CALORIES… It’s almost a dirty word that we love to hate, but can’t quite ignore.
But, what does it mean and how can we use the information to manage and improve our health?
Calories supply the vital energy that we need for our bodies to function, including pumping blood to our organs, digesting our food, supporting our activity and even thinking. We also know that if we consume more calories than we burn, this excess energy is stored as fat.
It can be helpful to develop an understanding of what we eat, how we measure our energy intake, and how that impacts our weight and overall health.
The current state of calorie tracking
Calorie tracking has always been highly prone to error due to the burden of journaling everything we eat and correctly estimating our portion sizes. Most of us would go crazy if we had to keep track of everything we ate for months or years on end. Many would say it’s impossible.
Still, we know how valuable food journaling can be for raising our awareness and providing information that we can use to shape our dietary habits and weight. Knowing how useful the information can be, we’re sometimes told to keep a food journal for a few days here and there as a way to “take the temperature” of our diet.
But here’s where things get complicated. We’re not just eating once a day or a few times per week. We’re eating multiple times per day and making hundreds of decisions about our food choices every week – even if we don’t realize it.
The result is that we have little to no objective, day-to-day information on our eating habits. And without good information about our eating behavior, it can be very difficult to identify problem areas and track our progress towards goals that we set for ourselves. It’s this lack of visibility that creates a fundamental roadblock to positive behavior change and long-term success.
The current state of dieting
For decades, the emphasis in weight management has been on what we eat – we’re told to eat less fat, or fewer carbs, eat only foods that were available to our ancestors millions of years ago, or mimic the diet of certain geographic regions where people are perceived to be healthier. There are so many options – so much noise – it can be very confusing!
The secret is that one diet usually isn’t any better than the next for controlling weight. Research has repeatedly shown that there are lots of approaches to healthy eating and the one that works best, is the one that you can stick to! It turns out that just about every “diet” produces weight loss by reducing the number of calories that we eat.
The diet industry has made a lot of money convincing us that what we eat is the key to success when the real key to success is consistency — adherence to a plan of changed eating behavior.
A new paradigm to eliminates data gaps
If it all comes down to calories, an essential part of the answer to better weight loss involves eliminating the gaps in our data.
LUMME’s kCalculator Automated Calorie Tracker is an innovative and mainstream approach to the problem.
Available as a FREE downloadable app for Apple Watch and Wear OS by Google, the kCalculator smartwatch app leads a paradigm shift away from burdensome food journaling by effortlessly and reliably collecting key objective metrics, including calories, simply from the motions of the dominant hand.
The food choices we make still count. They will forever impact our health and our calories. But what we eat is the micro picture of our eating habits. The macro picture measures how consistently our eating habits align with our long-term health goals.
The kCalculator offers enlightening visibility into the macro picture of our health without the effort of traditional food journaling and allows us to answer fundamental questions about our eating habits, including:
- Are we regularly eating calories in excess of what our bodies need?
- How consistently are we eating our meals?
- Are there any persistent sources of excess calories such as late-night snacking?
- Are there any days, times or episodes that look particularly bad or send us in the wrong direction?
With such a simple, yet powerful tool that provides high-quality data with minimal effort, millions of people can immediately start to figure things out!
In our follow-on app for weight management, LUMME takes things to the next level by combining even richer layers of data collected through a smartwatch and unlocks even more transformative capabilities to help people achieve their goals.
But for now, let’s upgrade our approach to better health by raising our awareness (without all of the effort), and give ourselves the freedom to direct more of our limited time, effort, and energy towards actual behavior change.
If you’re brimming with questions about how the LUMME technology works, you’ll find some terrific resources on our site including the kCalculator product page and our last post on How a Smartwatch App Can Reliably Track Calories Without Food Journaling