Should You Count Calories For Weight Loss?
Losing weight can be a complicated and tricky process for many individuals. With the large amount of information
available these days it can be hard to tell what is fact and what is fiction.
Counting calories is something that has been shown to improve weight loss progress and help you see results.
In this article I will discuss the importance of counting calories, how you should count calories and some great
websites to help you during your weight loss journey.
Losing weight comes down to one simple principle – you will lose weight if you burn more calories than you
consume. It doesn’t matter what you eat – burgers, ice cream, bacon – as long as you burn more calories than you
consume each day, you will lose weight.
Many people get frustrated with diets because they eat healthy for a couple weeks but don’t see any weight loss.
What these people don’t realize is that it is possible to gain weight by
eating vegetables and fruits. Because of this, it is critical that you calculate how many calories you need each
day and track them.
To calculate your daily calories, find your basal metabolic rate and activity level (can be done using a simple
internet search). This calculation will help you find the number of calories your body needs to maintain it’s
current weight (maintenance calories). Once you have this number, you should subtract around 500 calories.
This will help you see a loss of around 1 pound a week. By tracking your calories you will make sure you are
hitting these calories each day. If you don’t see a loss after the first week, you can lower your calories even
further (making sure not to go below 1200 calories per day) and adjust your intake until you see results.
Tracking your calories shouldn’t be stressful. Use websites like www.caloriecounter.com, www.fitday.com,
www.myfitnesspal.com, or www.sparkpeople.com to make it easy. Most sites have large food databases, making
it easy to pick the food you consumed and add it to your total.
At the end of each day, evaluate your food choices and take a look at areas where you could improve. Many people
fail with calorie counting because they become obsessed with numbers. To prevent this, don’t worry if you find
yourself going over by a few calories – a few calories here and there won’t make a big difference.
As I mentioned, you can eat basically whatever you want as long as you stay within your calorie range. With that
being said, processed and fast foods will obviously contain more calories than vegetables and fruits, making it
easier to reach your daily calorie limit and overeat.
Not only do healthy foods provide you with more energy during the day, they also keep you full longer and allow
you to eat more during the day. Keep this in mind when choosing foods to eat!
Counting calories is not a necessity for losing weight, but it is something that is extremely effective and
worth trying. As you get better at it, you will able to estimate portions and quickly calculate calories, making it
easier to stay within your calorie limit and lose weight faster. Stay consistent and be patient – you will see
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