The Do’s and Don’ts of Counting Calories

If you are planning to lose weight, then you should know that calorie counting should be an important part of it. It may sound trivial to you right now, but these mistakes you make when you’re counting your calories may put a hinge in your dieting process. In this case, a list of do’s and don’ts for calorie counting may prove to be very helpful.

How to Count Your Calories  

If you don’t know for sure how to count your calories, then you may want to start with your daily needs and the number of calories you need to do those activities. You can calculate the number of calories yourself or you can use a calorie counter to do the hard part for you.

Once you’ve figured out how many calories you need to keep the same weight, you can decrease the number to lose weight. For instance, if you want to lose one pound in a week, you ought to cut 500 calories from your diet. Likewise, if you want to shed 2 pounds, go for minus 1000 calories.

Things to Keep in Mind

Since “slips” can sometimes happen, here are a few things that can help calorie counting be much easier to deal with:

  • Do: Get a calorie tracking device, such as a small notebook or a phone app. You may want to put down the calories before you eat them. This will prevent you from overeating simply because you underestimated the calorie intake.
  • Don’t: Rely on your memory. Regardless if you are dieting or not, you can’t really remember everything you eat throughout the day. Sure, you might remember what you ate, but you can’t know for certain how much you ate.
  • Do: Invest in a kitchen scale. It will tell you exactly how much you ate. While you don’t have to use the scale for every portion, do it at least for new meal types.
  • Don’t: Guess your portion size. It’s very easy to get your portion wrong. Plus, there are some foods that we have a tendency to overeat. Cereals are the perfect example of that.
  • Do: Make a habit of writing everything down. If it goes into your mouth, then it goes into your tracking device as well.
  • Don’t: Forget to add the snacks. You need to add even the smallest nibble to your notebook. For instance, you may decide to skip that slice of pizza from the box, but if you grab a bite of your partner’s slice, it still needs to go in the book.
  • Do: Take in all the nutrients that you need. For a healthy lifestyle, you need to eat enough carbohydrates, fiber, protein and fat grams. Each of those will have a big role in keeping your metabolism moving.
  • Don’t: Limit just to the calories. Sure, it’s important to get your calorie number; but if you do not have the necessary protein, you won’t be able to build muscle. Same goes for fiber; if it’s not there, your body can’t eliminate the waste properly, and you’ll become constipated.

Try to be consistent with your calorie tracking, regardless if you are using a notebook or a fancy app. If you do this, you’ll definitely start seeing results.