4 Reasons to Stop Calorie Counting For Good

I quit calorie counting!

Count calories, lose weight, and be happy, right??? Not necessarily so. Here are my 4 reasons why calorie counting is not the best use of your time – and what I think is more worth it instead.

Reason 1: 3,500 calories per pound is a myth.

You may have heard that if you eat 500 fewer calories a day, you will lose a pound a week. By this logic if a 170 pound woman eating 2500 calories a day, altered her diet to consume 2,000 calories she would lose 26 pounds in 6 months. After 3 years she would weigh only 14 pounds! If that sounds crazy, it’s because it is.

Here’s the truth: This old model of weight loss completely leaves out the fact that as we eat less, our body adapts burning fewer calories which means fewer pounds lost. Actual weight loss is a much more complicated and dynamic process. Better models of weight loss do exist and you can see one of them here.  But, even with this newer model, it does not mean we’ve “finally cracked the code.”  Because…

Here’s another truth: A certain amount of weight loss may not be good, healthy, or even accessible to you. We are all different shapes and sizes. Genetics has a major impact on how much weight you can lose along with changes to habits that are realistic and sustainable.

If you feel like you have good, realistic habits and you just can’t get the scale to budge, consider that you may be at a good-weight-for-your-body place. This is something only you can determine with the proper health practitioner whom you trust.

Regardless, the 3,500 calories per pound is a dangerous oversimplification that sets all of us up for failure.

read more: break out of scale jail (blog post)

watch: size diversity (video)

Reason 2: It’s a Distraction. Calorie counting interferes with listening to your body.

When you choose foods based on calories instead of hunger, you lose touch of whether or not you actually need to eat. Instead, stay in touch with your internal hunger and fullness cues.

Try eating more intuitively. Listen to what your body needs. Give it the fuel it needs and let it tell you when you have had enough. The more we ignore these signals the harder they are to hear, try replacing calorie counting with listening to your body.

Get more information on intuitive eating.

Reason 3: Mistakes, Mistakes, Mistakes

There are several apps and websites encouraging us to input what we eat so it can tell us how many calories we consumed for weight loss.

There are 2 problems here. First, these programs are based on the 3,500 calorie myth. Second, this assumes that the program knows exactly what we are eating and how many calories it contains.

How do you log the lunch from your favorite restaurant or your mother-in-law’s lasagna? The calorie calculations from these programs are not without error and you may make mistakes in estimating portions or ingredients. (You are human.)

How does relying heavily on calorie tracking help you, especially if the estimates are inaccurate? It’s like a GPS that can’t take you to your destination.

If calories help you learn about nutrition or make choices, don’t let me get in your way, but how can you use it as a guide more than a rule book and still practice your intuitive eating skills, flexibility, and self-trust?

Reason 4: It’s A Joyless Job

What about the pleasure of eating? Focusing on calories is exhausting and makes it hard to enjoy the foods we are eating. Whether it is a salad, fries, or a dessert, eat what you love (it’s your choice).

Instead of calorie counting, take the time to enjoy your food with all your senses. Don’t let the calories give you permission to eat. Go ahead and have fun with food. This is how we can feel satisfied instead of deprived, which can lead to overeating for many people anyway.

If this sounds like scary territory, set a boundary for yourself that you think is reasonable.

I Quit…

Years ago I used to put my hope into calorie counting. I’m over it. Instead, I do things that feel good, energizing, and fun. I don’t ignore my eating habits. I pay solid attention to them. I pay attention to my need for food, what I would enjoy, and how to make it more balanced. I quit calorie counting and instead put trust in myself to keep myself in check.

Do you have a special “I quit” story? Please share it in the comments below.  Or post a question to me if there is anything else I can help with.

We’re Up! #Spring2Wellness Challenge is On – Are You In?

Spring (1)

I am so excited to kick off my #Spring2Wellness Challenge and share fun and easy tips with you all! it’s not too late to sign up! If you need to get over a winter slump and want more energy, more fun, and more happiness! Come on and join the party!

What Do I Get, Rebecca?

Joining the challenge is the only way to get my exclusive tips, motivations, recipes, ideas and more. I’ll save you time by finding some of my internet faves and put it right in your inbox! Did I mention it’s free yet?


This is Not A Diet Plan

This is simply a way to challenge yourself to become healthier. I will not tell you “tips to lose weight.” Instead, I will be sharing my personal experiences and tips, recipes and more!

For example, I know that almost everybody LOVES avocados; they are yummy and offer nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving. So I want to share with you a great little article I found that shares 7 different ways to use (eat) avocados! Check it out: http://bit.ly/1CM8rDG

If you aren’t familiar with my non-diet approach to healthy living, read more about my philosophy and check out what others say testimonials from real clients.

