A calorie is a simple unit of energy, and something the body needs in order to carry out its daily functions properly. Without calories, we couldn’t live, so it’s important to remember that losing weight isn’t just about cutting as many calories from your diet as possible. Often, you’ll need to think about a range of factors when improving your wellbeing; from the kind of foods you should be getting your calories from, to how many you should eat each day.
Calorie counting is a popular way for people to keep track of what they eat day to day. For instance, if you know how many calories you’re pouring into your favorite blender for your morning smoothie, you’ll also know how many calories you have left to use throughout the remainder of the day. To help you understand the truth about calorie counting, we’ve put together some “do’s” and “don’ts” that might just get you started.
A Caveat About Calorie Counting
Importantly, although calorie counting can be a great way to optimize your weight loss, it’s something you need to do with care. Obsessing over every calorie can be dangerous, and it may even mean that you forget about other important aspects of weight loss, like regular exercise. While it’s nice to look at food in numbers, rather than having to worry about the varying effects different substances can have on our body, try to remember that calories aren’t the be-all and end-all of everything.
What Not to Do When Counting Calories
First, if you want to count calories correctly, then you might need to figure out what “not” to do before you can have true success. Here are some of the “don’ts” for calorie counting that you should keep in mind.
- Don’t Rely Entirely on Your Memory: Whether you’re dieting or not, it’s tough to remember the exact numbers of every calorie you’ve eaten each day. Lifesum is the best choice to help out on this task!
- Don’t Guess: People tend to underestimate food portions, which is why there are plenty of foods that we can easily overeat. If you want to get the right amount of each food into your diet, try investing in a portion measuring device.
- Don’t forget about snacks: A common mistake that calorie counters make is forgetting to think about small snacks and nibbles – unfortunately, everything you eat and drink contributes towards your number.
- Don’t just track calories: Yes, it is important to understand your total calorie intake each day when you’re trying to lose weight, but you still need to make sure you’re eating the right nutrients. If you’re trying to build up lean muscle, for example, you need a lot of protein.
The “Do’s” Of Counting Calories
Although counting calories can be a complicated process, use of a few tips and tricks can make it a whole lot easier. Here are a few of our tips:
- Do invest in a calorie-tracking device: You’re more likely to get an accurate insight into your meals if you use tools and applications to help you. Make sure you have Lifesum on your phone to help you out. The premium version is cheaper than your favorite frappucino. It’s worth it!
- Do make a habit of writing things down: If you eat or drink something, get into the habit of writing it down immediately. This can help you to see how small indulgences throughout the day make a huge difference to your results.
- Do find something that fits your lifestyle: While online tools might work for people who sit in front of a computer regularly, others will prefer apps or a simple notepad to help them accomplish their goals. Find the calorie-counting solution that works for you.
- Do break down the essential nutrients: As well as recording the total number of calories you consume each day, make sure to record things like fat, carbohydrates, and protein too. This will help you to improve your health by eliminating things like trans fats and increasing your intake of fiber and protein.
Remember, while there’s a lot more to losing weight and improving your health than writing down every calorie you eat, keeping track of the things you consume can help you to better understand your dieting habits, so you can make a sustainable change to your lifestyle.
Rebekah is a professional full-time health and marketing writer, with knowledge in everything from technology, to healthy eating. She’s constantly exploring new recipes and solutions to help her improve her health and fitness.