How to Count Calories Properly

One quickfire way to lose weight is to reduce calorie intake but there’s a slight science to getting it just right. Learn how to count your calories properly and see the benefits it can have on your weight loss.

Knowing how to count calories is a fundamental aspect of weight loss. We all make mistakes when it comes to shedding the pounds and these can often set us back. By learning how to count your calories correctly, you’ll be able to put your food-monitoring into practice daily, soon becoming part of your daily health planning. Before we go any further, it would help if we know exactly what we’re talking about…

What exactly are calories?

Calories are measured by the energy levels provided by the food or drink you ingest. This energy is used for exercise and everyday activities – any unburnt calories are stored as fat. It’s the calories left over that can lead to weight gain and obesity, which is why it’s important to be mindful of excessive calories. The more we eat, the more weight we gain – it’s simple. By controlling your daily calories-in vs calories-out ratio, the weight will eventually drop off.

How do I count calorie intake properly? 

Say hello to your new best friend – the calorie calculator. There are so many apps available to guide you through step-by-step calorie counting. MyFitnessPal is one of the best, giving you a breakdown of dietary intake, logging activities and counting your calories as you log each food you eat. It also calculates how many calories you should be consuming daily based on your weight, height and activity. You don’t need an app, of course. A Raw Gyms personal trainer can help create a bespoke nutrition plan for you, showing you how to count your calories and helping you torch fat.

What can I do to stay motivated with my calorie counting?

We all have bad days with weight loss and this often leads to giving up. Ask others to give you encouragement to keep you focussed – perhaps see if a friend or workmate wants to start eating more healthily with you? You could also use a material item to aim towards – maybe treat yourself to that gorgeous swimwear that you’ve coveted since the beginning of the new season once you reach your goal? There are also countless motivating apps that act as virtual personal trainers and nutritionists, urging you to keep going.

How many calories should you eat?

This depends on many factors, including your gender, age, height, weight and activity levels. If you’re focussing on calorie control as part of a healthy lifestyle then you don’t need to deplete your calorie intake as much as someone who is calorie counting to lose weight for health reasons.

Do I really need to weigh and measure food?

You need to be strict on food portion size and weight if you want to lose weight. Some people believe the myth that eating large portions of vegetables won’t necessarily put weight on. This is known as ‘portion distortion’ and is, of course, untrue. Hidden calories can all add to your waistline and increase your chance of cardiovascular problems, diabetes and blood pressure complications. Using kitchen scales or measuring cups can help you weigh the correct amount of each food – if you’re using a calorie calculator then your app should guide you through this. For instance, if you’ve made pasta and sauce, the calculator will need to know the specific ingredients and the weight of each ingredient in order to calculate your intake of calories.

How can I make calorie counting work for me?

Think of learning how to count calories as a life changing moment – especially for the period of time that you want to lose weight. This means taking time to plan meals, prepare ingredients, read food labels and remove all temptation if needed. Becoming more active will help burn off extra calories, so sign yourself up for fun workouts which suit you – There’s something to suit all ages, genders and abilities. 

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