Calorie Counting Tips for Your Everyday Use
If you are serious about calorie counting, then these tips will come in handy. We all have different weight management objectives as a lot of us grapple with our weights. No thanks to the availability of fattening diets and a lifestyle that is becoming more sedentary by the minute.
A lot of people find calorie counting as a way of dieting daunting mainly because it requires some effort on your part for it to succeed.
Well, fear not because the truth is, it is not as difficult as it looks from a distance. Once you get into it, it becomes easier as time goes on. You will get into a rhythm in a couple of days or weeks and soon it will become second nature to you.
You will be glad to know that modern technology has simplified some of the tasks involved as I will point out later on.
Yes, innovative technology has made the life of calorie counting enthusiasts so much easier that you don’t have to lose sleep over getting it right the first time.
Having said that, it is good discipline though to learn the basic way of doing things in the event you have no access to the modern tools available or may be you are an individual who hates technology and just love to do things the old, traditional way.
Its good to have that element of choice though and I have therefore provided this simple step by step way to begin this fun process and probably make it a way of life for yourself rather than just a means to an end.
This is one of the best approaches to shedding weight and actually keeping it off in the long term, thereby avoiding the yo-yo weight loss mentality. Your health will improve in the process with immeasurable benefits.
So don’t worry if as you go through this page the little maths seem a bit overwhelming (actually they are not if you apply yourself), simply use the recommended tools instead to make your life easier, after all that’s what the tools are meant for.
Calorie Counting Requirements
A Journal for you to record your calorie intake, foods and exercise activities
A Weighing Scale to weigh your food
A Calculator to do the simple maths involved
A Measuring cup to complement the weighing scale
A Food list with their caloric content
Understand nutrition labels. When you buy any food from the grocery shop, read the labels and learn how to interpret them in relation to the various components i.e carbohydrate, protein, fat and fibre.
You will come across foods without nutrition label commonly. To get the caloric value of each food item where nutrition label is lacking, visit the USDA free database or some other trusted database you know to get the caloric information.
Also learn how to work out the calories contained in each component and sum them up to get the final calorie value of the meal.
As a guide, here is a general calorific value of the main food components.
Carbohydrate – 4 Calories per gram
Protein – 4 Calories per gram
Fat – 9 Calories per gram
Beginning of calorie counting dieting
A lot of people don’t quite know how to begin the journey. The simplest way to do it is, to set a standard for yourself. Don’t worry, it’s easy.
All you do is eat as you would normally for the first week but this time, keep a record of what you eat and more importantly, measure and weigh every food you consume in that first week.
For instance, I like peanuts and the database on nutrition label tells me that 1 oz of peanuts is 28.35gm and this amount represents 1 serving. The label also tells me that 1 serving has 161 calories.
If I take a scoop of peanuts with my cup for consumption, weigh it and it weighs 70grams, then I will work out the number of calories in that scoop, we need to work out the number of servings in that scoop first.
No of servings in that scoop will be 70gms divided by 28.35gms – 70 / 28.35 = 2.46 servings
The next step is to multiply the number of servings by calories per serving to get your total calories in that scoop of peanuts i.e 2.46 X 161 = 396 Calories
So the total calories in that peanut scoop = 396 Calories
This is what I’m eating this afternoon and I will note this value down in my Journal. You need to do this for all the food you consume that week to have a standard.
Know how much calories you want to cut back
You should have determined previously how much weight you want to lose and over how long. This is how you work out how much calories you want to cut back each day.
If you don’t know how to determine this, visit the how many calories do I need a day page, to learn how. I’ve described in detail on that page how to go about that step.
Now the journey begins
What is important here is, you want to tie the food quantity with your caloric requirements for each day. If you want to cut back on say 400 Calories per day, it’s up to you how you want to spread it out.
Back to my example above, if I want to deny myself 246 Calories from the peanuts (having started my calorie counting journey), leaving me with 150 Calories, the question I will need to answer is ‘how many grams of the peanuts will give me the 150 Calories I need?’
Remember that there are 396 Calories in 70 grams of peanuts from my Journal entry of last week.
To work that out, I will divide 150 Calories that I need by the total 396 calories in that entire scoop
i.e 150 / 396 = 0.38
Then multiply the 0.38 by the 70 grams I ate last week i.e 0.38 X 70 = 26.6grams
Round the figure up to 27gm and I will be confident that I am only consuming 150 calories this time around.
You may experience hunger though because you are having less than your usual quantities but you have to learn to deal with it and indeed over time, your body will get used to it.
That’s how to go about the calorie counting and if done correctly, you will get substantial results.
Now from the above, you can’t help but notice it could get a wee bit tedious trying to get all your calorie figures together, along with a food list plus your exercise activity. This is one reason why people get discouraged from undertaking calorie counting.
What if you could have a software that performs all these tasks for you, so you can get on with your calorie cut backs without so much hassle?
This is where I would recommend this Crosstrainer Fitness Software to ease the pain. This software comes highly recommended as you will see calorie counting in a different light once you acquaint yourself to its features.
Your Diet Journal.
You need to complete your calorie counting journal (also referred to as food diary) everyday and religiously too. This is how you keep track of your progress. More importantly, you have to stick to your daily calorie allowance and resist the temptation to cheat.
Keeping a diet journal has been shown to motivate and deter you from cheating as you wouldn’t want to ruin what looks like a good thing that you have started.
Your Activities Log
Along with your food diary is an activity journal which as you probably gathered relates to evidence of your physical activities. Losing weight or burning fat has two aspects to it – your calorie intake versus calories expended.
The physical activities you undertake in the process will contribute to your calorie burn side of the equation and these activities need to be logged.
The difference between calorie intake and output is what determines your degree of weight loss or fat burning in the long run. In effect you need to know how much calories an exercise activity has expended on your behalf and this amount of calories will have to be recorded in your activities log.
A good calorie counting software will calculate all of these for you…you only need to input your activities and food intake and the rest of it is taken care of.
Weight loss is all about discipline in terms of what you eat and how much you burn in plain language.
USDA Database – a database of calorie content of all foods
Calorie Counter Software – a software that eliminates all the headache of calorie counting with food and activities journal incorporated. Has an all incorporated food log, cardio exercise log, resistance training exercise log, food database on the interface for simplicity.
Newline Digital Nutrition Calculator Kitchen Food Diet Scale, Silver – tells you the calorie value of all the nutritional components of any food you enter based on the weight and has a built-in memory as well.
The Fat Burn Diet Plan
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Learn more about how to count calories