For myself and my family we measure the calories we consume in how they were used.
Spending time with family and sharing a meal around the table shouldn’t count in a calorie count. I was spending time with the people I most cared about. Those calories were worth something more than just energy. They made me become a part of my family and be able to share something important with them. If I had been worrying about the fat I was eating at the time, it would not have brought me the great memories it did.
Birthday cake at your own party shouldn’t count. Neither should Thanksgiving dinner. Or Christmas or Chanukah. I think it is the memories made that matter.
When visiting a faraway country and eating a traditional meal, I don’t think about how many pounds I’ll gain from it. That isn’t what I am learning about. Food is a way to share what you most care about with the people around you. It allows cultures to express themselves in ways that cannot be told in words.
Sharing a recipe means trusting someone with something very near to you. Cooking your Grandma’s favorite cookies for another isn’t just for the energy gained from it, it is for the memories that come with the cookie. The history that that cookie went through to be created.
While it is important not to overindulge, calories are not something to follow at all times. They are something to listen to when your meal is simply because you are hungry. Traditions and sharing should dictate your diet plan.