Let’s Get It Started – Goal Setting

Last week, I asked #Spring2Wellness challengers to set a goal and what you want out of this.

You Can Do It: Write a personal mission statement.

A personal mission statement helps you decide at critical moments in your day what to do with your time and energy. It describes what type of person you want to be and what you want to achieve in your life. It can be as simple and short as one sentence.

Here’s mine I’m using for the challenge:

Give myself the tools I need to do my work and be there for my family with energy, compassion, and love!

This personal mission will help me focus on the importance of eating well, sleeping, and getting joyful exercise, even if it is super short, as in a 10 minute workout – better than zero, right?

Without a personal mission statement, our lives can seem chaotic, overly busy, with no real focus or drive.

Joining the challenge is the ONLY way you can receive the exclusive content in this challenge.

I’m In!


Enlist A Crew

People do better with support from friends. (It’s a scientific fact!) Ask you friends to join by sending them this blog post and sharing it on social media.

Facebook: Join me and Rebecca Scritchfield for a free 30-day wellness challenge. Get healthier and happier this spring season. #Spring2Wellness


Twitter: I’m taking the #Spring2WellnessChallenge with @ScritchfieldRD. Join us at http://wp.me/p2T0R-26t

Healthy (and easy!) Holiday Entertaining

Feeling overwhelmed by the holidays?  Are you looking for ways to simplify holiday entertaining so you can focus on the things that really matter, like hanging out with your family and friends?  I totally get it, which is why I recently appeared on WBAL in Baltimore to share my best tips for easy entertaining.  Yes, I said it, easy – it’s really all about keeping the food healthy and the people happy, which is so much simpler than it sounds!  Keep reading to learn my favorite time-saving tips and tricks.

rebecca wbal

Bring a Hostess Gift

If you’re not the one doing the actual entertaining, it’s always thoughtful to bring a gift for the hard-working hostess.  I love bringing all the fixings for a signature cocktail station with quality foods.  Some of my faves are Sweet Scarletts, which are sweet, Vitamin C-loaded grapefruits with a beautiful red color,  antioxidants and potassium-rich POM Wonderful juice, and POM POMS fresh pomegranate arils which do all the work of scooping the seeds for you.  Make cocktails with the juices and some vodka or champagne, or make mocktails by adding sparkling water.  Use the fresh Sweet Scarlett segments and POM POMS arils for a nutritious and gorgeous garnish.  POM has loads of drink recipes on their website for more boozy inspiration.

image source: pomwonderful.com

image source: pomwonderful.com

Another great hostess gift is a cheese board – bring it stocked with your favorite healthy snacks, and then leave it behind when the party ends.  I always include cubes of my favorite cheese (I love a sharp Cheddar) and Wonderful pistachios, which are full of protein and filling fiber, and have a big serving size – 30 pistachios have only about 100 calories.  Round out the cheese plate with Vitamin-C boosting-Halos, which are sweet, seedless, and easy to peel.

Score a Touchdown at Your Tailgate

Tailgate parties are all about the dip.  And did you know that Sabra is the official dip sponsor of the NFL and that you can win prizes like a trip to the 2016 Pro Bowl in Hawaii when you buy their dips?

Image source: sabra.com

Image source: sabra.com

There are tons of easy, festive ways to use Sabra dips during the holiday season.  I’m personally partial to their hummus because it has plant protein, fiber, and good-for-you fats, plus it tastes amazing.  Try warming it up since the weather is a bit cooler outside and top it with beautiful red pomegranate arils for a festive touch.  The Greek yogurt dip is another family favorite – serve it with your favorite veggies and warm pita triangles (just cut the what pita into wedges and microwave for a few seconds).  I like using red and green bell peppers at this time of year for a little kick of holiday cheer.  Speaking of red and green, pair up Salsa and Guacamole for a pretty party platter; just place them side by side and fill the rest of the platter with tortilla chips and you have a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Visit sabradiplife.com for coupons, recipes, and prize info.

Serve Wheat Foods with Confidence 

image source: wheatfoods.org

image source: wheatfoods.org

Wheat is the basis of just about all holiday baking and recipes! All your favorites share the benefits of wheat. Wheat foods help provide nutrients everyone needs, including B vitamins, fiber, and carbohydrates. It’s important to remember that carbohydrates are an essential part of a balanced eating. It can be a real time-saver to pick up items for breakfasts and snacks like muffins, banana bread, and scones – serve it with plain yogurt and fresh fruit for a well-balanced start to your day. Check out WheatFoods.org for versatile recipes like this Chicken Cashew Pasta, which you can serve hot or cold. Or a favorite especially around the holidays, Whole Wheat Spinach Lasagna.  If you have weight concerns, allow yourself to enjoy all foods in moderation and stick to an exercise routine that’s joyful through the holidays and into the New Year.

