If you have a certain social media platform I’m sure recently you have seen the trend of comparing meals against each other, usually a healthy option vs an unhealthy option where calories, proteins, fats, and carbs are compared.

These posts are very interesting and they do promote a more flexible diet approach which I am all for, but there is an aspect that is not covered in these posts. Yes, you could eat the unhealthy meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and still fit in your macros but what effect would it have on you?

Would you start to feel lethargic?

Would your performance suffer?

Would you lack energy?

Would they make you feel fulfilled? Ease Hunger?

Would you be getting all your required vitamins/ minerals?

Could they be replaced with less caloric foods such as a piece of fruit?

Be mindful of what you eat and what effect it might have on your body. Of course, you can have the bad option occasionally but consistency is key.

Here are some quick tips you should consider when using a calorie counting app:

1) You might underestimate the amount of food you are consuming, this could be due to selecting an item with the wrong nutritional value. These apps have human error as the majority of foods inserted into the database are done by the general public. So the food will have the calories inserted but the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) are left blank. Do not use these items, double check every item has the nutritional values inserted.

2) Keep track of the calories that you are trying to stick to, some phones will calculate your exercise and give you extra calories without warning you. This can play havoc if you have been given specific calories that take into account your exercise.

3) If you are only starting or if your diet needs to be reassessed, ensure that you are taking everything into account. People seem to overlook oils that they are cooking with, depending on the product you use this could be making all the difference especially at the end of the day when you have reached your fat target without considering them.

4) Do not get hung up on a certain aspect of your diet and lose focus on the bigger picture. Here is my ranking in order of importance: 1) Calories 2) Protein 3) Fats 4) Carbohydrates 5) Fibre.

5) You have to put in manually the amount of food you are having per meal so kitchen scales are essential. When you are more aware of portion control you will be able to estimate food quantities more accurately. The majority of products when scanned will have a serving size of 100g so you can work around that.