Understanding calories and energy expenditure is important to overall health, but obsessing over the two won’t do you any favors. Though it can be hard to reframe these obsessive thoughts, start by focusing less on quantity and more on quality, as well as how both food and exercise can benefit your body outside of your weight.
Your diet should prioritize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fat, but balance is crucial. “There’s absolutely room in there for other foods that we love that might not be as nutritionally balanced like ice cream or potato chips — it’s just about making sure it’s balanced and not getting in the way of eating all of these other healthy foods,” Plowe says.
Where your exercise is concerned, opt for activities you love that make you feel physically and mentally energized, just as with your diet. Instead of choosing foods and fitness that can cancel each other out, fuel your body with foods that will support your training.