Wellness Warrior

The Amazing Power Of Calorie Counting To Lose Weight.

Calorie counting has changed my life when it comes to losing weight. This has been the only way I have managed to sustainably lose weight without falling off the bandwagon every weekend. Calorie counting is not a new concept. It’s been around for decades and has worked for thousands of people to achieve their weight loss goals. While it may sound like something minor, the power of calorie counting goes far beyond just a way to lose weight, the health benefits will change your life.

power of calorie counting to lose weight
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What is calorie counting and can you lose weight by counting calories?

Calorie counting is a way of tracking the number of calories you eat in a day to manage weight. When you practice calorie counting, usually you would use an app like MyFitnessPal to track the calories in your food accurately. By maintaining a calorie deficit you can lose weight effectively. This process is based on the fundamental principle of weight loss: to shed pounds, you must burn more calories than you eat. Calorie counting gives you a structured framework for weight loss, creating awareness, accountability, and flexibility in the foods you choose to eat. If you stay consistent and stick to “healthier” food choices, you can lose weight without even having to do any workouts.

The benefits of the power of calorie counting.

Calorie counting can do so much for your body not to mention how it can help you lose weight. Using a food journal can also help keep track of your calories and food. It might seem hard at first, but soon enough it becomes second nature, and staying within your calorie budget becomes a breeze.

  • Better food awareness: Calorie counting increases mindfulness about food choices and portion sizes, creating a deeper understanding of your eating habits.
  • Accountability: Tracking calories holds you accountable for your dietary choices, making it easier to stay on track with your weight loss goals.
  • It’s flexible: Unlike restrictive diets, calorie counting allows for flexibility in food choices, allowing you to enjoy a variety of foods while still achieving weight loss.
  • Portion control: By measuring and logging your food intake, you gain control over portion sizes, preventing overeating.
  • It’s personalized to you: Calorie counting can be tailored to fit individual needs and preferences, providing a personalized approach to weight loss.
  • It’s a learning experience: Using calorie counting educates you about the nutritional content of different foods, helping you to make informed choices about your diet.
  • Sustainability: Calorie counting creates sustainable weight loss habits that can be maintained over the long term, reducing the likelihood of rebound weight gain.
  • Trackable progress: Tracking your calorie intake allows you to monitor your progress over time, providing tangible feedback and motivation for continued success.

A guide on how to do calorie counting to lose weight.

When I first started with calorie counting I was so confused and didn’t really know where to start. After some time it got easier as I was getting the hang of things, but there sure are a few things to keep in mind when you’re thinking of doing calorie counting to lose weight. The most important thing to keep in mind is to listen to your body. It knows what you need.

Calculate Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

Before even thinking of starting calorie counting and setting an unreachable calorie goal, you need to know what your BMR is. Your BMR represents the number of calories your body needs to sustain basic physiological functions at rest, like breathing, blood circulation, and cell repair. By knowing your BMR, you’ll be able to know the minimum amount of energy your body needs to maintain its current weight. Various factors, like age, gender, weight, height, and body composition, influence your BMR.

There are a few different formulas and online calculators available to estimate BMR, but it’s important to remember that these calculations give you a rough estimate rather than an exact figure. Your main goal is to try and balance the calories-in to the calories-out so that you can stay energized and healthy while losing weight.

Have realistic goals and start slowly.

No matter what you take on in life, it’s always better to start slowly rather than jumping in with big expectations as it can lead to burnout and cause you to not reach your goals. Start by setting achievable goals that align with your lifestyle, preferences, and desired outcomes. Consider things like your current eating habits, activity level, and weight loss goals when determining your calorie intake target.

Start by tracking your food intake without making drastic changes to your diet, allowing yourself time to adjust to the process and understand your eating patterns. As you become more comfortable with calorie counting, gradually fine-tune your goals and eating habits to help you reach your target. The most important thing is that this should turn into a sustainable lifestyle and not just another fad to lose weight quickly. It’s a good idea to invest in a good quality food scale to make sure you are tracking your foods correctly.

Get to know your low calorie options.

Before I started calorie counting to lose weight, I got to know my low calorie options so that I know what to fill my plate up with. There is nothing more horrible than being on a diet and feeling starved most of the time. Knowing what some go-to low calorie options are, is a great way to stay fueled without breaking the calorie bank. Adding plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to your diet can help fill you up. Calorie counting doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor or satisfaction, it just means making more mindful decisions when it comes to food.

Low calorie foods to fill up on:

  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale, lettuce, arugula).
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts).
  • Tomatoes.
  • All green veggies.
  • Mushrooms.
  • Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries).
  • Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, lemons).
  • Watermelon.
  • Apples.
  • Pears.
  • Papaya.
  • Plain Greek yogurt (low-fat or non-fat).
  • Cottage cheese (low-fat).
  • Lean protein (chicken breast, turkey, seafood).
  • Tofu.
  • Egg whites.
low calorie food

RELATED: The Calories Per Doughnut You Love.

