Calorie counting or calorie restriction is something we are ALL doing in one form or another to lose weight. Calories are a measure of energy and are commonly used to describe the energy content of foods. Counting calories works and is a good way to lose weight – it’s the science of energy in vs. energy out.
Find out how many calories you burn daily – this is the number of calories you normally burn without exercise in your regular daily activities. It is actually very simple:-
For men – Multiply your body weight by ten, then to this sum add twice your body weight.
For example: If you weigh 200lb, the formula would be (200 X 10) + (200 x 2) = 2000 + 400 = 2400 calories to go about your daily routine.
For women – Multiply your weight by ten, then add your original weight.
For example: If you weigh 120lb the formula would be (120 x 10) + 120 = 1200 + 120 = 1320 calories.
Here are some guidelines on losing weight by counting calories.
- Calculate your daily calorie intake – track your meals for a week or two to monitor how many calories you take in on average eating your normal diet. Keep a journal and carefully note all the food you eat and beverages you drink and calculate the corresponding calorie counts on each. Add up your daily intake everyday and note the difference between this and your daily calorie requirement.
- If you are regularly taking in a surplus of calories against the number that you burn daily, those extras will be stored in your body as fat and will reflect on the scales as weight gain. If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight.
Adjusting your calorie intake doesn’t always mean eating less, it’s also about eating right:-
- Instead of filling your plate with high-calorie, high-fat food, eat fruits and vegetables
- Avoid sauces, sweets and alcohol.
- Forego soda and energy drinks, drink more green tea
- Learn to appreciate and get used to fish, lean meat, poultry, whole grains and drink plenty of water daily
These slight changes to your diet will result in a healthier lifestyle and you have a better chance at weight loss through this holistic approach.
Counting calories doesn’t work for everyone as some people need a more formal plan to do it (such as Weight Watchers) and some people can’t handle numbers or plans at all and would rather follow a more intuitive approach.