. As a matter of fact, it’s a good way to gain Instagram engagement for the content creator. Let’s face it, in this competitive world of social media that’s not a crime!
My only issue is I think for some people, it would encourage viewing food in a very pessimistic way, which creates eating disordered habits. Rather than viewing food as something nourishing to be enjoyed, food would be viewed as 100g calories, 13g protein, 5g fat, 82g carbohydrate.
‘Hmm, I’m super excited to sit down to this perfectly calculated plate of numbers’
This was one of the reasons I stopped using ‘My Fitness Pal’ because when I was basing my daily diet focused on counting calories alone, I’d reach for a small chocolate bar instead of an apple. Maybe it’s just me? Yet, some good quality chocolate during a day of primarily balanced (whatever balance means to you) and healthy eating isn’t a bad thing or unhealthy.
I don’t think we should eat kale if we hate it, I also don’t think we need to feel guilty if we gorge on sweets, fatty dressings or extra cheese. Okay, as a matter of fact, sweets, bacon and extra cheese are fine, in moderation, we should remember that we are in control of what goes on our plate, let’s not let social media dictate it to us.
If you want to eat dried fruit? Go for it, stop worrying about the calories and sugars.
Fancy a whole chocolate bar instead of a bland protein bar? Be my guest, to be honest, I’d make that choice too…
Would you rather drink a protein shake instead of eating a can of tuna? Go ahead with your good self, but I prefer tuna to protein shakes, however, I won’t lecture you about it…
Right, I feel better now that’s off my chest! How do you feel about calorie comparisons?