Learn how to read food labels.

Learning how to read food labels is an important part of calorie counting to lose weight. Food labels give you valuable information about the nutritional content of packaged foods, helping you make informed choices about your diet. When counting calories, pay close attention to the serving size, total calories per serving, and the number of servings per container. Some brands will list the calories per serving on the package, but the vast majority don’t even bother and only list the kilojoules (KJ).

To work out the calories quickly without having to use an app, take the kilojoules (KJ) and divide it by 4 to get the amount of calories. So if the serving KJ’s are 800, then the serving has 200 calories.

Keep your macronutrients in mind.

Don’t worry, it sounds more terrifying than it actually is. Calorie counting is a great way to lose weight and stay healthy, but eating your day’s worth of calories in chocolate won’t be beneficial either, although it sounds very tempting! Most of the good calorie counting apps will do all the heavy lifting for you and establish what your daily macronutrients should be and trying to balance out those intakes is a great way to stay healthy and fueled. Your biggest priority should be nourishing your body with the right foods and you’ll feel better than ever before.

Your main macronutrients to keep an eye on:

  • Carbohydrates: Carbs are the body’s primary source of energy. They are found in foods like grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and dairy products. Carbs are broken down into glucose, which is used by the body for fuel. Don’t be afraid to eat carbs, carbs don’t cause weight gain, and excessive amount of calories do.
  • Proteins: Proteins are essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. They are made up of amino acids, which are often referred to as the building blocks of protein. Make sure to try and hit your protein goal for the day to be able to see the best results in weight loss and building muscle. Try adding Protein Powder to a snack or dessert to help reach your daily goal.
  • Fats: Fats are another source of energy and are used for various bodily functions, including hormone production, nutrient absorption, and insulation. Healthy fats are your friend and make for a well-balanced diet, and your skin will thank you too.

Enjoy the freedom you are given.

The great thing about calorie counting is that it gives you the freedom to adapt your diet in any way you feel like. The best thing I have ever heard is that “One salad won’t make you lose weight and in the same way, one burger won’t make you gain either.” Staying consistent is the best way to make sure that you will reach your goals, if you have a day where you decide to not track your calories and just indulge, that’s perfectly fine. Just get back on track the following day. It’s also so easy to plan your day around events and meals you might have.

If I know that I will be going out for dinner and I’ve been looking forward to a slice of cake or pizza, I’ll make sure that my other meals are as low calorie, but nutritious as possible, making way for the meal I will be having later in the day. Calorie counting doesn’t limit you to “healthy” or “unhealthy” foods, it just helps you be more aware of the foods you are eating and putting into your body. Consistency is key, and although the results might take time, they are there to stay.

healthy food choices

RELATED: 11 Best Healthy Snacks To Give You Energy.

Surprisingly high calorie foods.

There are so many different foods that are pushed as healthy and while they are great for you, they are better eaten in moderation. I went through a phase in my life where I was eating so healthy and working out but I wasn’t losing any weight and I could never understand why until I started tracking my calories. I realized that I was taking in huge amounts of calories without even knowing it.

Foods to eat in moderation:

  • Nuts and nut butter: While nuts are nutritious and packed with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, they are also calorie-dense. A small handful of nuts or a spoonful of nut butter can quickly add up in calories.
  • Avocado: Avocados are rich in healthy fats, making them a nutritious addition to meals. However, their high calorie content may come as a surprise to some, especially when eaten in large quantities or as part of dishes like guacamole.
  • Granola: Granola often contains a mix of oats, nuts, seeds, and sweeteners, making it a calorie-dense food. While it can be a convenient and tasty option for breakfast or snacks, be mindful of portion sizes to avoid consuming excess calories.
  • Dried Fruit: Dried fruits like raisins, dates, and apricots are concentrated sources of natural sugars and calories. While they offer some nutritional benefits, they should be enjoyed in moderation to prevent overconsumption of calories.
  • Salad Dressings: Creamy salad dressings, especially those made with mayonnaise or oil, can significantly increase the calorie content of salads. Opt for lighter dressings or use them sparingly to keep calorie intake in check.
  • Smoothies: While smoothies can be a healthy and convenient way to pack in nutrients, they can also be calorie bombs, especially when loaded with high-calorie ingredients like fruit juices, sweeteners, and large amounts of nuts or nut butter.
  • Cheese: Cheese is a delicious and versatile ingredient, but it’s also calorie-dense due to its high fat content. Be mindful of portion sizes when adding cheese to meals or snacks to avoid consuming excess calories.

Conclusion.

The power of calorie counting to lose weight is undeniable. It gives you a straightforward yet effective approach to managing your food intake, promoting awareness, accountability, flexibility, and empowerment along the way. Calorie counting has changed the way I look at food and can have great benefits for your health, remember to stay consistent and be mindful of your food and you’re already on the right path.

Happy Counting,

Your Wellness Warrior!


5 thoughts on “The Amazing Power Of Calorie Counting To Lose Weight.”

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