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Count colours, don’t count calories!

June 2018

Written by Jessica Worth, Nutritionist, Sydney, Mona Vale

Personally, the way I work with clients, I don’t ask them to count calories, I ask them to count colours. There are so many negative associations with counting calories, I don’t believe it is the right way to work with a client. 

Don’t count calories

There are a few weight loss programs around that do. The feedback I have found is that you’re not learning how to nourish yourself within those calories. Does this sound familiar? “I have X calories I’m allowed to consume today. So if I have two cookies, that is Y calories. Then I can just adjust / reduce the other food I am going to eat so I am still consuming the right number of calories.” I have heard this so many times. 

When working with clients, particularly weight loss clients, I encourage them to count the colours on their plate. So many people follow the SAD (standard Australian / American diet), which is grain and processed food heavy – lots of whites, creams and browns.

The rainbow challenge

Let’s switch things up. Next time you look at your plate, count how many different colours there are: red, green, purple, orange, yellow and all the shades in between. 

Foods with a variety of colour, mostly plant based, full of fibre and are nutrient rich. All of the good stuff! It’s the food your body craves and needs. Set a goal for the week, I call it the rainbow challenge – aim to eat a minimum of five foods of different colours each day. That’s it. That’s the challenge. 

I’d love you to report back after a week and tell me how you went, were you hitting the goal easily or was it something you really had to work on. I know you’re going to feel better for it.

Until next time… x

Jess is a registered nutritionist, based on Sydney’s northern beaches. Jess works with women to encourage and inspire them to take control of, and manage their health, with a special interest in digestion, hormone health and weight loss. Want to get your health back on track? Get in touch let’s get it sorted together.


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