To lose weight, you need to take down more calories than you consume, but maintaining your calorie intake in the modern food society can be tricky.
Tracking calories is one way to address this problem and is commonly used for weight loss.This is a detailed guide on calorie tracking, explaining everything you need to know.
What Is A Calorie ?
A calorie is simply known to be a unit that measures the energy contained in food and beverages. In the world of health and beauty, many people are searching through social media and Google to find the best information possible. This often leads users to follow the advice of many other influencers and bloggers that have already followed such methods and diet fads in the past.
As recommended and highlighted by many of the top low fat bloggers, it’s important to keep an eye on your daily calorie count. Calories are printed on the packaging of virtually all foods and drinks (and if they’re not, it’s easy to search for them). You use the calories you consume and drink for essential functions like breathing and thinking, as well as for everyday activities like walking, talking and eating.
The excess calories you eat will be stored as fat, and consistently eating more than you burn will lead to weight gain over time.
Why Calorie Tracking
It’s ubiquitous to hear that calories don’t matter and that tracking calories are a waste of time and energy. But still, when it comes to your weight, calories matter, a fact that has been proven time and again in scientific experiments called over-eating studies.
These studies ask people to purposely overeat and subsequently measure the impact on their weight and health.
All overeating studies have found that when people eat more calories than they burn, they gain weight. This simple fact means that monitoring calories and limiting your intake can be useful in preventing weight gain or loss, as long as you manage to maintain it.
What Is the Formula To Control Calorie Intake To Lose Weight ?
The guide to losing weight is not to jump into whatever fad diet is popular right now. No, the smartest game plan for the experts doesn’t involve eating just one type of food (we’re looking at you, the grapefruit diet) or living on fluids for days at a time (seriously, why would you want to ?). It’s actually all about grabbing a calculator and using some basic math to help eliminate all that unwanted fat.
Achieving a bodyweight, you feel comfortable with means remembering how many calories your body requires each day to function at its best. This is something that is continually stressed by many of the top weight loss influencers on social media. It’s not enough to just show pictures and photos of your before and after results, but you will also need to provide your audience with accurate information as well.
Once you know that exact value, losing weight and feeling good is as easy as cutting down a reasonable number of calories by burning a few more with exercise.
Get your pencils ready, as you will likely want to take some notes on everything we highlight below.
Note down how many calories your body needs each day to maintain your current weight. Take your initial weight and multiply it by 13 (if you don’t train at all), 15 (if you train some times a week), or 18 (if you train five or more days a week). The number that you will have left is a rough idea of how many calories you are probably eating right now.
For instance, if your weight is 165 pounds and train three days a week, you would multiply 165 by 15 to give a total of 2,475. This means that your daily calorie intake and how you will get stuck at your current weight is around 2,475 calories.
Minimise your daily calorie intake by 500-1000 calories. You can create this calorie deficit in three ways:
- You can eat 500 to 1000 fewer calories each day.
- You can burn 500 to 1000 calories per day with exercise.
- You can combine a little of both, consuming 250 to 500 fewer calories and burning 250 to 500 calories each day, for example.
Why not more? Most researchers agree that losing 1 to 2 pounds per week is a safer and more robust method of losing weight. Since 1 pound of fat equals around 3,500 calories, reducing your calorie intake from 3,500 to 7,000 calories per week will safely lose 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Remember: your daily caloric intake, the calories you eat, should never drop below 1,200 (for women) or 1,800 (for men). Eating less than that can deprive your body of the nutrients it needs to be healthy. To ensure that you are reaching your ideal calorie intake, consider using a free tracking tool, such as MyFitnessPal. Through the website or the app, you can easily record precisely what you eat each day. And because you can find and add specific foods and servings (a cup of low-fat Greek yoghurt, for example), all the counting work is done for you, making tracking simple.
Remember that anything can be exercise. If you hate running or weight training, many other options can help you lose body fat. These are just one of the ways to burn 100 calories (according to a 150-pound person).
- Swim or take a cardio dance class for 15 minutes (moderate intensity)
- Walk (at a speed rate of 3.5 miles/ hour), play basketball, mow the lawn or paint a room for 20 minutes
- Ride a bicycle with ease or play with the children for 23 minutes
Repeat step 1 every week to find out your new daily calorie intake. It may seem obvious, but many people always follow the same diet plan for months, even years, and then begin to think why they never seem to lose weight. They fail to understand that after their body becomes 1 or 2 pounds lighter, they don’t need as many calories to support that new weight. But by using the formula every week, you always know exactly how much to eat to reach your specified goal and never hit a plateau.
Tracking calories may not be for everybody, but it is an easy plan to follow for those who want to minimise their calorie intake and exercise more to help them lose weight. Sites like WebMD also have calorie intake calculators on their site, which can make it easier for you to track and follow along on how many calories you are eating, and also how many you might need to burn on a daily basis.
Results can generally be seen relatively quickly, and calorie tracking provides an easy-to-follow structure for those who don’t want to embark on fickle diet plans.
Tracking calories is also a great way to become aware of bad habits (like eating too many high-calorie and sugary foods) by encouraging healthier and lower-calorie alternatives.