Are you OCC? - When Calorie Counting becomes harmful

Calorie Counting Every Bodyrocker will know that our dietary choices are responsible for (a rather hefty) 80% of how our body looks, feels and performs. We are encouraged to keep daily food journals to track our carbohydrate, protein, fat and overall calorie intake. We are encouraged to log our daily workouts. We are advised to make small changes to our eating habits and implement them slowly, rather than in one fell swoop. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this! It's a seriously good and very constructive way to achieve body re-composition. I totally advocate it as a method for fat loss and muscle building. However, when does it become more harmful than helpful? Have you ever heard of Orthorexia? Don't worry, neither have many doctors, dieticians or therapists! Orthorexia is an obsession with eating a 'pure' diet. In reality, this means an obscene amount of time is spent shopping for the best whole foods one can buy, and a ridiculous amount of your time is spent considering the nutrients of particular foods, and whether or not you've had too little or too much of those particular nutrients that day. Can you fit it in your daily calories allowance? You haven't had a portion of healthy fats today, but if you have a portion of almonds it'll take you over your calorie allowance for the day! Argh!! Sounds like I'm speaking from experience - the truth is, I am. Shopping for food turns into torture and a mental self harming session, leaving you feeling anxious, depressed and frustrated with yourself. And let's not forget about low self esteem and social withdrawal! All this from trying to eat a healthy, balanced diet? Unfortunately, yes. Of course, not everyone will develop an obsession with healthy eating but it is certainly something to be aware of, just so you can nip it in the bud if you feel it's starting to take over your mind and your life. Total health should be the aim - both physical and mental. Look after yourselves. Kat.

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