Counting calories isn't my thing. I don't read the back of nutrition labels to see how many calories I'm ingesting. Why, you may ask? Well if I have to read the label of the food I am eating, chances are it isn't good for me. My "diet" or eating lifestyle is simple. If it at one time was living, then I can eat it aka plants like vegetables, fruits, fish, and poultry. (I do not consider dairy as living, although the milk comes from animals). As I explain to many of my clients, if I am eating a bag of goldfish, while it may say its 100 calories for the snack pack, I don't concern myself so much with that number. I know in packaged goods there will be carbs, sodium, sugar, artificial flavors and colors that make up whatever it is I am eating. I am not one to deprive my body of what it craves, although I will always try to make it a healthier decision.
Tracking your calories is a diet fad that has been around for a long time. While some people may swear by it, others think the opposite. Many people believe that if they stick to a certain amount of calories a day then that is how they will lose weight. True and false. If you figure out that to lose 5 pounds before your up coming vacation you have to eat 1500 calories a day along with exercising then you will hit your goal. If you are eating any 1500 calories that goal won't come as fast, or at all. You have to take into consideration that while some fruit could be high in calories it is more beneficial to eat a bowl of fruit then a bowl of cereal. But that is where some people go wrong. We tend to get caught up in the labels. If they box says 140 calories for 1 serving and it still fits within our daily goal then I'm golden. Wrong. While overeating will cause weight gain, making sure your body is being nourished with the nutrients it needs is what you need to be focusing on.
But don't lose sight on keeping track. I don't diminish keeping track of what you are eating. I find that keeping a diary of some kind helps to keep you on your game, and holds you accountable. There are plenty of apps now that track your macros, calories, nutrients and so much more to help you hit your goals. I find that My Fitness Pal helps me because I get daily reminders to log my foods. I then am able to go back, even weeks or months back to see what my eating habits were.
My advice: Hold yourself accountable, go easy on yourself and enjoy your journey to a healthier lifestyle one day at a time.