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Does Counting Calories Really Work?

September 19, 2011

Does Counting Calories Really Work?

Counting calories is one of the ways you can use to lose weight. Calories are a unit of measurement. Scientists use this to measure the food that your body needs to remain active. You need to take in at least some calories each day or your body simply would not be able to function. Calories are like fuel. Your car will not run without fuel and neither will your body run without calories. The question is how many calories should you eat?

The Showdown

Creating a calorie deficit is the goal of any weight loss program. In short, you need to burn off more calories than you are consuming. By doing this, the body is forced to turn to your stored fat to use as energy. Keep in mind that stored fat is the body’s way of protecting itself for times of famine. In today’s modern age, famine in western countries is unlikely. Therefore, your body needs to burn through that stored fat or it will continue to grow and develop. To do that, you need to consume fewer calories than you need.


The Big Calorie Problem

For those who count calories, it can be frustrating. It is hard to know the exact number of calories you are eating. Not only do you need to ensure you have the right portion size for the calorie information provided by the manufacturer, but you also need to know the individual calorie counts of each of the foods you eat. If you have a cup of coffee, some toast and eggs for breakfast, for example, you need to count calories in the cream and sugar, in the bread and butter and in the eggs, not to mention the butter used to cook those eggs. It adds up quickly but it is not easy to track.


Making Calorie Counting Easier

For those who do want to count calories, do so by being methodical about it. To simplify things, try to eat the same amount and types of foods each day. Eat from single serve packages as often as possible so you can see the calories contained in them. Try not to be too precise. Realize that you may be off by five to ten percent and that may or may not be a problem. It is best to focus on the quality of foods you eat instead.


Throw Out the Calorie Counting

For those who find it frustrating to track calories, throw out this method. Instead, eat a diet that is rich in lots of vegetables. Vegetables have a very low number of calories. Eat lean meats, but no more than a palm-sized amount. Eat fruits as a sugary treat rather than fatty foods. By doing these things, you reduce the overall impact of the foods you eat.

Take the time you need to decide if calorie counting is the right option for you. If it is not then you should track foods by portion sizes. The goal is just to be more conscious of what you are eating.

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