Counting Calories for Weight Loss has been around for years, What can it do for you?
What is Counting Calories?
Counting Calories is the process of tracking the amount of Calories in the food you intake and the amount of Calories you burn in a day through exercise. A Goal can be created either to lose or gain weight based on your current situation, a target amount of net calories then gives you a guide on how much you should be eating per day to accomplish weight loss or gain. Approx 1 lb of fat equates to 3500 Calories, so in order to lose a pound a week, your net calories, after exercise, needs to be 3500 Calories a week lower than what it would take to maintain your current body weight. In saying that, if you want to lose 2 lbs a week then you would need to reduce Calorie intake by 7000 per week or 1000 Calories per day. It’s as simple as, if you eat more than you need you will gain weight.
Benefits of Keeping Track
The biggest benefit of keeping track is creating awareness of how much you are eating in a day or a sitting. You will quickly realize that you just ate 1000 more Calories in a day than you need, this adds up overtime and guess what….you gain weight. It will open your eyes and make you pay more attention to the Calorie content of food items and help you make better nutritious choices. For instance snacking on a bag of chips can be as much as 350 Calories out of a possible 1800 Calorie a day budget in order to lose weight and you will soon make a decision, do I want to waste my Calories on a bag of chips that took 5 min to eat, has limited nutritional value and chews up 20% of my daily intake to lose weight or snack on some vegetables. Awareness leads to healthier choices and a healthier you.
Do’s and Dont’s
Do eat nutritional food like vegetables and fruits that are high in nutrition and low in calories
Don’t eat junk foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition
Do let the Calorie counter guide you through a day’s calorie intake
Don’t let Calorie Counting completely take control and obsess, remember if you are trying to lose 2 lbs a week that’s 7000 calories less per week, if you go over by a few hundred calories here and there…it’s ok you are still losing weight.
Do count Calories with a friend or a group, it’s easy to bend the rules…but if you are discussing your diet and results with someone else it will help keep you on track
Don’t try and lose more than 2 lbs a week, if you starve yourself it could have an adverse affect and your overall health, think long term!
Do reward yourself, celebrate when you reach goals. It’s ok to go over once in a while, weight loss and eventual weight maintenance is a long term goal
If you own a smartphone their are many apps out there with databases of all the most common foods to help you determine the calorie amount what you are eating. These apps will also calculate and remind you to stay on track, some also have an online community to share ideas and for support.
Start out trying to lose 2 lbs a week, as you approach your goal switch to a 1 lb a week then to 1/2 a week to avoid bouncing back to your weight. Remember the long term goal is to maintain your new weight, getting to your final weight over a month versus a week gives your body time to be accustomed to your calorie intake for weight maintenance.
Think Long Term and Good Luck to You!
Get a Healthy Recipe book to help you create tasty nutritional meals like the Paleo Diet.
Click here to learn more on this great Paleo recipe book.