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  • Writer's pictureShaina Painter

Reclaiming Body Trust and Releasing Calorie Counting


In a world obsessed with numbers, calories, and tracking, it's no surprise that many individuals find themselves caught in the web of food diaries and calorie counters. Tracking your food intake when you first begin cultivating awareness of your dietary intake may be helpful, especially when working with a professional, but is often not meant to be a long-term behavioral intervention. Often, I find individuals who use these tools long-term to curtail the patterns they dislike in their diet, end up developing a negative relationship with food and disordered eating patterns. In this blog post, I will guide you on how to liberate yourself from calorie counting, and begin the journey toward regaining body trust.



Tracking calories often offers a false sense of control. It may seem like a practical way to manage your diet, but in reality, it can lead to a host of negative consequences:

  1. Disconnect from Hunger and Fullness: Constantly referring to calorie counts can drown out your body's hunger and fullness cues, causing you to eat according to numbers rather than genuine physical hunger.

  2. Food Anxiety: Calorie tracking can trigger anxiety and stress around mealtime. The fear of exceeding your daily limit can lead to feelings of guilt and obsession over food choices. You may also experience shame for not tracking meals or snacks due to the anxiety of being faced with the numerical values associated.

  3. Unsustainable: For many, tracking calories becomes an unsustainable, time-consuming burden that erodes the joy of eating and living. It not only detracts time out of many busy folks lives, but also may dictate your lifestyle.

  4. Negative Self-Image: Over time, calorie tracking can contribute to an unhealthy relationship between food and self, fostering body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem.


As I mentioned above, tracking may be a helpful tool to begin your experience of becoming more aware of your dietary patterns, habits, and what makes you feel best. However, it may contribute to feeling more out of control, anxious, shameful, disconnected and contribute to a worse self-image. Below are ways you may consider rebuilding trust with your body if you have been tracking for quite sometime and resonate.


How to start Rebuilding Body Trust

  1. Listen to Your Body: Start by tuning into your body's signals of hunger and fullness. Allow yourself to eat when you're hungry and stop when you're satisfied. It may take time to reestablish this connection, so be patient and compassionate with yourself.

  2. Practice Mindful Eating: Engage in mindful eating by savoring each bite, paying attention to flavors and textures, and being fully present during meals. Mindful eating helps you reconnect with the sensory experience of food.

  3. Challenge Food Rules: Identify and challenge any rigid food rules you've developed over the years. Remind yourself that food is not just about numbers; it's about nourishment and enjoyment.

  4. Diversify Your Diet: Expand your food choices and embrace variety. Allow yourself to enjoy different foods without judgment or guilt. This can help break the cycle of restricting and overindulging.

  5. Seek Professional Support: Consider working with a non-diet nutritionist and therapist who specializes in intuitive eating. They can provide guidance, support, and personalized strategies to help you regain body trust.

  6. Focus on Well-Being: Shift your perspective from weight and calories to overall well-being. Cultivate a holistic approach to health that includes physical activity, emotional well-being, and self-compassion.


Letting go of calorie counting is not about relinquishing control; it's about reclaiming a healthier, more intuitive relationship with food and your body. Regaining body trust involves learning to listen to your body's cues, practicing mindful eating, challenging rigid food rules, and seeking support when needed. Remember that it's a journey, not a destination, and every step toward body trust is a step toward greater well-being and self-compassion.



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