Should you count calories?

Personally I do count calories. I never used to and it showed, now that I do I have been able to manage my weight and reach my goals faster and quicker.

I don’t advocate that some1 counts calories as a long term strategy however I think it’s important that people incorporate calorie counting for a while to familiarize themselves with portion sizes and realize exactly how much they’re taking in compared to what they think. It’s a common issue for people to come to me and say they are having trouble losing / putting on the weight. After looking at their training regime and it checks out, next comes their diet and that’s where the problem usually is. They say they’re eating x number of calories when in fact after calculating it all its clear that they’re under/over estimating it by a long shot. Our mind is very good at playing tricks on us when we want it to tell us something. The main issue in obesity is the lack of estimating adequate portions.

Once you familiarize yourself with what 100 calories worth of protein looks like and 200 calories of carbs look like, you will then be able to alter your diet to better reach you goals. Do it long enough and you’ll be at a closer ballpark than you were.

How do you count calories?

It’s a lot easier than you take it for; the internet is laden with calorie counting sites listing the nutritional values of foods as well as packaging of most products. As far as putting numbers on what you eat, I recommend investing in a food scale available at hyper marts and most household appliance retailers. Eating out often? Most franchise chains list the calorie contents of their menus online. Cafes, restaurants? Once you familiarize yourself with the calorie content of foods, you’ll be able to have an idea of how much each meal contains. Also note that, if your goal is to lose weight, you’ll have to make the effort of refraining from eating out for a while and if you do, stick to salads, protein rich meals like steak and grilled chicken minus the carbs. Don’t be embarrassed to ask your waiter how many grams the meat is, most restaurants weigh their food.

Understanding Food labels;

A lot of people make the effort yet lack the knowledge when it comes to calorie counting of packaged products. Refer to the picture below for some tips. On a side note, at the bottom of each of these labels are the recommended daily intake of macro nutrients suggested by the FDA ( Food & Drug Administration), It’s no wonder that 70% of the population In the states are obese, the amount of carbs recommended do not match the lifestyle of 90% of the sedentary population, they may have the numbers right, but the macronutrient make up is by far appropriate for our lifestyles (This is a vast topic that ill cover in a coming article)

* Dont forget to like and post your comments 🙂


One thought on “Should you count calories?

  1. Pingback: You want to lose weight…..Now what? « The Fitness Grail

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