If you are serious about losing, gaining, or maintaining your weight, you should be counting the number of calories consumed on a daily basis.
While this sounds easy, dieters make common mistakes that delay their results.
1. What is a calorie?
According to Wikipedia, calories are the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water through 1 °C, equal to one thousand small calories and often used to measure the energy value of foods.
2. Break-up of macros and its calories
- 1 gram of protein has 4 calories.
- 1 gram of carbohydrate has 4 calories.
- 1 gram of fat has 9 calories.
3. Determining the daily calorie requirement
Below is an embedded form that will help you calculate your daily caloric requirement to achieve your goals.
Now comes the hard part, i.e. keeping track of your foods.
I’ll list down all the do’s and don’ts to make sure that you end up with the right numbers.
Do’s & Don’ts
- Do make use of the nutritional label in the foods products: This is by far the most accurate way of counting calories. In fact, you will also be able to track the macros (protein, carbs, and fats).
- Do not rely on your memory: If you want to achieve your goals then you have to get a little serious. Sometimes we can’t even remember what we ate in the morning, leave alone the tracking part. Even if you recall, it is impossible to remember the exact proportion of food that you consumed.
- Do invest in food scales: Food scales are cheap and it comes handy when you want to exactly even up the numbers. It is precise and you get to know the quantity of the food that you’ll be consuming. Investing in food scales should be your number one priority.
- Do make use of mobile apps: Have you heard of Lose It! or myFitness Pal? If you haven’t, then thank me. These applications are by far the best in the business. I personally use them and the great part is that they are all free to use, however they do offer their premium versions as well. Feeling lazy to enter the foods manually? Worry not, just scan the barcode and the app will do the rest.
- Don’t guesstimate the proportion sizes: If you’re guessing, then probably now is the time to invest in a kitchen-food scale. Guestimate doesn’t work here. You’ll either be over-eating or under-eating, and we do not want that to happen.
- Do make use of chit-papers: Write down the quantity of food you ate, the calories obtained, and also the macros consumed from the food. After writing, pin them. Sounds easy, right?
- Don’t make it look tough: Once you start tracking calories, it becomes a habit. At first, it looks nasty. Remember your end goal and keep working hard for it.
“The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it.”-Anonymous.