Fat Loss Nutrition

Nutrition Challenge 1 – Counting Calories

The Importance of Counting Calories

You want to lose weight. So what do you do? You exercise like crazy and try to eat a sensible diet. But for some reason, week after week, the scale says the same thing.  You just can’t seem to lose the weight no matter how hard you try.

So what’s the deal? Why isn’t the fat melting off like you imagined? Well, sometimes what we imagine as a “sensible” diet really isn’t that sensible.

For instance, you might think because you had a salad for lunch that you have been eating healthy. Salads can be low in calories if you eat the right salad. But, let’s be honest, we don’t always do that. Once you add cheese, croutons and a whole bunch of salad dressing, your idea of having a sensible lunch is ruined.  Then later in the evening when you are trying to decide if you can have that piece of chocolate cake you remember the healthy lunch you had and you figure you can reward yourself by eating the cake.

Another problem is that we are eating much more than we think we are. We might think we are pouring ourselves 2/3 a cup of cereal in the morning (like the serving size on the label suggests) but if we were to actually measure it out we may find that we are actually eating closer to 2 cups of cereal.

So what can you do to fix this? The key to making sure that you are actually eating a sensible diet is to track everything you eat.  Sounds like a pain, doesn’t it? Well it isn’t. It can actually be really simple!

Instead of looking at nutrition labels and trying to figure out how many calories you ate, you can just plug in your meals online and the computer pops out the amount of calories you are eating. There are so many websites that are available to help you track your calories throughout the day.  Myfitnesspal, Lose It, and Dailyburn are a few of the big ones.  My favorite is myfitnesspal. I even have the app on my phone so I can track what I am eating anywhere, anytime.  It makes it so easy for me to keep track of how much I am eating throughout the day and to be more conscientious about what I am putting in to my body.

The tracking websites are nice because they give you the amount of calories that you should be taking in each day in order to lose a certain amount of weight each week.  So you enter your height, current weight and your goal weight and the website tells you how many calories you should be eating each day.  Most of the sites are free, too!

Losing weight really is a balance of exercising and eating right. And too often, we think we’re eating healthy, but calories creep in throughout the day completely unnoticed. You won’t have to count calories forever, but doing it for a few weeks is going to be eye-opening! And it’ll ultimately help give you the perspective you need in order to revolutionize your diet and get the body you want.

So go ahead and try tracking your calories. You just might be surprised at where you find those extra calories sneaking in! 

This is the nutrition article for Week 1 of our Shape Up Challenge.



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