Historically, any time we want to drop a few pounds, we start out by keeping track of (and limiting) our caloric intake. And while that might pay off in the short term, it kind of…makes us crazy. So we stopped. And it was wonderful. Here, five things that might happen to you if you follow our lead and quit counting cals.

RELATED: 20 Ways to Practice Self-Care in 2017

calories 1
ShotShare/Getty Images

You Might Lose Weight

Once you start eating healthy foods because they’re good for you (and not as a means to an end), your body—and the number on the scale—just might be better off. A study from the University of California, San Francisco found that women on a limited calorie diet had increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can rev up your appetite and lead to increased belly fat.

RELATED: Science Confirms the Best Way to Lose Weight Is to Stop Talking About It

calories 2
ArthurHidden/Getty Images

And Be Happier

Staying on top of calories consumed and burned takes a lot of time and effort. Giving yourself a break and not being so strict will not only relax you, it’ll give you a lot more time to do things you actually enjoy.

RELATED: Quiz: How Happy Are You?

calories 3
BraunS/Getty Images

You Might Have More Energy

When you’re focusing on calories and not nutritional value, you’re likely going for lower quality foods—maybe even ones that are bringing down your energy level. Switch from snoozy 100-calorie cracker packs to healthy protein, veggies and whole grains and you’ll definitely get a much-needed energy boost.

RELATED: 4 Unexpected Ways to Get an Instant Energy Boost

calories 4
Twenty20

You’ll Probably Eat More Healthy Fats

You might’ve heard that “a calorie is a calorie.” But is a 100 calories of Skittles really the same as 100 calories of quinoa? Not exactly. “Good” calories, like the ones found in avocados and whole grains, help you stay fuller longer, meaning that if you load up on them early, you’re less likely to go for sugary “bad” calories later in the day.

calories 5
izusek/Getty Images

You’ll Enjoy Food More

When you’re counting calories, you think about food in 30- and 40-calorie increments. When you stop, you start thinking about tomatoes and turkey and bagels and oh-my-God a giant bowl of strawberries. Sounds a whole lot yummier to us.

RELATED: How Mindful Eating Could Change Your Whole Damn Life

From Around The Web