Sweeten Your Meals, Naturally

California Raisins are a great way to spice up your holiday menus and they offer a unique twist on traditional family favorites. Make them part of your holiday cookie decorating with festive gingerbread cookies freckled with California raisins. Raisins are an ingredient you can feel good about. They are an all-natural, dried-by-the-sun fruit, with no added sugar, no cholesterol and zero fat

Image source: calraisins.org

Image source: calraisins.org

I also love using them in festive side dishes like this Acorn Squash with California Raisins. It’s a beautiful presentation. California Raisins add a natural sweetness to dishes – and with only one ingredient – raisins! Visit LoveYourRaisins.com for these recipes and more!

Now it’s your turn – what are your favorite tips and tricks for holiday entertaining?  Leave a comment below or find me on Twitter @ScritchfieldRD.

Disclosure: I was compensated by California Raisins, Wheat Foods Council, Wonderful brands, and Sabra Dipping Company for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

Healthy Eating for Summer Barbecues

It’s that time of the year again – break out the grill!  Nothing says summer like a backyard BBQ or a picnic in the park.  It’s the perfect time to start flavoring up your favorite summer foods and drinks the healthy way! The key to creating a healthy summer BBQ is quality foods and ingredients.

Keep on reading to learn how to make your favorite summer foods healthy and flavorful.

Healthy Eating for Summer Barbecues on TV in Baltimore 

I recently appeared on WBAL with ideas for flavorful and healthy summer foods and drinks. Watch this clip for my tips and ideas, and check out the highlights below.

Featuring: Sunkist Grilled Marinated Rib Eye Steaks with Grapefruit Recipe, McCormick Asian Refrigerator Pickles Recipe, Wonderful Pistachios, The Real Deal Natural Snacks veggie chips, Pom Wonderful Juice Blends 


Add Flavor and Nutrients with Sunkist Citrus Fruits 

Sunkist offers a huge variety of premium quality fresh citrus year-round!  One of my favorite fruits to use in my summer dishes is grapefruit.  A true superfood, grapefruit provides antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, giving you the nutrients that promote heart health and glowing skin. Sunkist has a delicious Grilled Marinated Rib Eye Steaks with Grapefruit recipe that I love.  The rib-eyes are marinated with grapefruit juice, ginger, soy, and a little brown sugar for an amazing, zesty flavor, and then they’re grilled and topped with sauteed mushrooms.

Sunkist Valencia

The Sunkist recipe for Orange and Honey Grilled Chicken Strip Skewers is another favorite in my house. The chicken is marinated and basted with Sunkist Valencia oranges, green onion, cilantro and honey, and then grilled.  Sunkist Valencia oranges are at peak season now, and are ideal for juicing and marinades.  This recipe takes just 15 minutes and makes the perfect entree for your backyard barbecue!


Eat Colorful Summer Vegetables – Grilled or Pickled

Get your vitamins and minerals by eating all of those colorful summer veggies! Give your veggies a boost of flavor by using McCormick spices and herbs.  You can easily take advantage of fresh summer produce and make what’s good-for-you taste great with this simple Mixed Vegetable Grill recipe.  All you have to do is grab all of your favorite veggies and mix them in a bowl with a sweet and spicy blend of McCormick basil leaves, garlic powder, and black pepper with a touch of brown sugar.  Drizzle olive oil on top and then mix.  Once mixed, grill for about 10 minutes and you’ll have those great tasting veggies everyone will love!

McCormick Pickles

There’s always that new summer trend everyone’s talking about and wanting to try.  Well this summer, the latest trend is “quick pickling”.  Show off this new trend with the perfect Asian Refrigerator Pickles Recipe from McCormick.   These pickles are made with just English cucumber, red pepper, radishes, and carrots.  I personally use McCormick’s mixed pickling spice, because it gives you the right combination of spices and herbs, without the hassle of a full canning process. Check out McCormick.com for these recipes and tips to add more summer produce to the table and make your celebrations delicious.


Elevate Your Snacking Spread – Wonderful Pistachios

When looking for that great tasting crunchy summer snack, Pistachios are the way to go!  They make the perfect snack for munching on at your backyard BBQ while waiting for the grill, and they also go great with a cold beer.  They offer three times as many pieces per serving than potato chips and are a great source of protein and fiber.  We need protein in our diet for our body to repair and maintain itself, and fiber to prevent heart disease and lower our cholesterol!  If you want to add some flavor to your pistachios, don’t worry, Wonderful Pistachios come in many different flavors.  My favorite is Sweet Chili flavor which goes great paired with fresh watermelon.  This makes the perfect healthy snack to munch on during a hot summer day!



