Weight Loss Guides
Weight Loss Guides
Calorie Counting – Hot or Not?
When dieting, there are pros and cons to every strategy. The important thing is to find what works for you, and stay consistent.
A diet shouldn’t be something we do transiently, it should be a way of life, if we want to stay healthy, and maintain a healthy weight.
Some say calorie counting is a thing of the past, but many see the benefit of watching our daily intake.
Calorie counting may be a very good thing for a person whose life is mostly sedentary, meaning they don’t get much regular exercise. You’ll always know where you stand, plus it helps us to maintain a consistent intake.
Nutrition Information Labels
Tracking your calories is easier than ever now, because packaged foods display nutrition information right on their labels. Before throwing away that bag or box, take a look at the label on the side.
When reading the label, one thing to watch out for, are the portion sizes. Sometimes the calories might appear reasonable. But take a closer look – 90 calories plus can be in one teaspoon of salad dressing.
Using an app, such as the Myfitnesspal app, can help you in several ways. Some of these calorie counter apps contain a search bar, so that you can enter in any possible food, select it, and log the calories. Some may also contain a barcode scanner for packages. More simply, there is even a feature to just put in the number of calories you’ve calculated. You can set your desired goal for each day, and tell the app what your level of activity is generally, for a projected weight loss timeline. There may also be a diary included, along with a place to enter physical activity, which will automatically subtract from the calories you’ve consumed.
Tracking one’s intake can simply provide an awareness of just how calorie-dense poor food choices are; making it easier to make an informed decision when you are truly committed. This helps us to create adequate portions as well; when we start to realize just how small those portions are actually meant to be. Finally, tracking calories will keep you accountable to your goals as long as you stay with it.
Is Counting Calories an Outdated Strategy?
Some dieting experts may say that calorie counting is a thing of the past. I disagree; though dieting only in this way can create rigid thinking, so use care.
Most times, people are calculating calories after they eat, so that this method gains the reputation for being an afterthought. To avoid overages, it’s a good idea to eat small high- protein snacks throughout the day. This is usually a safe bet for staying within your goal. I also recommend planning your meals if you can, and using a vitamin supplement, if you aren’t getting tons of fruits and vegetables each day.
Counting calories and portion sizes can also be a hassle, especially in social situations. Sometimes it just isn’t possible to figure out how many calories is on your plate; and no one wants to avoid activities simply because they interfere with our calorie-tracking lifestyle.
Last, it is never good to only think in terms of calories; they are just a part of dieting. When we start to get into the mindset of calorie counting, we start to think rigidly about calories in and out; meaning that we may also start to avoid low impact exercises, because they do not help us burn energy as fast.
The truth is that there are other factors involved with burning energy. We must be well-rounded, considering nutrients and minerals, fiber and protein, sugars and fats. We will need to stay healthy spiritually, including meditating and practicing Yoga, as these will all have positive effects on our metabolism as well.
By: Kelli Hastings, B.A.
Health and Safety Specialist