Counting calories is something we women can do very well. Maybe we do it to slim down, because let’s face it: slim is in. Or, perhaps counting calories is a way to feel like you’re in control of your life – especially when things are slipping out of your control. Whatever the motivation is for counting calories, there’s something you should know: it’s okay to stop. Here’s why.

Calories are not created equal

Calories are just a number, but they don’t really say to much about the nutrient content of any given food. For example, a bag of sweets and an avocado may have the same amount of calories, but they provide the body with very different things. Sweets load you up on too much crappy sugar. On the other hand, avocados provide healthy fats and fiber.

Fats are not the enemy

In our effort to stay thin and slim, we eschew fat, but did you know that fats are the friend, not the foe? Healthy sources of fat nourish mind and body, and they help you absorb all the other nutrients you’re eating.

Fat keeps you full

When you restrict calories and avoid fat, you will probably feel hungry and not very satisfied. But when you consume good fats, it satiates you and helps you feel relaxed and calm. Good fats to include into you diet are coconut and olive oils, along with avocados, and omega-3 fatty acids, present in oily fish like salmon and mackerel.

Focus on portion, not calories

You might be afraid that if you stop counting calories, you’ll overeat and gain unnecessary weight. But it doesn’t have to work that way. So, instead of diligently counting every calorie, just think about portions.

With each meal, try to have a palm size amount of protein, and all the vegetables and fruits you like. And you can still enjoy sugary goodies, but just try to snack in in moderation.