How is your new year going so far? Are you still trying to keep a resolution to lose weight? Is it working? Unfortunatley, no matter what kind of diet or plan you’re on, it always comes down to how many calories you’re eating.
There’s just no way around it. Eating is a numbers game. If you’re a little high for one meal, you better come out a little low in another. If you’re low all the time, you’ll lose weight. If you’re too high, you’ll gain weight.
The time has come to get ahead in this numbers game. No one likes to sit and spend all day counting. but maybe just a little keeping track here and there is all your need to finally conquer the calories.
Pick a Number
To start with, you probably have no concept of how many calories to eat in a day. There’s no one number for everyone. No one can tell you if you eat this many calories every day, you’ll lose weight. Your calorie intake depends on your height, weight, and activity level. You can get a general idea by plugging your info into websites like Free Dieting.
When you see what goes into determining how many calories to eat in a day, you see where you can make changes. Obviously you can’t change your height! But you CAN change things like activity level.
Make Calories Count
Have you ever wondered if some calories make you gain weight more than others? No, a calorie is a calorie.
But some calories are going to maximize your numbers more. If the food you eat contains fiber, it’s going to fill you up more. You’ll feel full longer than if you used the same amount of calories to eat something that didn’t fill you up as much, such as potato chips.
Ideally, you want to eat low-calorie foods that fill you up such as:
-grains like brown rice and oatmeal
-black rice (the lowest calorie rice there is)
-greens: broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, etc.
-beans: chickpeas, fava beans, edamame, etc.
-fat-free dairy products
Are you up for the challenge of counting calories? One reason why some people give up counting calories is because it’s just plain hard. Say you make yourself a casserole. How many calories is that? There’s just too many ingredients to keep track of to figure out how many calories you’ve consumed.
Don’t let this deter you. You can handle this situation in a few ways. First you could estimate the calories based on something else you’ve eaten that you do know the calorie count of. Or you can go to a calorie count website like Calorie Count where you list the ingredients and the website calculates the ingredients for you. This is great for recipes you make all the time. With help like this, you have no excuses!
Don’t Count on it Forever
Counting calories a good thing to do for a few weeks to kick of a new lifestyle. But, it’s not something that you should do long term. Different things affect our body every day: hormones, metabolic rate, exercise habits. Counting calories for a little while helps you realize how many calories you’re taking in every day. But there’s no need to do it long term once you see a pattern in your numbers.
When you see how things add up, meals, snacks, drinks; you’ll see where changes can be made. Foods that you thought were low in calories, might be thing making your numbers go up too high. Once you get the idea of where your calories are coming from, you’ll be able to establish better eating habits.
Now that you know it’s all about about the numbers, get out a pencil and paper and start counting!