Tracking your calories is a PROVEN weight loss strategy, however too few of us tally our intake – or even know how to. You can sharpen your calorie counting skills and slim down healthfully with a few tips.
Do you know how many calories you have consumed today? Do you know how many you should consume if you’re trying to maintain your current weight or lost weight?
It is estimated that only 9% of Americans keep track of their daily calorie intake and that same percentage is able to accurately estimate how many calories they should eat each day.
Counting calories may seem too simple to work … especially with all of the sophisticated weight loss trends focused on everything from no carbs, high carbs, raw food, high fat, low fat, and everything in between!
The truth is calorie counting for weight loss works, it just takes some time and practice to get used to doing it and have it start working for you!
Sustained, healthy weight loss boils down to a pretty basic equation: fewer calories plus more exercise = weight loss.
So if it is easy (after you learn the basics) and it works … why aren’t more people doing it? The biggest reasons are people think it is hard and that they are too busy to start and maintain counting consistently.
Here are some tips to help you ease into it. Like many things new, it takes time to become second nature but it is worth the effort in the end.
Tip 1: Determine Your Daily Calorie Intake For Weight Loss
The “magic number” that we have always heard when it comes to daily caloric intake is 2000 calories per day. That’s what most of the food labels we read (or should be reading) state. The problem is everyone is different and that might not be the caloric intake number you need to maintain to start losing weight. To determine the number of calories you can consume and still lose weight, use an online tool such as My Fitness Pal. There are many free weight loss tools available on the internet, it will be easy to find one that you love. It is simple, you enter your weight, height, age, and a few other pieces of information that are used to calculate the specific number of calories you should be eating daily. Then, to lose weight, you to stay as close to that number as possible on a daily basis. There are no shortcuts!
Tip 2 : Keep A Food Journal
Keeping a journal of the foods you eat daily is very helpful when starting to count calories! Forcing yourself to write down what you are putting in your mouth is a great way to help you stay accountable and makes you realize at a glance how much and what you are consuming on a daily basis. You very possibly will be shocked to see all the little things that add up over a day!
Tip 3: Plan and Prepare Meals Ahead
It is SO much easier to stick to your daily calories if you plan and prepare many if not all of your meals ahead of time. You can do this through menu planning, make ahead meals, and preparing healthy snacks in advance. Keep it simple!
The nice thing with counting calories is there are no special foods, shakes, or difficult recipes. You can eat what you want as long as you stay within your calories. Keep in mind however, becoming healthy is more than just losing weight, eat healthy quality foods. Choose foods and recipes that are low in calories and also nutrient dense.
By: Stephanne Russell