BITES vs. Calories: Team Calories

Monday, May 24, 2021 | Lifestyle

Hi all! Coach Lisa here! 

In case you missed it, two weeks ago Coach Stefanie wrote a great post comparing her experience with counting Calories versus tracking BITES. As someone who keeps track of just about everything, I thought I would also take a stab at this topic. In my opinion, Calorie Command is the most straight forward plan available. No special rules, no food group restrictions, no rounding, no magic math – a food just is what it is.

Here are my reasons for being team Calories (but again- I’m actually team track everything)!

Most major restaurants have at least caloric information for their menus so it doesn’t matter if you cook more at home or eat out – you can usually track easily. There is no cheating the system with calories. If it goes in your mouth, it counts. While all calories are not processed the same way in the body – 100 calories of broccoli is very different to 100 calories of donuts in terms of nutritional density and satiation – for me it is still a good marker of my day. 

As an example – since I can’t have artificial sweeteners among other things, I don’t eat sugar free foods. 1 normal yogurt = 150 of my daily 1550 Calorie allowance. This is 8 BITES on Sugar Smart / Better Balance, so if I had 23 BITES a day – 3 yogurts would mean I used all my BITES for the day but was under 500 calories.

For my way of eating, this is very disproportionate. Each plan works for those who can have the foods that work best on those plans. I do a 75-80% whole food focused style, and calories allow me to accurately and guilt free, use avocado, all types of meats, and whole grains freely without worry. So I’m kind of eating more, while also eating less!

Calorie Command gives great flexibility in meal choices because you’re not being penalized for one choice over another. This can get some people in trouble though! If you need guidelines in WHAT to eat, as opposed to HOW MUCH to eat; I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Calorie Command. Counting calories is a great way for you to gauge how much you’re eating in a day, week, or any set time period!

Just remember, everything has calories and this plan will only be as accurate as you are in tracking – so you need to weigh, measure and track it all. Some people hate that and like the 0 BITE foods to not have to be tracked. If you’re an adamant tracker, like me, then counting calories might be your thing! I track everything, down to my lettuce and tomato, but I don’t mind it. It really depends on what kind of structure works best for you. If you want guidance in your food choices, I recommend considering the time and effort you’re willing to put in. Then you can go from there!