It’s true, if you want to lose weight you must consume less calories than you burn. Often, we hear “a calorie is just a calorie” or “if it fits my macros” or “100 calories of cake and 100 calories of broccoli is still 100 calories,” and there are plenty of programs and companies (Weight Watchers) that base weight loss plans off of this model. Unfortunately, there are many flaws to counting calories and in reality, a calorie isn't just a calorie.
There are a number of factors that affect how many calories your body absorbs from food and how many calories your body actually needs. These include, but aren’t limited to, gut health, sleep, stress, exercise, muscle mass, liver function, thyroid function, and hormones.
In addition to this, different foods have very different impacts on the body, your hormones, and metabolism, even if their calorie or macro content is the same.
Let’s look at 4 big problems with calorie counting.