Smarter Snacks 

Another better-for-you snack to enjoy while soaking up the sun at your backyard BBQ are veggie chips by The Real Deal Natural Snacks.  They taste a lot better than those plain old boring potato chips and are all-natural, gluten free, vegan, kosher and have 80% less fat than potato chips!!  They are made with real green peas, corn and rice, and there’s a serving and a half of vegetables in each ounce!  They come in two great tasting varieties: Original, and Sriracha which gives a spicy flavor kick!  Add these to a burger if you’re looking for that crunch, or just set them out in a bowl for everyone to enjoy!

Real Deal Sriracha


Hydrate with 100% Juice and “Mocktails

It’s always important to stay hydrated, especially in hot summer weather.  POM Wonderful‘s refreshing 100% juice blends are a delicious choice for healthy summer hydration.  They come in three thirst-quenching blends:  POM Coconut, POM Hula and POM mango, each combining the beneifts of 100% pure pomegranate juice with refreshing flavors.  POM Coconut, a blend of pomegranate juice with coconut water is especially good for hydrating before, during, and after exercising because it delivers potassium and only 140 calories per 12 oz bottle.  POM Mango and POM Hula are perfect on their own or as cocktail or “mocktail” mixers for all your summer parties.  This POM Princess is one of my favorites – it combines POM Hula, lemonade, and sparkling water for an amazingly refreshing drink.  Get POM blends in a 12 oz bottle perfect for on-the-go hydration or family friendly 48 oz packaging.

POM blends


What are your favorite healthy summer foods?

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send a tweet to @ScritchfieldRD to share your favorite tips for flavorful and healthy summer cookouts.


Disclaimer: I was compensated by Sunkist, McCormick, Wonderful Pistachio, The Real Deal Natural Snacks and POM wonderful to do the tv segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

Meatless Monday: Grilled Vegetable Lasagna

Happy Meatless Monday!

We all know it’s sometimes a hassle to get dinner on the table. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to come home after a long day to a cooked meal waiting in the fridge?  This Grilled Vegetable Lasagna is that meal!  You can definitely dig in the day you make it, but this is also a great dish to prep on Sunday and then just reheat later in the week. This lasagna is a one stop shop filled with nourishing veggies, tender noodles and plenty of gooey cheese. It’s so satisfying you wont even miss the meat.

This wholesome dish is made with hearty eggplant and zucchini, which are a perfect match for the noodles, cheese and sauce.  If you have other vegetables on hand, feel free to throw them in – the more veggies the better!   I love that this recipe uses grilled vegetables – the  smoky flavor makes this dish a stand-out among other lasagnas. Hope you and your family love it!


Grilled Vegetable Lasagna Recipe

Photo from: http://www.myrecipes.com

Grilled Vegetable Lasagna

From: www.myrecipes.com

Serves 10


  • eggplants cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices (about 3 pounds)
  • zucchini cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch slices (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon salt divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper divided
  • red bell peppers quartered and seeded
  • 1 (15-ounce) container fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup grated Asiago cheese divided
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • lasagna noodles divided
  • 1 (26-ounce) jar tomato-basil spaghetti sauce divided
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese divided
  • 1/4 cup commercial pesto


  • Preheat grill.
  • Coat eggplants and zucchini with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Grill eggplant and zucchini 1 1/2 minutes on each side or just until tender. Cool; combine in a large bowl.
  • Place bell peppers on grill, skin-side down; grill 3 minutes or until tender. Cut into (1-inch-wide) strips. Add bell peppers to eggplant mixture.
  • Combine ricotta cheese, egg, 1/2 cup Asiago cheese, basil, parsley, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
  • Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions, omitting the salt and the fat.
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Spread 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over tomato sauce. Top with half of eggplant mixture. Spread half of ricotta cheese mixture over eggplant mixture; sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
  • Arrange 3 noodles and 1 cup of spaghetti sauce over cheese; cover with the remaining eggplant mixture. Top with remaining ricotta mixture. Spread pesto over ricotta; sprinkle with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Cover with remaining 3 noodles.
  • Spoon 1 cup spaghetti sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Asiago cheese and remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
  • Cover and bake at 375° for 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

To make ahead of time, bake for 45 minutes, let cool, and refrigerate until you’re ready to use.  Reheat, covered, at 375° for 30 – 40 minutes, and let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information per Serving:

Calories: 318
Fat: 10.4g
Cholesterol: 40mg
Sodium: 728mg
Fiber: 3.2g
Protein: 15.2g