Calorie counting can be an important part of your overall weight loss goals. In fact, it can give you a clearer outlook on how you need to change you diet for the better in order to achieve these goals.
However, even though calorie counting can be an important part of your diet, there are many individuals that don’t know how to do so properly. Because of this we have provided you with 3 basic rules you should be following in order to make your calorie counting a success.
1. Not An Excuse To Eat Unhealthy
First I want to make it very clear that calorie counting should not be an excuse to eat junk food all the time. Just because you are skipping dinner to eat that big piece of chocolate cake does not make it right when it comes to your health.
Many foods that are less healthy may offer the same amount of calories as foods that are more on the healthier side, but this does not mean that they offer the same benefits at the nutrient and micronutrient level. Calories in foods are made up of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Different foods have different balances of these nutrients and vary in the types and amounts of micronutrients they offer.
As a basic rule, try to get most of your calories from whole food sources and from a variety of different sources including fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy. Making it a point to avoid empty calories and less healthy food sources and replacing them with whole foods can make a huge difference in the amount of energy you have to go about daily tasks.
2.Calories In vs. Calories Out
The next important thing to remember is to track not only your calories in but also how many calories your body needs in order to function properly throughout the day. Keep in mind that this amount will change as your body composition changes.
The simplest way I have found to keep track of calories is by using MyFitnessPal. They provide tools that are easy to use and quite accurate. It is also free which is a definite plus. All you have to do is enter in some basic information and it will help you keep track of the amount of calories you should be consuming.
3. Tracking Calories
This step involves a combination of the last two steps. Now that you know to avoid empty calories and that calories in vs. calories out is important to keep in mind, the next step is actually keeping track of the calories you consume. Using the information received from MyFitnessPal you should generate a meal plan according to your caloric needs. As stated above, this meal plan should consist of mostly whole foods.
The easiest and most accurate way I have found to keep track of calories is by looking at the nutrition label of foods you are consuming and writing it down on paper throughout the day. Shoot for a diet that consists of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fats. You can also use MyFitnessPal to keep track of the foods you are consuming throughout the day.
So, take these 3 calorie counting basics and incorporate them into your weight loss program in order to see the results you want and reach your overall goals. You will be amazed at the difference counting calories and a few little changes to your diet can make.
By Wes Young