When it comes to diet and nutrition, you will often be told that it all comes down to calories, and the macros that makes them up. This isn't wrong - however, there is more to it than that.
On an objective level, humans do work on an energy goes in, and energy goes out basis. But humans aren't subjective and it's never that clearcut.
Food is Fuel.
Food is fuel, there's no denying that. But it is also more. They have social and emotional content too.
If you think of major holidays throughout the year, they are marked with meals - this could be Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving or birthdays. This is because food is something that we can all share in, even if our diets and tastes differ, we can always sit down together and share the experience itself.
For the above reason it is also emotional, as it helps to bring people together. But for other people it can be a coping mechanism or an anxiety trigger. The full extent of this is outside my scope of knowledge but this is why diet and nutrition needs to be seen as more than just macros.
Calorie counting is just one possible tool you can use when building a diet. It is certainly not the be all and end all.
A diet might not be getting you to your goals because it doesn't suit you, or because your lifestyle or emotions are forming your eating habits.
(I just want to underline, that if you do have emotional issues with eating then you should talk to someone qualified about it - there are ways to help).
To help you have a better relationship with food a number of habits can be implemented. My blog has mainly been habits based this year hasn't it? And there's a good reason for that - the quicker you can do these things on autopilot the quicker they become part of your life.
These habits could be -
This list could go on, but it is a good one to start with. Incorporating most of these would lead you to eating a few solid, square meals with an adequate amount of protein and at times where you need to eat and it won't effect your sleep and every day life.
It's about habits again. This is how I coach, the more you can do without thinking about it, the easier the lifestyle becomes and the less likely you are to relapse into previous habits.
Be kind to yourself and be honest to yourself and make the changes where you need them.