In order for us to lose weight, the energy (or calories) you consume must equal the energy (or calories) you expend. In most cases, it’s really a simple matter of energy balance: “Calories In” must be less than “Calories Out”. “Calories In” includes what you eat and drink. “Calories Out” includes your resting metabolic rate, thermic effect of food, and physical activity. Your personal calorie requirement depends on these three factors. Once you have established what your approximate calories out are. You need to figure out what your Calories in are. How do we do that? By counting calories.
A lot of people, myself included, get caught up with the exact number of calories in each and every item of food or drink, but is it really that important to be so accurate with calorie counting? No it is not. What we need from counting calories is a rough guage of how much are meal is costing us in terms of calories.
Any inaccuracy in calorie count can be balanced out on expenditures from the daily workload and activity. As long as we keep generally active each day then there should be no problems. For example, one day you may burn equivalent to over 2000 calories but, if energy intake were anything between 1500-1800 calories then you’ll still be on track to lose weight. In this example, there would be no need for the individual to count exactly 1500 calories or whatever the calorie target may be.
How to count calories?
So how do we actually count calories. The method i use is called the eyeball method. Since we don’t require great accuracy and need just a rough figure the eyeball method is perfect. All you need to know are rough calorie counts of different foods. Usually the best thing to do is make a list of food that you eat or come across regularly and make a mental note of them. So when you do come across a meal, just by looking at the plate and approximating the size of the potions and the corresponding calorie count you can come up with a rough total for that meal.
Other benefits to counting calories
One of the other benefits of counting calories other than losing weight, is that it allows you to be flexible in how you go about distributing your calorie totals between different meals. For example let’s say that I was on a 1800 calorie diet, If I i had to eat lunch out and if the that lunch was high in calories then i can compensate by reducing my calorie intake at dinner and maintain the daily total. The point is I don’t have to count out exact calories on these days either. Just try to keep in mind that there will be possible fluctuations and adapt accordingly. Doing this should help you keep in a constant negative energy balance to lose weight consistently.